In this article, we’re gonna deal with the number-one thing that almost every home improvement contractor is dealing with right now, and that’s finding people to work on your projects. It’s easy to point the finger at all the external reasons as to why you haven’t built your team yet – but today, I’m gonna give you five tips on how you can find employees for your team.
First, let’s talk about the elephants in the room – a couple reasons as to why people AREN’T choosing this industry.
ELEPHANT #1 – Pushing college on young people.
We’ve had decades of our society pushing, pushing, pushing college on young people. And that is responsible for the shortage of workers in the trade system. I want to put that on the table and not ignore it. It is what it is. It’s the message that’s been pushed out, decade after decade, and it’s contributed to where we’re at.
ELEPHANT #2 – Unattractive lifestyle.
The next big-ass elephant staring us down is this: Most contractors don’t have a life that other people want. They wake up early and go to work when it’s still dark, then come home when it’s dark. They’re pecking on their computer late at night after cramming in some time to hang out with their kids, their bank account isn’t very big, they’re tired…why would anyone wanna live like that?
Our mission is to bring respect and dignity back into the trades, which is why we talk so much about making money. Money makes a lot of other problems go away. When you build your brand and learn how to make more money as a contractor and you’re attractive in the lifestyle that you have, other people are gonna be curious as to what’s going on in your sphere and they’re gonna want a little piece of that.
ELEPHANT #3 – What can you control?
In 2021, the government is handing out tons of money for people to sit at home, and this keeps them from working. This combined with the other two elephants – these are all external factors. And you don’t have a lot of control over them. The minute you lean on these external factors as to why you can’t find employees for the team and use them as excuses, you become a victim. And victims never win in the long run.
Alright. That’s out of the way. Now, we’re gonna get into what it takes for you to grow your business, grow your team, and find employees. These are things that you DO have control over.
That’s the key. What can you do, what can you own, what attitudes can you control, and what actions can you control?
Let’s get started.
1. Create a culture that people want to work for.
If you want to find employees for your business, you have to work on yourself as a leader and create the type of culture that people want to be a part of. For many years, I didn’t take ownership as a leader in my business – and being a good leader is the number one factor that will contribute to your success, profitability, and your ability to grow a kick-ass team of FWs in your company.
Be the type of person that your people need you to be. Be the type of leader that creates an intentional culture, a winning culture – a culture of progress, forward thinking, and innovation, a culture of fun, a culture of we get shit done! Whatever you want your culture to be, when you’re intentional about it, people that resonate with your values as a company will be attracted to you.
Ask yourself this question: Would you wanna work for you?
If the answer is no, fix that. Once you do, you’re on your way to attracting employees for your business.
2. Recruit all the time.
What do recruiters do? When it comes to sports, they’re on planes traveling all over the world, looking for athletes – they’re out scouting. They’re wining and dining people, and they’re not just doing it once or twice a year like most contractors do when it comes to hiring.
If you wanna find people to work for you, you have to be in recruiting mode all the time.
Here’s some low-hanging fruit: Have a ‘Careers’ page on your website. If someone types in ‘landscaping jobs near me,’ wouldn’t it be cool if your website came up with a Careers page that actually made the case as to why someone would wanna be part of your company’s culture?
That’s recruiting 101 right there, get a web page for that.
If you’re not on the hunt 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, just like you should be for marketing your business, you’re gonna struggle when you’re hiring. You don’t wanna hire people when you need them – you wanna hire when you want them. You want a full bench at all times, and you only get to that point when you’re fanatical about recruiting.
3. Use your current employees.
Your current employees work for you and already understand your culture. If you’re growing as a leader and growing as a company, they’re having a good experience because you’re feeding them and being a leader that they need you to be – and guess what? They have friends that are like them. We hang out with people that are like us.
If you’ve got some FWs in your company, they’ve surely got friends who are FWs.
Many contractors mess this up because they’re not highlighting their current employees on their social media. When people know that you care about them, they’re gonna wanna stay on your team. They’re gonna wanna grow with you and tell their friends about it.
This is no different than doing a great project for a client who tells their friends about it.
In order to utilize the people that you already have, you have to go back to point #1 and be a great leader. If you’re not a great leader, you’re gonna struggle to connect with your team.
Give your current employees a business card to hand out, and if they snag people, they get a signing bonus. When you have people recruiting for you who are already on your team, you’re going to find more people.
4. Construction industry influencers.
Every area, every city, has a bunch of associations for trades. Those associations need to know who you are. Be a part of the homebuilders association in your area, join a committee, build relationships with people.
The people that run those organizations know all the companies in the area, and that helps you expand your net with people who have influence in the industry.
Even going outside of the construction industry influencers – what about your email list? You have thousands of people on your email list, why are you not emailing your hiring message out? There’s a good chance you know somebody who’s a good fit. One of your cousin’s kids is wasting their damn life away playing video games in the basement and they need to get a damn job.
There are so many resources – moms groups, veterans groups, past employees.
Use the influencers and the groups that are out there – if you do that, you’re gonna find people for your business.
5. Do your own hiring event.
A virtual event, a live event, it doesn’t matter. Pool your resources together with guys from different industries, get a venue, set up tables, and put on your own job fair. Reach out to all those groups from before and market the shit out of your event for a month.
When you put on your own hiring event, you’re taking charge. This is something you have control over. This is what it takes to grow your business.
BONUS: Steal from your competitors.
Not in a shady way. Don’t go up to guys while they’re on a job and offer them another dollar per hour if they come and work for you. That’s not what I mean.
You steal your competitor’s best people by showing how you’re spearheading the industry as a thought leader, by being a better leader, creating a better culture, building your brand – be so good that they can’t ignore you. That’s what I’m talking about.
If you truly want FWs, you have a few choices: You steal them, you find them somewhere else, or you grow your own.
People will only know about your business if you build your brand and you’re always aggressive. That’s how you’re gonna get the best people. Be fanatical about your hiring and keep showing up with the things that we’ve talked about here today