For years, hiring has always been a huge challenge for the stone industry. Shops are busier than ever, and the labor pool is smaller than ever. We can’t fix that, unfortunately. But, we can try to help by sharing some best practices when it comes to hiring so that you can find and retain a great team!
Whether you’re looking for a new floor manager or technicians to operate fabrication equipment, it’s important to find the right candidate to avoid expensive turnover. To help you fill out your dream team, here are a few best hiring practices for your countertop fabrication business.
Be a company where people want to work
With a shortage of potential employees, it’s extra important for all businesses right now to take the time to look within. What does your company culture look like? It isn’t enough anymore to pay the standard wage. People want to work where they are appreciated, encouraged to succeed, and agree with the company’s values. That seems fair to me!
Here’s where employers can start taking action:
- Work to build a positive company culture for your existing employees.
- Attract candidates who fit with your company culture.
Since this is a hiring blog, we’ll focus on the second point (though you should definitely take the first point to heart, too). Take the time to really think about your company culture. What’s important to your business, and how do employees and managers interact around the shop?
Once you have a good idea of what your company culture is like, learn how to describe it in job descriptions. The better you can describe your company culture, the more likely you’ll be to attract candidates who are the right fit for your company. This will also help you stand out above all the other shops looking to hire as well.
Standardize Your Hiring Processes
Typically when you need to hire, time is of the essence. You need someone good and in a hurry! Otherwise, production could lag behind.
But, think about your countertop fabrication business. You don’t improvise the fabrication process every time you need to make a countertop. You create standard operating procedures to ensure quick, efficient, and correct fabrication every time, right? Hopefully? Well, the same idea works for your hiring process!
It’s a waste to fumble your way through an improvised hiring process every time. Creating a standardized hiring process helps to streamline finding and onboarding new hires. Everyone knows what they need to do and when they need to do it to keep everything moving. You’ll be able to go from posting job descriptions and reading applications to interviewing and hiring quickly and efficiently—just like your fabrication operation!
Understand the Structure and Size of Your Business
One mistake many hiring managers make is misunderstanding their needs. You might think you just need an admin, for example, but if you run a small operation, an admin might be able to help with scheduling or following up with customers, too.
If that’s the case, you don’t really need “just an admin,” and the job description needs to mention that.
Generally, small operations need “jacks of all trades” to hop around and handle a range of jobs. Larger operations benefit from specialized talent.
Think about the structure and size of your business. Do you need a jack of all trades or someone who has very specialized skills? Keep this in mind as you write job descriptions and go through the hiring process. It’ll help you attract the right talent for the job and prevent costly turnover down the road.
Use Realistic (and Specific) Job Requirements
Your job description is more powerful than you might realize. It’s the first step you have in setting the right expectations. Many employers make simple job descriptions like, “Countertop fabricator wanted. Must have experience working with heavy equipment.”
This description isn’t very detailed. You’ll probably end up with candidates that have heavy equipment experience working with something other than what you need. You’ll spend time reading their resume, talking to them on the phone, and interviewing them in the office only to find out they’re really good with cranes but have no clue how to run a CNC machine—which is really what you need.
Alternatively, if the job description was specific about being able to operate a marble-cutting CNC machine, that candidate would have just passed it over, effectively weeding themselves out!
By creating detailed and specific job descriptions, candidates can determine for themselves if they’d be a good fit. That way, you’re already one step ahead without taking up any of your time or energy.
Of course, there is a fine line to walk. You want the job description to be specific, but you also want the requirements to be realistic so you don’t scare off qualified candidates. Be detailed, but also be succinct and realistic with the job requirements.
Hire from Within
Whenever you get your job description all written up and ready to post on your favorite online job board, be sure to email a copy to all your internal employees too—and/or post a hard copy in the shop.
Your current employees already know all about your company culture, the processes used, and probably pieces of the available job. They’re really the ideal candidates for any new position!
Not only does hiring from within help ensure a good fit, but it also gives your existing staff a way to progress in the company. Stagnancy leads to resignation. By offering new opportunities to your current employees, you can keep them around longer and avoid turnover.
Ask for Referrals from Existing Employees
And even if your current employees aren’t the right fit for the position, they might know someone who is! Ask your employees for referrals for open positions. Because they already know the company, they can help you find the perfect candidates who will fit in well.
If you really want to boost the quantity of candidates, offer referral bonuses to encourage more employee participation.
Get to Know the Candidates
You need to hire right away, but finding the right candidate is a process you shouldn’t rush, no matter how desperate you are to fill a position.
I know what you’re thinking: Every minute you spend without a hire, your business loses money. But what if I told you hastily hiring the wrong candidate will cost you much, much more than slower countertop production for a little while.
Employee turnover is ridiculously expensive. In fact, it costs employers 33% of the employee’s annual salary on average! That means if you’re hiring for a $40,000 per year job and the new hire quits in a week, it’s going to run your countertop fabrication business $13,200. And that’s for every turnover!
It doesn’t matter how strapped you are for help, take as much time as you need to really get to know the candidate and see if they’d be a good fit. Take them to lunch, schedule several rounds of interviews, bring in coworkers to get their thoughts, do whatever you need to do to. When you pull the trigger and hand over the new-hire paperwork, you should be 100% confident you made the best choice.
Build the Ideal Team for Your Countertop Fabrication Business
Hiring is never fun, but it’s an essential part of operating a business. Without the right team, your operation can’t function! The better the team, the better the business.
Finding the right candidates is extra tough right now. That’s why these strategies are so important. Hopefully, these were helpful in getting you to attract the right employees, reduce turnover, and stand out above the competition!