We’ve all seen it and probably experienced it. Any time someone poses the question “What is your biggest challenge in business” almost every response is “GETTING GOOD EMPLOYEES!” 

Credit: Brian Wheary

Finding good employees is hard. It’s just a fact. On top of the fact that it’s hard to find good people it also requires A LOT of hard work. Digging through resume’s, calling the ones you like, not getting answers from 95% of those, not actually liking 50% of the ones that do answer, setting interviews for the rest, 70% of those people not showing up for interviews, and when you finally make the offer to three people two of them don’t show up and the third quits in the second week. It’s maddening and makes us not even want to go through the process.

In my previous career I had 65 employees at any given time and I’m ashamed to say that I made far more bad hires than good ones back then. Ashamed because at this stage in my life I realize that it’s my fault that I kept getting bad employees. When I looked around I saw other businesses that had a good culture, good employees, and leaders that could effectively delegate to their team (unlike me). Today I am having a vastly different experience with my small home service business. Yes, I’ve made some bad hires within my current company but overwhelmingly we have had a great deal of success when recruiting.

Before I go any further I feel the need to point out that ‘getting good employees’ isn’t as simple as just finding good people. Yes, the recruiting process is extremely important but the things that come after are just as equally important like effective onboarding, clear training, and a great vision for company culture that is driven daily by the one in charge. Maybe I can share on those subjects in the future but for now I’ll talk about the hiring process. 

Here are a few basic principals that helped me fix my recruiting problems: 


1. ABC


As my buddy Dan Platta always says, “Always Be Cruit’n” or Always Be reCruiting. It’s important that we are recruiting before we need to. This is an easy fix. We simply need to do it. 


2. Sell your company!


Many of us make the mistake of posting an add that reads something like “Hard work in the elements, six day work weeks, decent pay, must pass drug screen and background check, serious inquiries only!”. An ad that looks anything like that is definitely going to be attracting the wrong people. When posting your ad sell them on what they get if they join your team. Things like: Our business is growing and we promote form within, you will be empowered to make decisions and make a difference, you will receive help to achieve your career goals inside and outside of our business, we pay based on performance with a salary/hourly guarantee, we have regular company engagement outings,….Things like this shows that you are more than just a business and that you care about the human element. 


3. Stop asking technical questions


Lets face facts. A trained monkey can do the work of a technician in our industry (little bit of exaggeration). Ask the basic questions to make sure they can physically complete the work, endure the elements, work the required amount of time….but stop with that. Some important characteristics to learn about an applicant are: do they have a great work ethic, do they have a victim mentality, are they a team player?

Here are a few good questions to sprinkle in to get these answers:

  • Tell me about a time that you were taken advantage of any time in your career.

  • What time do you wake up on days that you don’t work?

  • What do you do in your free time?

  • Tell me about a time that you messed up and got reprimanded at work. Tell me how you responded to it and how you fixed it.

  • What is your ideal job? 


4. Put in the time during the interview


A standard interview for a non management applicant is one hour. Put in the time to dig into who they are. Hire on attitude and character, you can train the skill. 

I wish I could keep going but we can only fit so many words on this page. This is a good start if this is an area that you are struggling in. Feel free to reach out to me on social media for some other tips that we use in recruiting. 


-By Bobby Walker