Masons: Don’t Be Afraid of Hiring the Wrong Person
By George Hedley
Working with and coaching construction business owners, I have discovered that most have the common fear of hiring the wrong person. And, to avoid making a hiring mistake, they postpone hiring for many months and, oftentimes, years. By not hiring additional administrative, project management, estimating, or supervisory help, they spend too much time on menial tasks that could be handled by other employees.
These simple tasks often include writing checks, getting material quotes, calling subcontractors to get their shop drawings submitted, organizing the monthly invoices, worrying about equipment maintenance, doing take-offs, typing letters, organizing job correspondence, or playing phone tag to schedule meetings.
When the business owner handles all of these menial tasks and tries to grow the business, he doesn’t have enough time to focus on important activities like sales, business development, meeting with potential customers, or improving field productivity.
As a result, the business gets stuck at the size and level at which the business owner can barely stay in control of what he can do in a day. Performing activities that can be delegated holds the business owner back from being effective and reaching his goals. But, since most business owners don’t really like to hire people anyway, they stay stuck forever and continue to complain they can’t find any good help. This is a vicious, downward spiral that leads to low profit and no growth.
Why can’t you let go?
What activities can you let go of and turn over to another or new employee? Here is an example of a business owner I am helping with this problem:
Dan owns a masonry company and spends an extra 20 hours per week paying the bills, writing checks, doing payroll, balancing the checkbook, and going to the bank. His best skill is selling and finding new customers, but he doesn’t have enough time to get out of the office. As a result, he is losing money and his field operations are not producing what he needs.
“Mr. Do” means the company “does not”
Why don’t these business owners get some help? Letting go of doing tasks and delegating them to someone else is the only way your company will ever grow or make more money. As “Mr. Do,” when you do the work, your company doesn’t work. The more you do, the less your company makes. When you handle $10- to $20-per-hour tasks, you can’t focus on the important things that will make you lots of money.
I recommended Dan hire a part-time, professional, full-charge bookkeeper or construction bookkeeping service to come into his office two days per week. The cost for this service should run around $1,500 per month. With an extra 20 hours per week, Dan can then sell an additional $50,000 to $75,000 of work per month.
What position do you need filled?
Why have you procrastinated way too long? Are you afraid to hire and make a mistake? Make a list of everything you do, and everything you shouldn’t do. After sorting the “should let go of” list, decide what type of new position would free up and produce the most time for you to focus on what your company needs to grow and make more money.
Then commit to go out and hire that person and make him accountable for the tasks you need accomplished. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request your free “BIZ-Function Accountability Org Chart.” Remember, the alternative is to continue hoping things get better the way they are. So, get over your fears, and go for it. Now, write a compelling advertisement listing exactly what you need.
Next, place the ad in one of the low-cost online employment websites. When you receive the resumes, sort them by experience, relevance, salary and longevity at their previous employers. Next, email the candidates to schedule short phone interviews. Then, you can ask them detailed questions about their experience, knowledge, teamwork, responsibilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Also, ask them about their time commitment, salary requirements, and expected benefits. If you like the candidate, schedule a face-to-face interview.
Always have your spouse meet the candidate sometime during the interview, as two heads are better than one in determining attitude, energy and whether the person will fit well into the company. And, finally, if you are ready to hire the person, I suggest a 30- or 90-day probation period to determine if he will be the right long-term person to help your company get organized and grow.
George Hedley is a licensed professional business coach, popular professional speaker, and best-selling author of “Get Your Business to Work!” and “The Business Success Blueprint For Contractors,” available at his online bookstore. He works with business owners to build profitable growing companies. Email GH@HardhatPresentations.com to sign up for his free monthly e-newsletter, hire George to speak or as your BIZ-COACH, or to join an ongoing peer mastermind BIZ-GROUP. Call 800-851-8553 or visit www.HardhatPresentations.com.