Recruiting Top Talent
If you are part of a growing home improvement company, chances are that a top concern of yours is recruitment and retention of skilled and caring team members. Furthermore, I suspect that two areas of your business where you are most concerned about talent acquisition are installation and sales. While in future months we’re going to continue digging into ways to help you with recruitment and retention, this issue of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report will present a few high-level ideas which are helping other contractors.
Know and Tell Your Story
Let’s face it, hiring can be a “buyer’s market” and, unfortunately, you are the seller. There is strong demand for quality salespeople and installers. This means that your company needs to stand out from all of the other prospective employers. As Kenneth Stewart pointed out in Issue #79, there are many motivating factors that can cause someone to seek a career in a particular field. And they often go far beyond earnings.
At their core, most people want to be a part of something meaningful and important to them – rather than just be another cog in the machine or another spoke in the wheel. It is your job, as a prospective employer, to have developed and memorized your company story to the point of where it is something that someone listening to it can join you in your passion – to the point of where they want to change the trajectory of their life and join your team.
So, work on perfecting your story, and don’t be afraid to tell it! Help others to see themselves in the middle of the success and growth of your company and they will want to be a part of it.
Recruit Talent From Related Fields
Installers. Look for people currently working in other skilled trades when recruiting for installers. Think about trades like landscaping, general construction, road crews, mechanics, even fast food workers. While you may be looking for certain attributes such as folks who are not afraid of heights, enjoy working outdoors, like working with their hands, and take pride in their work, keep in mind that your potential team members have certain things that they are looking for in an employer, too. Those things may include upward mobility, professionalism, fairness, more hours, regular hours, greater autonomy, work they can be proud of, pay, and benefits. Keep an “elevator speech” or even a flyer or business card on hand at all times so that, when you run into someone who seems to be a great prospect for joining your team, you can connect with them on a personal level.
Always be on the lookout for potential team members and, when you see them, don’t be afraid to connect with them — no matter where they may be working now. I think we will all agree that your best chance for a successful new hire will be someone who is already in the work force, not someone who is sitting at home on their mom’s couch eating potato chips and playing video games. So, that being the case, get out there and recruit with people who are already in skilled trades and exhibiting the qualities you want on your team!
Salespeople. Residential metal roofing and other high-end home improvement items are “value-added” sales that are typically being done by salespeople who are capable of walking their customers through the process of Needs Analysis and discovery. We find that no one would be better doing that than someone who is from the field of broadcast or journalism. These are the folks who have been trained to quickly gain the confidence of others, and to communicate with honesty and clarity. They usually appreciate the value of personal style, which can also be a plus. And, above all, they know how to ask questions and drive toward a point, often being a strong influencer along the way. They can control situations and processes while still allowing others to express themselves. So, in seeking a skilled salesperson, we advise looking for someone who is perhaps retired from journalism, or maybe someone who has had a career in that field but is now jaded by “fake news” and other things and looking for a fresh start. (Fact is, with the decline of the newspaper industry nationwide, there are former journalists in the job market.)
And, of course, another great place to recruit salespeople is from your base of past customers. Who better to tell your story, and encourage others to also work with your company than someone who has already made that decision! Today’s workers often find jobs through networking and personal connection. Work hard to expand your circles and touch more of the folks who might enjoy a career with you and your great company.
Build Relationships With Schools
No matter what position you’re recruiting for, consider making connections with your local high school career center or junior college. One way to do this is to be a donor to their program. In certain trades such as construction, students must supply their own tools, uniforms, lab fees, and etc. This can be quote expensive and, for many students, these costs can prevent them from attending tech school, forcing them to instead remain in a standard high school program. If you connect with your local school and offer to sponsor the extra costs of a student or two each year, the schools and instructors will take note of your generosity and you will also have a great impact on the students.
There are many ways to advertise for prospective employees but here’s a good one – Facebook advertising. With Facebook advertising, you can target based upon age, sex, interests, past jobs, and educational background. Once you target your chosen individuals, you can deliver to them an impactful message that helps them see the value of working for your company. Facebook advertising is fairly easy and also quite inexpensive. Keep in mind, your most desirable team members are already working; on Facebook you can even target folks who work for certain companies of your chosen.
I hope these ideas have been beneficial to you. Please watch future editions of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report for more ideas. And, please, email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or with your ideas for future topics in this newsletter.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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