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Hiring a foreman

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by cos, Oct 16, 2001.

  1. cos

    cos LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,253

    Since this thread got erased, I will ask again.

    Any suggestions on going about this? This perosn will possibly give on the spot estimates too for small jobs.
  2. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Good luck would be my advice. If your market is like mine it could be tough to find an experienced foreman worth is salt that doesn't already have a job or own his own company. But, it is the only way to grow!
  3. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    Welcome aboard Tony, I guess you found your way okay! I must give good directions. ;)

    Anyway COS, like I said in my "lost" post, the best way in my opinion is to bring someone up through the ranks. Hopefully you have an employee that you feel you can mold into a foreman someday when you're ready for one.

    It would be much more difficult to just bring someone in on this out of the blue. It would also be difficult for your employees to accept someone you pull out of the blue. They may see it as this guy is making more than them, and he just started, which would tell them they don't really have any growing room in your company.

    I know I already posted this before, but maybe it will do someone else some good.

    COS, let us know how you make out and what you decide.
  4. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    I think I posted this before too, but with the slump in today's economy, you might be able to snare a good guy who just tanked his own business. He might love what he does and is good at the work, just not a good biz-decision maker. If you want an immediate solution, I'd feel around for that.

    Otherwise, you'll have to pay through the nose for a good person with a good head for biz, because they'd just as soon be on their own.

    I'm employing the coach and train method, trying to mold some good raw material...In fact, my guys are out making me money right now while I type this, putting in a pond. Feels good. Wasn't sure I'd ever get here...
  5. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    The mold and bend and presto! method is great. It is hard though because of time wasted training and then they leave.. Chance you have to take I suppose but I hate it. I think that you will have to be patient and mold them like the previous response wrote. Patient is the key word. Someday when your business is like McDonalds, and you don't have to be there much, call me and we'll go play golf! You can tell me how you did it.

    Seriously though, read the E Myth. Talks about setting up systems within your company so that the people with the least amount of skills/experience can do their particular portion of the work in a relatively set manner. Sounds great, difficult I think to implement in this type of business. Should be a book about us L/Scapers huh? Bet that will start a whole new thread!
  6. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    There are all kinds of businesses that achieve what you're talking about SGuy - I don't think it's an E-myth.

    ISO certification plays a very large role in that. But I think that kind of thing is most possible with mfgs, or service chains where the service is relatively simple, or if not simple, repetitive.

    And the training part IS hard. You send them out, they screw up. You send them out again, they screw something else up. You keep sending them out, letting them have their failures, teaching as you go, and after awhile, if you've chosen correctly and taught well, a leader for your org begins to develop.

    One is starting to emerge for me, and I'm going to start investing in his education, but I'm also going to have him sign a non-compete, so I'm not just training a future competitor.
  7. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    yah there is always the fear he will leave and start his own. i know i did:blush:

    bringing a guy in will be tough. he doesn't know your operation. plus you have to trust him on very little.

    its bad to say it but the best guy for this is to find someone who didn't go very far in school, and has biils to pay, food to buy and a girl to spoil. he needs the solid income.

    students are the worst, they never last after graduation. and all they want is tuition and beer. but they often are the easiest to find.
  8. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    Your absolutely right I think! I'm not saying to grab a slob off the street, but grab someone who doesn't really have any "real" goals for him or herself. You can shape him and help develop his goals to want to be a big part of your company. He'd be easier to mold, because he wasn't really going down a path before you got him, your giving him the path now.
  9. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Ditto! My "star" employee doesn't really have goals. Wants a steady income, wants to work less in the trenches as time goes on and has a wife that eats money. I love him, but......there is always a but.....those guys usually cannot sell. Their type of personality lends itself to doing what is on the list and nothing more. My guy has learned to "estimate" but that is not selling. I have another guy who is only part time and he can sell! It seems all the easy repairs turn into renovations with him.

    So, find a guy who wants to be a part of the team and keep him around for awhile. You will learn to use their best traits to your advantage. AS for needing a foreman that can estimate too...maybe having the foreman will free YOU up to do those estimates????

    Good luck, growth is FUN AND SCARY.
  10. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    That's what I'm hoping for. To have more time to design and to sell. I never thought I'd enjoy the sales part of the biz, but as time goes by I'm finding some success at it, and I enjoy the thrill of pursuing the sale.

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