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Attracting labor to the Industry

Viewing 8 posts - 21 through 28 (of 28 total)
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  • #656698
    roninohio
    Pro
    New Franklin, OH

    We have gone through a lot of helpers that just don’t give a crap about their quality or work ethics. We got a new helper about 7 months ago that
    is 24 yrs old. He knew nothing but has the desire to learn. He has not missed a single day, never complains, very detailed, and best of all he listens to what you tell him. He is one of the few that I believe will make a great craftsman. I can have him do a lot of different things now.
    Most of the young generation have no desire to get their hands dirty.

    #656704

    Construction is a hard sell when “Sorry no paid day off – We do not have any paid holidays, sick leave or vacation”. Is the response when asked if your birthday is a paid day off.

    or insurance or benefits of any kind unless you’re union. hell, most non union contractors around here don’t even pay time and a half for OT.

    advertise and “educate” as much as you want, but the real attraction for any industry is $$$$ and its just not there in the trades unless you own your own business

    #656711

    im surprised they don’t do this more, there are huge vacancies up here in toronto. My cousin has to work pretty much every weekend because they are so short. he likes the money but is getting burnt out

    Every once in a while we get people coming around with flyers for a renovation company or such from Toronto and all I can think of is “What kind of crap work do you do that your reputation is such that you can’t find work in Toronto?…3 hours away”.

    My You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA5AretE3xPoVDV61AxUdUA

    I don't do a fast job. I don't do a slow job. I do a half fast job.

    #656788
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    but the real attraction for any industry is $$$$ and its just not there in the trades unless you own your own business

    I agree wages in the trades need to rise in order to attract good people.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC
    (and also the World's Fastest Poster)

    #656827
    MrFid
    Pro
    Sudbury, MA

    but the real attraction for any industry is $$$$ and its just not there in the trades unless you own your own business

    I agree wages in the trades need to rise in order to attract good people.

    And I agree on principle. It’s a bit of a circular problem since you don’t want to pay people who are goofing off on the job and not worth the money. So you pay them what they’re worth (not much) and they tell their (smarter, harder working) friends about how crappy their job pays, and then the friend doesn’t choose the trades.
    Like was said above, it’s hard to make much money in the trades unless you own your own company, which in order to do so you need to have apprenticed with someone to have learned the skills (and gotten paid a crappy salary). A self-fulfilling prophecy. No one wants to pay their help a bunch, and that means that no one worth a bunch wants to do the work.

    #656833
    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    Another issue I have noticed in drawing younger people into the trades is the uncertain hours. A 40 hour week, every week in the trades is not a sure thing…some weeks will be more, some weeks will be less – some weeks may be a lot less. A lot of the younger people I have interviewed want to work 40 hours – no more, no less. I explain to them that if they want a job where they are guaranteed 40 hours a week, every week then residential construction probably isn’t for them.

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #656836

    but the real attraction for any industry is $$$$ and its just not there in the trades unless you own your own business

    I agree wages in the trades need to rise in order to attract good people.

    And I agree on principle. It’s a bit of a circular problem since you don’t want to pay people who are goofing off on the job and not worth the money. So you pay them what they’re worth (not much) and they tell their (smarter, harder working) friends about how crappy their job pays, and then the friend doesn’t choose the trades.
    Like was said above, it’s hard to make much money in the trades unless you own your own company, which in order to do so you need to have apprenticed with someone to have learned the skills (and gotten paid a crappy salary). A self-fulfilling prophecy. No one wants to pay their help a bunch, and that means that no one worth a bunch wants to do the work.

    On the flip side, if you offer very good pay (and overall conditions) you get to set expectations and pick from the best. If the entire industry does that, better talent will eventually be attracted to the field. If only one or two guys do that, they get their pick of the litter.

    What’s more difficult is to try to make up for that increased labour cost when clients pick the lowest bid. Unless you can convert it to time saved per job or less waste, its a difficult proposition.

    So far, I’ve seen one carpenter who does high end renovations with a small team. Super organized setup, as close to perfect dust collection as possible knowing they are working where people are living, and specializing in one-day medium scale jobs – sort of a white-glove service. Crazy expensive per day, but they are in and out clean, and focus on places where material cost is so high that increased labour doesn’t really factor in as much as it would in the handyman market and in more middle/lower-middle neighbourhoods. Those guys actually work in black polo shirts that still look clean at the end of the day. Its unreal.

    #656837
    MrFid
    Pro
    Sudbury, MA

    What’s more difficult is to try to make up for that increased labour cost when clients pick the lowest bid. Unless you can convert it to time saved per job or less waste, its a difficult proposition.

    Which it seems like it should once you get your team set up and working together for a while. I am not a GC, so maybe I am wrong with that, but if your choice is between paying a flunky $120 a day to sit on his phone and get high or pay someone who will get into the groove, learn your system, and work hard $240 a day, it seems obvious to me.

    I liked your points a lot, and that’s an interesting company structure that white-glove guy has. I’d love to learn more about how he does his business.

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