Having worked in many businesses and with hundreds of clients over the years, if I had a dollar for every time someone said “people are our greatest asset” I would be retired in the islands somewhere.
This term has become a cliché and, although the intent is right, it’s used incorrectly.
First, only the RIGHT people are the greatest asset. If not so, we could hire anyone, anywhere and succeed. Life would be a breeze. You goal should be to hire the right person, every time.
Turnover is a Killer of Companies
There is nothing more important to a construction firm than hiring and retaining the right or best people. You can be a great boss and hire bad people, or worse, hire great people and not be able to retain them. Turnover is a death nail for small firms.
The number one rule when hiring is to not settle.
Consider this scenario that all owners or bosses have experienced. You’ve bid on several new and large contracts.
You think you’ve got a great shot at winning but you’ve been wrong before. The problem is, you don’t have the staff to do the new projects, but you also don’t want to jump the gun and take on more overhead.
So, what do you do?
Typically, you rush to put out an ad or get the word out through employees and friends. You’re busy on the work at hand, so you hire the first person or persons through door.
Watch for the Warning Signs
Several weeks go by and the new employee or employees are not working out. You keep thinking “I don’t have time to interview other people, these guys or gals will get it eventually.”
But they don’t, and by the time you actually do something, you find the good employees resent the fact that you allow the bad performers to stay on the payroll.
You start to see issues in the workmanship in your products. And if you’re lucky, that’s the worst of the damage.
Never Settle – Take the Time to Hire the Right Person
The one thing that’s certain is that people will be at their best when they are in the interview or in the church pews. If you have a probationary period, they will likely be at their best then as well.
When hiring, even if you’re busy, and especially if you are busy, take your time to hire the right person; interview multiple candidates and do not settle.
When you do, you will spend more time “cleaning up the spill on Aisle 3” than you would have if you just took the necessary time to hire and train the new employees in the first place.
Resisting the urge to quickly hire up to get those new projects rolling is tough, but you have to do it. Hire the right person, train well, and you will not only have and be able to retain the best people, your good work that won you those new projects will be sustainable.
And when you make a hiring mistake (and you will), act quickly to move them off your payroll. Don’t be ruthless, share your concerns and give them a chance; however, be rigorous in your pursuit for the greatest assets.
Once you’ve got the right people in place, and business is booming for you, let CapitalPlus help you ease your cash flow needs.