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Hello,

Seeking advice on hiring QUALITY (honest and hardworking) employees.

I am fairly new to this field of work and have been hiring basic laborers with some success and some not so successful.

Question: What do you all look for when hiring a skilled employee, what personality traits, what questions do you ask, do you do reference check-ups, and where do you find your employees, any suggestions or advice would be helpful.?.

Thanks.
 

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Red, This is one of the toughest areas of business and something that I have been doing for over 30 yrs. For me it is just a gut feeling and I still get fooled from time to time.
Things that I look for; A complete and well written resume gets an interview. Background checks are a must. The applicant is on time or ahead of schedule for the interview. Applicant shows up resonably dressed for the position, I don't expect a woodworker to show up in a 3 pc. Aramani suit but I do expect them to be bathed and in clean clothes. They should also be comfortable in their skin, no nervousness or skittery behavior and not too relaxed (no feet on my desk), allow a little latitude for people fresh out of trade school if it's only their first or second job interview, jittery, not feet on the desk. Most of these will exude confidence and that's not bad if you can harness it. (I just hired a 25 yr old guy that I am grooming to take over my marine business and may sell it to him in a few years).
From there you have to gauge the applicant to the position. If somebody doesn't have a killer personality but is going to be making cabinet doors all day it really doesn't make much difference. If a person may have contact with clients a positive outlook is something that will swing my vote.
I could write a book on this but just as important is......
Being a good boss. I'm the biggest cheerleader on the block and people love praise. You have to be interested in your employees, know their spouses and kids names and what they are doing. Nothing beats walking through a site and asking Bob how Billy did at T-ball last night. Unannounced flowers for a secretary. If we have to go into OT, I buy KFC and pizzas and pitch in to get the job done. I may be old but I can still swing a hammer with the best of them and they know it. I just don't let on how much it hurts for the next couple of days. LOL
Mike is a fountain of info and I'm sure that he will put in his 2 cents if he hasn't already beaten me to it.
 

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Only about 25 yrs in the biz here teetor and I agree with about all your input. However I don't worry so much about the ref area unless I'm hiring the lead man, just because, some people will work like a dog for me, but wont for some others. Guess that plays back on your (good boss) input.

From now on maybe I'll just say "eckooo"

Bob
 

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Redkier, I have tried and tried to find quality employees for the office. I'm at the point where the traditional stuff just isn't cutting it. Perhaps it is my interviewing skills. Our next office hire will come from a temp agency. I'd rather pay out the extra dollars to know that I am getting quality. If the person sucks I simply ask for a replacement. When I find someone worth keeping I hire them directly.

I guess you do get what you pay for.
 

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Teetorbilt - you said it all. Excellent advise. No book is going to be better then good old experience gained from highering winners and losers and developing a gut reaction.

The only two things to add are: Where there is smoke there is fire - go with your first instinct, if there is something that is making you question your choice, don't even consider the person, your first instinct usually turns out to be right. :Thumbs:
 

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I do background checks because I once hired a junkie. You would have never guessed by looking at him. Stuff started disappearing to pay for his habit.
A friend of mine hired a registered sex offender and one of his customers, with small kids, recognized him. That was not his best day.
Do your background and reference checks!
 

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Background check? ....Yea but what kinda chance would that give a beer drinking, bar room brawling, tomcat like me.......none....and I'm a "very" talented builder....no crap.

Bob
 

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If you got busted DUI, not much, you had better be real talented and you aren't driving any company trucks. I can overlook drinking and a couple of barroom brawls, guys gotta have fun, but if it happens on the job you would be sooooooo gone. Don't ask for refs either, I'll tell the truth.
 

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Oh yea....I find it difficult to drink before 5, never been much of a daytime drinker.

Never have drank on a job, even if the customer offers a beer at the end of the day, I don't except.

One other thing, just food for thought, I can't drink at home, no beer in the frig, no beer in a cooler, home and beer just don't mix with me, and I can't explain why. If I take beer home, it just sits in the frig for weeks, so I don't take it home. What about the rest of you fellas?

Bob
 

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My surname name came from the Swiss 'Dieter'. We came to America in the 1690's and melded with the German and Dutch. There is a Teetertown in Pennsylvania. Spellings vary, Teetor, Teeter, Teter, if you run into any of these people they are related to me.
Considering my ancestery, beer is a given. Ben Franklin is credited with saying that beer is proof that God loves you. I have a couple every day. Now the docs are saying that it's good for you too.
I went into the ER about 2 yrs ago due to a minor traffic violation (not mine) and the triage nurse asked me if I was an athelete. hehehe. I drink, I smoke but I also work almost every day, I think that exersize and food is the key. I eat a lot of seafood and salads but don't really skimp on the BBQ ribs or quality steaks either.
I do abstain from the hard stuff and drugs.
 

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I was going to add that normally references are pretty much worthless in the corporate world. When was the last time somebody was stupid enough to put a reference down that was going to say something bad about them? However, dealing in construction, sometimes you aren't dealing with the sharpest tool in the shed.
 

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Mike ont he other had a recomendation (not refrence) is like gold. If someone is going to stick out his neck and say "You should Hire Bob for this opening. My bud Bob is an expert and making widgets." then you know Bob is probably worthy because if Bob messes up then it will look bad for the guy who recommended Bob.
 

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Grumpy, So true!
Glass, The nurse was male, not my type!
 

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Down here 'Bubba' works.
 
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