Advertisers advice

8 mistakes to avoid when hiring staff for your trade business

Here's some expert insight into attracting the best tradie job applicants.

This text of this article was provided by Michael Howard, at Tradify HQ.

Hiring is hard, even if you’ve done it before. Thankfully it’s like many things where you live and learn. Tradify HQ sat down with over 20 trade business owners to find out their top tips for hiring.

They also found out some of the hardest things about hiring and some of the mistakes they’ve made in the past. So they put together a list of the top eight mistakes that you should avoid when hiring tradespeople.

1. Jumping straight in

Maybe you’ve just won some business and need manpower, or perhaps your top tradesperson has just resigned. Whatever the reason you’re hiring, never jump straight in to hiring mode.

You need to step back and make sure you know exactly what your business is, that your business is an attractive place to work at, and who exactly is the right person to hire. If you fail to do this, chances are you could hire the wrong person, which could put you in an even worse situation than when you started out.

2. Hiring someone with the wrong moral compass

This often happens as a result of jumping straight into the hiring process as you haven’t done enough background work on either what kind of company you want to be or who each of your applicants really are.

This may not always surface itself straight away either. Problems could arise in the weeks or months following their start. To overcome this, make sure you really press them at the interview phase. Also, contact their previous bosses and clients for feedback on how they operated and what their general demeanour was.

Your new hire needs to fit in well with your company culture.

3. Not paying enough or having no incentives

You’re probably aware of the tradesperson shortage that’s happening at the moment and how it’s so hard to find excellent tradespeople let alone those so-so tradespeople. This is great for excellent workers as they know they’re in demand and are much more selective in where they work.

Quality tradespeople can also demand bigger and better pay packages. So to make your business successful, you need to give them a decent salary plus offer them awesome incentives such as:

  • No overtime or weekend work.
  • An overseas holiday every year.
  • Profit sharing.

4. Having a vanilla job description

You know how easy it is to scroll past a post on Facebook or an article on a news site that's as dull as dishwater. It’s exactly the same with job ad titles and descriptions. If you just smash something out in five minutes, chances are it will get scrolled past in a few seconds.

Instead, spend some time making it stand out - funny, different, attractive. Tradify HQ have put together a hiring tradespeople pack.

5. Giving no direction of where the job could lead to

Have you had a great employee in your business only to have them resign out of the blue? Chances are they didn’t have a clear idea of where they could progress to or grow within your company.

Thankfully, this is a really easy fix. It’s just a matter of sitting down with each of your employees and ask them what they’re hoping to achieve in their career and where they want to be in several years’ time.

Once you know where your staff want to be, put in place some goals and milestones to hit, that tie into your business.

Show potential employees how you can help them develop professionally.

6. Only asking direct questions

Direct questions are those asked to receive a particular response - i.e. what do you like about your trade. While direct questions are useful, you need to ask behavioural questions too, which help you see how a person behaves or responds in a certain situation.

For instance:

"you’re working on a job when a customer comes to check on progress. They flip out and lose their cool when the see you've placed your not-so-dirty tool box on their carpet. You think they're over-reacting, but they're serious. What would you do?"

7. Hiring at the wrong time

Measure twice, cut once. It’s a saying that we’ve all been reminded of in the past, which rings true for hiring as well as when on the tools. While there’s always a reason for rushing, it rarely ends well. When you rush hiring someone you can’t be sure you’re hiring the best person for the job, just the best person you come across in your short search.

Taking an always-hiring mentality, you can always be on the look for great staff. When you find one, you might not have the workload to completely cover their salary initially, but having the extra capacity means you can look for or bring on more work to pay for the difference (and some).

8. Not having an onboarding process

While it may seem like something you'd do while surfing or fishing, onboarding is a crucial step many tradespeople fail to do.

Onboarding is the process of getting your employees up to speed as quickly as possible.

Why is Tradify the #1 job management app for thousands of tradesmen? It’s the easiest to use, it’s an all-in-one tool, it’s designed specifically for the trades, and it cuts out the BS from their business. From quotes & invoices to timesheets, reporting, and job tracking & scheduling, Tradify lets electricians, plumbers, and other trade businesses do it all from a phone on site, or on a desktop. Start a free trial today.

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