Many contractors complain about employees not doing their jobs as expected, don't fit in with other team members and or are not performing their individual work tasks as expected. These are common problems to be recognized and unless addressed can cost the business a lot of money and can compromise customer satisfaction. However I find that in many cases the employee is not the one at fault, but rather the construction or remodeling company that did the hiring hired the wrong person.

So why does this happen and what can construction business owners do about it?

A big mistake I see many contractors make is creating the job description for a new hire after he or she has already been hired. Think about that for a second. Whether written down or worked out inside your head, figuring out the job description for a new hire after the fact may just be a way to rationalize your hiring decision. Done after the fact the job description is only a documentation of who you hired and what you got; not necessarily who you should have hired and what that person should be able to contribute and deliver as an employee.

Instead, here is a radical idea

Why not write job descriptions before you seek to hire!

By creating a written job description you can make sure any new hires will have the skills, personality and previous experience to fill the job's position within your organization.

When putting the job description together I suggest you consider and include not only the desired trade skills, but also the expected outcomes if the employee performs properly. To make sure the person will fit in well with the position, as well as the rest of your team, also include a profile of the candidate's desired attitudes, behaviors and disposition. If you think this through and express it in writing before you hire, you can use what you put together as your guide and as a checklist when interviewing and considering candidates.

Here are a few example considerations by job position

Carpenter: Do you need someone who can preplan the project including making materials lists and setting up sub contractors in advance of starting projects or are you OK with a good carpenter who can figure things out well enough as he goes, but can't preplan? (Click here for a Lead Carpnter Job Description)

Bookkeeper: Do you want someone who can set up and use QuickBooks to track financial information and create business reports from the information, or are you OK with a data entry level person who just follows someone else's instructions within a QuickBooks file that was created by your business coach or accountant?

You can either hire for what you need or settle for what you get

Investing in the right employees for a construction companyI hope you can see by my examples offered above that if you don't define what you want in advance you may not get what you really need. If fact, hiring the wrong person can cost you a lot of money due to wasted time and lost opportunities while you seek out and onboard a replacement candidate.

Hiring the right employees should be looked at as an investment. With the right employees the business can grow faster and generate a lot more profit. Hiring the right employees can also help put you on a path towards a comfortable retirement so you won't have to work until you die.

How about you?

Are you a business owner who figures things out as they happen, or will you plan ahead and set up what you want to have happen when it comes to growing your business and hiring the right employees?

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Shawn McCadden founded, operated, and sold a successful design/build company. A co-founder of the Residential Design/Build Institute, he speaks at industry events and consults with remodelers about owner issues, management, lead paint regulations and other industry issues.