Employee Situation. (Sorry about the length)

I just a few questions for you other guys who seem to know alot such as Jwool and Ed and the rest…

I have a few good employees, Four to be exact that I can always count on, always on time, always do great work, I can leave them alone entirely from the start of a job until the end of the job and know that the job will be done right and with the customer happy. The only problem is that it took me roughly 40 guys in order to find these four. Some I fired, some just didnt think it would be so hard and some just up and quit. I dont know what the problem is, the pay is well I believe. 18-24 a square depending on pitch 12-20 an hour while on the clock so I know it cant be that. Also a few of those guys that up and quit went to work for other companies for awhile then would call back and ask for their jobs back. I dont understand it.

We have had a guy who said he was a foreman at another company not be able to run felt straight if it would save his life, another who couldnt shingle straight if it was already laid out for him. So many stories as im sure you guys all have.

Here is my problem now is that we are starting to expand at a nice pace which im grateful for, the foreman of the four is going to do more of the sales and making sure things are going smooth between the jobs, two of the others are ready to become foreman after proving themselves for quite sometime. The problem I now face is, what would be a good way to find good help? That seems to be the hardest part of the job. I put ads out everywhere and it seems to get me the type of guys you couldnt pay to have them roof your house. Who do you guys tend to look for? What do you most often find yourself asking them? We do have a company where everyone gets along, we go on golf outings and do little things between us 5 just to keep everyone happy so is there anyway to spot a guy that will become a headache before they become a headache?

Anything you guys feel like letting me know about what youve found out from past experiences or anything you think we should do different as a company let me know. My goal is most likely the same as many of yours…To change the name of roofers so that everytime we are mentioned we dont get a moan and are often untrusted by the general public. That we do quality work and all those things.

Thanks guys, sorry about the length again!

BamBam, when I was a framing contractor I went thru 300 + guys in 10 yrs… Only had about 4 of the stay w/me for more than 2 yrs…and all the guys that worked for me were paid more than anyone else would pay them… and when they left, they were paid in full. I had a few guys call me back and ask me to bring em back on board cause they got stuck for pay from the current employer… Now that I am roofing again it is even harder to find guys that want to work…That is why I have resigned to the fact that I need no help… I let my customers know that I am 3weeks out, and that I will not get it done in a day… They eat that up! They understand that I give top quality work and that is worth waiting for…people don’t mind how long it takes to do the job by myself, in fact they compliment my work ethic…I work 12hrs a day 6 days a week, and the site is kept clean every day…The hardest part is getting my dump truck to and from…lol. So for me , I have had as many as 15 guys at a time, and as few as 1, and I would rather keep it minimal staff, and keep the quality high,and take care of the good guys that you have,and tell the customers the truth…That they will have to get in line with the rest of the intelligent consumers who choose to be served by you…and if the roof is leaking, you will make it a priority to get there as soon as possible to take care of them…or you can tarp the roof to minimize any more leaking…KEEP IT SIMPLE AND BE GRATEFUL YOU HAVE A GOOD FLOW OF WORK…and keep the guys you have happy!

10/1 ratio on new hires isn’t bad, sad but true, it’s a problem we all have. Watch out moving the dude from the crew to management, resentment may not be evident at first but it will be present. I get my new hires from my current hires, cousins, brothers, lovers etc often it is the first step to filtering out the non-performers.

I hear what youre saying Jwool but you work too much. Theres more to life! Enjoy it. I am actually very fortunate, we do everything exteriors there is to do except brick siding and we have work until november lined up and that is if everything gets done on schedule which I have come to learn will never happen because something always gets in the way. I have gone to customers houses late at night, weekends, and holidays because they were concered about something. Actually got a job because the lady whose house we did told the other one how clean we kept the yard. Its suprising how those little things mean alot to the customers. I have no idea how you were able to handle 15 guys at one time, Most I ever had was 9 and that was more migraine headaches than anything. These other guys that work for me Ive spent hours upon hours working next to and I can trust them all which really helps me be able to line up new jobs. Glad to hear that it doesnt sound like you are having any problems keeping busy especially with all the people starving for work.

KrakkerJak, I know what youre saying about moving the guy from management, Ive learned that one before. This guy was a foreman on a rough carpentry crew and decided he wanted to do exterior stuff instead. I hope the others understand what that construction knowledge brings to the table. A lot of people ive tried out come from someone ik now saying, hire this guy i know or what not. I hope everything is working out for you and your company as well.

Take it easy.

i have 20 employees.it took it seems like a billion to find these. and to tell you the truth, there are about 4 i could do without.

we dont hire…we audition (@ $10/hr.) “show me what you got and we will talk pay.” is the aproach i have come to take. some guys say “I’m worth more than that, i wont do it.” …well that means they are afraid they cant perform and wont be hired at higher than $10, if at all.

every person you ever interview will be"THE BEST ROOFER YOU HAVE EVER SEEN!!!"

No matter whether you’re selling or hiring, you gotta kiss a lot of frogs to meet one prince.

Marshall Exteriors - Thats what we do. The 10/hr week long audition. You are right, EVERYONE has said I am the fastest and my work in the best until you get them on the roof. Ive been told by two guys that they were the foreman of their old companys but those companys no longer were in business. When they get on the roof and dont know how to run felt, I learn why thier former companys went out. Gotta love it.