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Chunkah

To The Self Employed Contractors Out There

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How do you find good help? I've been in business 20 + years and it's a constant struggle. If it's not one thing it's another. Too dumb, too careless, too slow, doesn't pay attention to details, liar, unreliable...it's never ending. Used to be able to place an add in the paper and get lots of good candidates, now Craigslist seems to be the best option to reach the most people but I haven't found a good one yet. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks

 

(Hopefully this isn't a no no posting this here. If it is please move or delete.)

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I feel your pain people ask whats the hardest part of my business and i tell them thats an easy one, finding good help. I've heard every BS excuse out there of why they're late or didn't show up or why the job didn't get done. A lot of my friends that own their own business have the same problem.

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Welcome to the club. Biggest challenge for a business owner. I've been lucky with a few guys. I've starting investing in them when they were young. I saw potential in them treated and pay them fair. Good help is hard to find these days for sure.

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I don't own a business but i spent many years working in construction. I also have a friend who has a landscaping business and he had a terrible time with employees until he discovered Mexican work visa's (he says they are on visa's but i dont know this to be fact.) he reports they are hard working, law abiding, want to work, and they are dependable, family oriented and competent. They come to work every day and they don't whine if they have to work late or on weekends. in fact they want to work late and on weekends. the more they work the more they get paid and the more they can send home to their families before their visa's expire and they go home. They also dont work angles for workmens comp or some kind of disability.

Edited by poopdeck

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What poopdeck said. I have been in business of construction all my life ,almost . You train up young guys and show them all the tricks and after a couple of years they are pros and turn out to be the ones trying to get your jobs . I always just did good work and never had a problem getting more work . You will always have to keep an eye on your help for quality . I only wished I has taken spanish in school . Mexicans are good people for the most part.

 

It will always be a constant struggle . It used to be people who did construction were drunks , drug addicts , jail birds or just passing thru .

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Yeah, I don't know Spanish and won't be learning it, but certainly am happy to hire anyone as long as they can do the job. There just don't seem to be good avenues to find help anymore. I'm busier than I have ever been just not sure how to handle everything coming in while being under staffed. I guess it's off to Craigslist again.

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Oh man this reminds me of a job I did . I was doing a job for a surgeon and he had a really knockout wife and she was such a sweet person . Ok one morning the surgeon and his wife were walking around their mansion telling me some things they wanted done . My landscaper was taking the walk with me and his crew was sitting on the front porch waiting to get started to work . When we walked by the mexicans were saying something and the doctor looked at them for a few seconds . As we were walking back ole Doc spoke to them in spanish , boy did their eyes get big , I figured they were saying they would like to bang his wife . I guess doc took it as a complement of how beautiful his wife was but the mexicans didn't know he was fluent in 7 different languages . I made a bunch of money on that job and he would always have me come back anytime more work was needed .

 

The reason for the story is to find a mexican that can speak english and he can relay what needs to be done . Sometimes you have to sub them out like I did when I had my 55 squares of shingles replaced on my house . They came , took shingles and paper off ,loaded on trailer to haul off and new ones on in less than 7 hours . Oh there was 12 of them and as good a job as any if not better . Find one that can speak english and he will get plenty of help , they all know where to find help . I have dealt with subs on just about all my jobs anywhere from a remodel job to 6 story condos at the beach . Remember this : you will need subs as you get older .

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Its hard to find good help.  When I was young, I wanted to be good at what I did. I wanted more money. How do you get more, do a good job and be reliable .  On time and reliable is the key. When you get good, you want to go on your own?   I paid  short and real good money and they still went after a couple of years.  I got tired of trying to keep workers.  So I stayed small and made my brother a partner.  I became a fire fighter.  My brother is alway on time and does a good job  If you want some good workers, I would go to the Fire Dept. in your town.  Some of those guys have great skills.  They are always looking for extra work. Some just want part time work. They will stay with you for a long time.  Plus if you need a couple of extra guys for the day, they can get you some others.  Most fire fighters are on time and reliable. I know, I was a fire fighter for 32 years. I was late two times. The first time the Capt. gave me a all day watch and the second time, which was 3 years later, he gave me a week watch . He said the next time your late, you will get a month.  I said you kidding ? He said I been here 35 years and never late yet?  what could I say.

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It's not just construction. Reliable, honest, drama and drug free guys are hard to find not matter the job or location.
 

 

It seems like young married guys are a better bet, guys that hit the bottle hard and smoke weed like fiends, and smoke a pack a day are usually a bad investment.

 

I went through 18 guys in 3 years on a simple job, easy to do, go fishing 5 or 6 days a week..

 

The standard was that 1) had to have wheels; 2) had to show up on time and learn the job; and 3) had to do that consistently.

 

Eventually, I was happy if they could fog a mirror.

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maybe try a trade school? talk with shop teachers,lay out ground rules from the start.

things have changed a lot since i was an apprentice.

the new work force is scary

there in lies the problem, lots of high schools are getting rid of the trade programs, why I have no idea.

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Oh man this reminds me of a job I did . I was doing a job for a surgeon and he had a really knockout wife and she was such a sweet person . Ok one morning the surgeon and his wife were walking around their mansion telling me some things they wanted done . My landscaper was taking the walk with me and his crew was sitting on the front porch waiting to get started to work . When we walked by the mexicans were saying something and the doctor looked at them for a few seconds . As we were walking back ole Doc spoke to them in spanish , boy did their eyes get big , I figured they were saying they would like to bang his wife . I guess doc took it as a complement of how beautiful his wife was but the mexicans didn't know he was fluent in 7 different languages . I made a bunch of money on that job and he would always have me come back anytime more work was needed .

 

The reason for the story is to find a mexican that can speak english and he can relay what needs to be done . Sometimes you have to sub them out like I did when I had my 55 squares of shingles replaced on my house . They came , took shingles and paper off ,loaded on trailer to haul off and new ones on in less than 7 hours . Oh there was 12 of them and as good a job as any if not better . Find one that can speak english and he will get plenty of help , they all know where to find help . I have dealt with subs on just about all my jobs anywhere from a remodel job to 6 story condos at the beach . Remember this : you will need subs as you get older .

I've got great subs fortunately. There are some things I just can't and / or won't do and these guys are great. My plumber / HVAC guy, my electrician, hardwood floor guy, and plasterer have all been doing stuff with me for 5 + years. I always make it a point to pay early, nevermind on time. When I need something urgently they all take care of me...building good relationships is key for sure.

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Its hard to find good help. When I was young, I wanted to be good at what I did. I wanted more money. How do you get more, do a good job and be reliable . On time and reliable is the key. When you get good, you want to go on your own? I paid short and real good money and they still went after a couple of years. I got tired of trying to keep workers. So I stayed small and made my brother a partner. I became a fire fighter. My brother is alway on time and does a good job If you want some good workers, I would go to the Fire Dept. in your town. Some of those guys have great skills. They are always looking for extra work. Some just want part time work. They will stay with you for a long time. Plus if you need a couple of extra guys for the day, they can get you some others. Most fire fighters are on time and reliable. I know, I was a fire fighter for 32 years. I was late two times. The first time the Capt. gave me a all day watch and the second time, which was 3 years later, he gave me a week watch . He said the next time your late, you will get a month. I said you kidding ? He said I been here 35 years and never late yet? what could I say.

It's funny, my fill in guy is a fireman. Great kid, always on time, works well. The only issue is that he recently rescued a dog (a cute little pup) so most of his time recently outside of his house has been spent on training and taking care of the dog. He's great for part time help or as an extra hand when needed. I'm pretty sure the trades aren't really his calling, so keeping him as a part timer and fill in guy is really the best I can hope for. I may just hit the local firehouse now though...good idea.

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