Employment Decsion

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by machine, May 8, 2001.

  1. machine

    machine LawnSite Member
    from OH
    Messages: 101

    I need some general advise on an employment decsion. For mainly all of my years in business I have been a one-man show. I have had some part-time helpers and group of great subcontracts assit me with large jobs. The problem is that I know I am hurting the company by not removing myself from the labor side of the business. I need to find the right person that will fill in and take over opperations, so I can spend more time managing and growing the company.

    Last year, I didn't look for anyone because of the poor labor pool. And the guys I did hire were college friends that were in between jobs. I am looking for a educated person with the phsyical strengh to work in this industry.
    Where should I be looking for this person I need to help me biuld an empire. Or should I contiune to use part-times?
  2. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    I think there are a lot more questions in that post than you realize - what I saw as issues were:

    Do you want to hire someone to be a partner, or just a skilled, trusted employee. I'm not the type to want any partners, but that's me.

    How soon should you remove yourself from the labor side of the job - depends on how soon you can get people trained in doing things your way. That may take a season or so before you can have a crew or more off on their own, unsupervised.

    Where should you find good employees? Depends on the answers above. If you're looking for a college educated person who also has brute strength, be prepared to offer good pay, bennies, the works. And then you'll have to provide them with a challenging job as well.

    IMHO, it might not be the right time yet to have someone 'take over operations' if you're a one-man show right now. You need to get some time under your belt developing employees, building company structure, slowly adding staff. Once you've had a few seasons doing that, you might be ready to let someone else handle the ops side of things. But don't let me tell you what can and can't be done. I don't know you and your circumstances. You might be the next John Allin. :)
  3. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,488

    You think he aspires to be a short little fat dude ???
  4. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,488

    Ok... ok... I'll get serious...

    You might try the Bureau of Employment Security (the unemployment office).... most of them around the country now use a computer system for listing available jobs. It's free to the employer and the potential employee.... And, we find that it's the relatively intelligent applicants that can use that system to find employment. An add in the paper requires a place to have them come to to apply, and you then have to sort out the good from the bad (a major talent in and of itself).

    Also, we often just ask people that we run into that appear to be "good people". We hired a guy from a gas station by just recognizing that he was a good worker with a great attitude and good appearance. Offered him a job after a couple minutes talking to him - and he's been a great worker.

    View anyone you meet and see as a potential employee, and you'll begin looking at them differently. Lots of people out there looking to better themselves.... you just need to recognize them and be able to convince them that coming to work with/for you is a good move.

    Additionally, I would guess that you should remove yourself from the day to day physical labor slowly so you can judge the person you ultimately hire as to whether or not they would be able to work in the field without you standing there. Make the business force you out of the labor pool instead of stepping outside and trying to force the issue.

    Good luck.....

    And, I guess I'm not all that short, and not all that fat either.
  5. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    John, I was beginning to think that maybe you played goalie, not center. You'd just plug up the net. :)

    And John's right about people you meet, mentally screening them as employees. It's a great idea.

    As for a place for applicants to appear - one of the jobs I got in college, the owner took me to dinner for the interview. As an 18 yr old kid, I can't tell you how much that impressed me. It's only looking back now that I realize why he did it. At the time he was running the biz from his home.

    I don't know if dinner is appropriate now, but you could meet at McDonald's in the morning and buy the person breakfast. Cost you $3, might impress them like I was impressed.
  6. site

    site LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    You never know where the good employees are going to come from. My second in command found me in the yellow pages. I wasn't even looking for guys at the time, but I knew enough to recognize his talent and hire him on the spot. Despite a tight labor market I have had great luck with the help wanted ads in the local paper. Once I find someone good I ask if they have friends who want to work. New hires are told that they are on a trial basis, and about half only make it to the end of the first day.
    I find it helps to be a good boss. Good pay, flexible schedules, good attitude, interesting work, and benefits all work well to keep ggod help around.
  7. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    Help is all around you!

    My Daughter was a cashier at Food World. One day a manager from an auto parts store came up to her and asked if she was happy with her job................she said welllllllllllll.

    He asked her right on the spot if she wanted to work at Advance Auto for him delivering parts and she accepted. He must have seen something in her to single her out...............no he wasn't looking for that. She stayed until she went off to basic for the Air Force and left on good terms. You can find the right person by watching the way they carry themselves. If he shuffles and drags his feet walking to the door don't even consider him. If he has a snap in his/her step then give them a second look. There is a lot of info about a person just in the way he walks and talks. Once you learn to read them you'll make good decisions about hiring them.
  8. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073


    I think stone is right by saying you should try to get a few 'laborers' first before you jump into hiring a right hand man to run the show by himself while you aren't there.

    I run a solo operation myself, but do not see a 'head man' being hired in my near future.

    Currently, I am employed full time and have 5 summer help guys that I hire to 'help me out' after work and on weekends.

    2 years ago, we hired one college kid who was a reak 'punk'. Last year, he showed up again and really made a big change in his level of maturity. I hired him for a few jobs and he showed a surprising level of responsibility, and even a more surprising level of interest in the work. This year, again, he is coming back to my full time job and I plan to have him working all summer with me on my work 'after work'.

    If you are lucky, maybe you can breed a 'grunt' into a foreman, but it takes time. As for the rest of my help I had, most of them were just there......making some extra money but no real interest in the business.

    As for hiring a 'head man', I personally don't know if I ever will. I understand that you need employees to grow a business, but not sure how big I want to grow. I like being on every job, and for some reason, don't want to give that up. Maybe I'll grow out of that, but for now, that's what my plan is.

    As for the physical labor part, yes...you need to get away from that eventually. Your body can take only so much. Maybe, later on, you are the guy that operates the machine, laysout the plants, goes for deliverys, etc. Somehow, however, you have to get away from all the 'grunt' work, as you body will not do it forever.


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