The right employees can make or break your company, especially if you’ve got teams in the field not under your direct control. No matter how great a crew you put together, eventually you’ll need to add new electricians to your crew. There’s an art to hiring the right person, to make sure you’ve got someone who will fit in with everyone else in the company. If you want to avoid having to go through this process again in a couple of months, get it right the first time.
Always Be Hiring
If you wait until you don’t have enough people to get all your jobs done, you’ve already lost the battle. The best way to keep your workforce at full strength is to always be hiring. This doesn’t mean hiring everyone who walks in the door, but it does mean being open to the possibility for every new candidate. Run ads every week in the local paper and on any local online hiring board you generally use. If the perfect candidate walks in your door, find a place to put him.
Set Two Interviews
Personalities can clash for no good reason, but that shouldn’t keep a great electrician from being hired to your team. Having two hiring interviews for every candidate can help eliminate this problem. Make two separate interviews your standard procedure – have each one run by a different person. Use a company owner plus a foreman, an office manager and a field manager, or any combination of two different layers of management. Each person will bring a different viewpoint to the process, giving you a better overall idea of the candidate’s skills and temperament.
Use Standardized Questions
It does you no good to compare apples to oranges when it comes to choosing employees. Everyone should be judged on the same standards, and this can only be done by running the same interview every single time. Create a master list of standardized questions to ask every potential new hire. Include a broad range of topics including experience, future plans, training and any other pertinent facts. Create a second set of questions for the second interview, aimed more toward what the candidate’s position would be in your company if hired.
Only Hire Pieces of the Puzzle
Ideally, your team members all work and fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. The best teams work together seamlessly, working in a rhythm that gets the job done quickly and efficiently. You’ll get to know the feeling of your teams simply by spending time with them. Keep these attitudes in mind when interviewing potential new hires. The best electrician in the state won’t be the right hire if he constantly riles up a laid-back crew or if he’s always silent in a loud, joking team. There’s a subtle factor at play, and it doesn’t exclude everyone who applies for the job. But when you know someone would never happily fit in, regretfully turn him down and look elsewhere.
Always Check References
Make those phone calls, no matter how trustworthy the applicant looks. Go the extra mile, too. Don’t trust the phone number he wrote on the application. Look up the company online and call the number from the website. Do your due diligence with green cards, too. All paperwork can be forged, and if you don’t do (and document) everything necessary before hiring someone, you could take the hit if ICE comes to call.
Create a Training Period
Create a training program for every employee and make involvement a part of the employment process. During this two-week program, new hires will get to know the company culture, experience the way your teams organize and spend their work days and work with different teams if your company’s large enough. Potential new hires must be willing to work under direct supervision for the first two weeks or you’ll miss out on a screening opportunity. After the training period, consult with all supervisors before offering a permanent position.
Hiring new electricians can be a chancy gamble at the best of times. What’s your best hint for finding the right employees?