Business Tips April 2019

9 Tips for Hiring Tradespeople

Wolseley PRO Pipeline Blog

In plumbing and HVAC, a good crew can make a world of difference in your business. A hardworking employee that’s skilled in their trade and comes to work with a positive attitude increases a team’s productivity and makes an excellent impression on your customers, all while making the job more enjoyable. As a business owner or boss, it’s your responsibility to choose the right employees to ensure your business runs smoothly.

In Canada today, good tradespeople are in high demand! It’s not always easy to find good plumbers and HVAC technicians. Plus, a busy schedule can get in the way of prioritizing hiring the right employees. But don’t worry -- it’s possible.

Here are top tips for finding the right tradespeople for your business.

1. Always be Hiring

Accept applications from tradespeople at all times of the year, even if you’re not looking to hire. If you find a tradesperson that would be a good fit with your company, hire them. Paying a good worker for a couple of weeks will pay off for when it comes to hiring time. This will help you avoid hiring mediocre employees when you’re desperate for more staff and will make you feel confident going into your busy season.

2. Use Up-to-Date Job Postings

You won’t be able to find good tradespeople if you don’t let them find you. Create job postings with specific job descriptions that describe day-to-day tasks, required certifications and experience, time commitments, and growth opportunities. This will help you attract the right candidates and prevent you from wasting time interviewing people unfit for the job.

Plus, when you have templates ready to go, you won’t be scrambling to write a job posting when you need to hire someone quickly.

3. Identify Special Requirements

Do you need someone that’s available on weekends? Or someone that can lift heavy objects?

Make this clear in your job posting and again during the interview by using willingness statements like “willing to work in dusty or noisy environments”.

4. Post Your Job Online

Most job sites have free services where you can post your job online for potential new hires to explore and apply. Take advantage of the services and reach as many people as you can. This will give you a competitive advantage to similar companies when it comes to finding good tradespeople.

You should also use your company’s social media platforms to let people know you’re hiring and lead them towards the online application you have posted.

5. Use Word of Mouth

People in any industry talk to one another. They know who’s looking for work, who’s hiring, who’s good at their job, and who is untrustworthy. Ask around if there’s anyone looking for work and if they’d be interested in a job. It’s okay to be proactive and reach out instead of waiting for someone to apply for the position.

6. Check Qualifications

Checking qualifications ensures your applicants can get started working right away. Don’t waste time waiting for your new hires to get certified. Ask for proof of certification to protect your company from being in potential trouble down the road.

7. Verify References

If you don’t recognize your applicant’s references, look them up, and even call them. Are they a reputable company? Do they say good things about the potential hire? This includes checking their personal online review if they’ve ever worked on their own. Trust what their previous employers and customers say for further proof that they’re the right fit.

8. Keep an Open Mind

Not all good workers are the same. A potentially great applicant could be completely different from your best employee. The same goes for your employees. Your newest worker might become your site manager within a year. Give your employees a chance to prove themselves and to get an understanding of their character before labelling them in your head, because at the end of the day, their character will impact your business more than what they wear or what sports team they cheer for.

9. Invest in Proper Training

Once you’ve decided on a tradesperson, set up proper training so that they can get started on the right foot from day one. Take anywhere between an hour to a couple of days depending on their experience and on the size of the project to explain your company and your expectations. Go over previous projects and discuss the ones they’ll be involved in. Show them how your systems work, any processes, and introduce them to the crew members they will be working with and learning from.

When it comes down to it, take your time and do things right when hiring a new tradesperson. You can also explore various options like apprenticeships. It will make your life easier down the road and also save you money in the long run.

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