Recruitment and Retention

Recruitment and Retention

Are You Overworked? Struggling To Find A Quality Tradie? This Is For You!

You’ve worked a full ten hour day on the tools. Your back’s stiff, and your brain’s weary. You come home, have dinner with the fam, watch your favourite team get smoked during the highlight show, and now it’s 10:30pm.

You can barely keep your eyes open.

Time to open up the laptop, email a few clients, polish up some quotes, and get stuck into your second shift of the day. 

This scenario becomes the reality for so many trade business owners. Working too many hours just creeps up on youWhy?

It’s usually the result of bad time management, poor operational systems, and not knowing how to scale properly – all key things we help tradies with in the Academy. Tradies often (mistakenly) think working harder equates to more profit. A big part of the problem for tradies today is actually the dried up labour market. It hasn’t been this challenging to find quality staff in a long time – every tradie on the hunt for new talent is starting to realise it’s bleak out there. 

Obviously, hard work is essential – but you’ve got to know where to draw the line, and how to work smarter.  If you don’t, you’ll eventually find yourself working 5-9 instead of 9-5, and spending your weekends knee-deep in paperwork. The problem is, everything else falls through the cracks when you’re working too much – your health, your relationships, and your hobbies. And then you burnout, and break down. 

If you’re working insane hours and struggling to stay on top of your workload, you’ve got to do something about it. Getting the right person on board might be the answer. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered in this article with awesome recruitment and retention strategies available to help you stand out from your competitors and attract the top-notch staff you need to keep growing – keep reading. This will depend on where you’re based – there will naturally be more options for city-based business owners compared to rural ones. But either way, the fundamentals are pretty much the same.

The very first thing you need to do is set this task as a priority – not something sitting in the background. Not something that “can wait”. Because by the time you NEED someone, it’s already too late. When you frame it that way, the way you approach finding a staff member completely changes.

Start by checking in with your network. You know so many more people than you think. Your network has a network. That network has a network. Make the best use of it. Five years ago the labour market was a hell of a lot more healthy – you’d put an ad up and you got to pick from a range of applicants. Now the tables have turned. The talent is picking where they want to work.

One thing we’d recommend in today’s climate is the “evergreen ad” – that’s just putting an ad up and leaving it there – always have something on your website so that you’re easy to find. You need to start advertising for staff the same way you advertise for clients. You need to be the best offering for the best quality talent. The cold hard truth is that if you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys. 

One of the most frustrating trends we see today is tradies advertising that they’re paying “above award rate”.What this really says is; “if I could pay you less, I would, but I can’t, it’s against the law”. Why are you being vague about your offering, anyway? Because you’re hoping to get a deal – you’re hoping someone comes along and asks for LESS money than what you’re willing to pay. 

Problem is, you don’t get good deals in a dry labour market. 

Standout staff culture is another amazing way to attract and retain talent. People want to be respected, valued, upskilled, nurtured, and work for someone who understands life happens. No one wants to work for a dickhead. No one wants to work in a toxic culture. The good talent have doors open for them.

What are YOU doing to foster a positive culture?

On the other end of the generosity spectrum, be careful with sign-on bonuses for new staff. This will demoralise your existing staff. Long-standing staff may threaten to walk out. One of the most underrated forms of communication – and it’s not just for finding new staff – is the email campaign. Remember, your networks have networks. Why not get in front of existing clients?

“Hey, we’re a growing company looking for new talent” – should be the core message of your email. When they’re at that barbecue, they’ll mention it.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Basically, your key to getting the right person on board is to embrace the responsibility of hiring being a priority task. This might even mean clearing an entire day in your schedule. The pain of losing a day of business is going to drive you to make it happen. 

Stop making excuses, and start building your dream team.

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