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How Contractors Can Build the Right Team

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By: Holly Welles, The Estate Update

Published: August 6, 2019

Running your own construction company requires a lot of juggling. Putting together the right team for each step of the process can save you time and money in the long run. Finding the right person to do the work at a rate you can afford isn't an easy task. Even if you hire the perfect crew, there may be times when your churn rate is so high you feel as though you're spinning your wheels.

At last estimate, construction is 4.1 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. It's big business, but with that comes a lot of competition from both established brands and new startups. If you want to stand out, you need a team you can rely on to get the job done. Here is how you can build a strong team of contractors.

1. Offer perks.

You might not be able to pay as much as some larger companies, but you can offer perks the bigger guys can't. Give your crew extra days off when someone has a baby or a special event to attend. Bring them a catered lunch once a week. Invite their families for a day at the local park. These little perks mean a lot to employees and may make a big difference in your retention rate.

2. Hire a great manager.

Leadership makes or breaks most companies. Ideally, you need someone with a firm hand and who leads by example. Seek a construction manager who isn't scared to get his or her hands dirty on the job, but also who knows how to delegate smaller tasks. You want someone who is highly organized and has some experience in managing construction crews.

3. Protect your workers' well-being.

As a construction company, your workers may handle large equipment and often lift heavy beams and rafters over their heads. On-site job safety is one of the most important things you can focus on when building your crew. People need to know you care enough about them that you value their life and well-being. Invest in safety training, and make sure your equipment is in good working condition. When in doubt about the safety of a maneuver, err on the side of caution. Build trust with your employees, so they know you have their best interests in mind.

4. Form long-term partnerships.

It's easy to give out one job at a time and see how it goes, but you won't build a company culture if you don't hire the same people long-term. Taking on employees allows you to provide your customers with continuity of service. If you did a job for them last year, they know you'll do similar work and deliver the same results this year.

5. Ramp up your interviews.

Some interview questions are so common people almost expect you to ask them. What is your greatest weakness and how have you overcome it? Instead of relying on the typical interview questions, dig a bit deeper. Discover the person's passion for what they do. Ask why they are interested in your company. Have an actual conversation rather than grilling the person for facts.

6. Conduct background checks.

It's perfectly fine to give people a second chance. That person previously convicted of a crime, who did his time and is trying to get back on his feet, might be the best worker you ever hired. However, a background check will highlight areas of concern that might be a liability. For example, if the person has been arrested several times for battery, then they may have a hot temper, and you might be putting your other workers in jeopardy.

7. Look outside normal channels.

It's easy to throw a job listing up on Indeed or Craigslist and watch the applications roll in. Unfortunately, you'll get the same applicants by doing this. Instead, look outside your normal job channels for fresh faces. Go to a job fair for recent or soon-to-be high school graduates. Ask those who already work for you if they know of anyone who might be a good fit. By reaching out in new ways, you'll find workers you otherwise wouldn't have encountered.

Hiring the Best in the Contracting Business

The right workers for your company are the ones that fit with your business philosophy and accept your company culture. It's sometimes difficult to find the right mix of workers, but over time, you should be able to form a team that works well together and enhances your brand's reputation.