Hiring Secrets of the Pros: Tips and tactics for finding and keeping painters in a tough labor market – Part 2Canadian Contractor Trades & Hiring
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This post is the second in a three-part series highlighting tactics successful painting contractors use to find, hire and retain talent in a tough market, growing their employee base—and their businesses. For the first installment in the series, click here.
Tip #2: Stop Hunting for Unicorns
In today’s employment landscape, searching in your geographical market for potential employees with years of painting experience will reveal a very small batch of candidates, if any at all.
Instead, start looking outside the industry. Retail. Fast food. Cleaning services. Look for candidates who have work experience, are looking for change and opportunity and show a willingness to learn. Hire on character and train technique.
Even the most specialized painting skills can be taught and learned. What can’t be taught are work ethic, self-motivation, flexibility, a positive attitude and a collaborative spirit.
Nick Slavik, proprietor of Nick Slavik Painting & Restoration Co. in New Prague, MN, and host of weekly Facebook broadcast Ask a Painter Live, has developed his own hiring rubric. He calls it the “Decent Human Being Theory.”
“I find happy people looking for a job they can love,” Slavik explains. “I find them where they’re unappreciated, with no connection to the place they work. They seek satisfaction…then I devote my life to giving them the chance to love the craft like I do.”
Tip #3: Meet Potential Employees Where They Are
Understanding what kind of employees to look for is one part of the strategy. Knowing where to find them is another.
The best possible reach will involve a strategic advertising approach, and there are many ways to advertise that you’re hiring across multiple media channels.
But let’s assume you’re starting small. To make the most out of your hiring budget, your best bet is to focus your advertising.
Social media is a good place to start. Facebook and Instagram are two of the most versatile, business-friendly and widely used social media platforms, and getting the word out about employment is fast and easy. Facebook has a dedicated business tool specifically for sharing job openings and reviewing and responding to applicants. And both platforms allow you to boost posts to reach your ideal geographic and demographic targets for a nominal fee. Even as little as $20-$50 can go a long way to get your name out there.
Radio is another strong option—sports talk radio, in particular, for this target audience. Kevin Nolan of Philadelphia PA’s Nolan Painting advertises on four different sports talk radio stations at various points throughout the day to maximize his reach: discounted help wanted ads between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. on two stations, one ad on another station during peak drivetime hours, and one Spanish language ad.
Print and digital help wanted ads with your local news media source also offer a budget option that’s geographically targeted.
Next month: Tip #4 puts the focus on employee retention.
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