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Thread: Finding potential employees?

  1. #1
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    Default Finding potential employees?

    The thread about background checks made me think about another topic that I will post here. I know we have a lot of one man businesses but for those with employees when you need to hire how do you find potential employees.

    I will talk a bit about what I have tried in the past.

    Way back before the internet was what it became we used our local newspaper with good results. I have still used it on occasion but the results have been so-so and it is not cheap.

    Mostly for a laborer type job I have been using CraigsList. I can't say I get as many applicants as I would like but our labor market is tight and we pay peanuts (more about that later) Generally I have found someone on Craigslist but if there is a better choice I would like to know it.

    I have had a few occasions where I have hired someone I knew. I bowl on a Monday night league and have actually hired two people from that league. If you can hire someone you know this can be a good way but it isn't something that is easy to do.

    I had one time when I was hiring a plant manager that I used Monster dot com which I hear little about these days and don't even know if it exists any more. I did get 85 highly qualified applicants from that source but it was a higher paying job. I actually hired two from that listing but fired the first one after 3 days. He was a former manager of a steel mill that used to be next to my business and was more yell at everyone constantly and threaten to fire them and make sure they towed the line which is not a management style that suits my business or my philosophy of how to run a business.

    I hear a lot of radio ads for some hiring groups such as Indeed dot com and zip recruiter. I have never used these and wonder if anyone here has ever tried them? Another option could be LinkedIn but I don't see that as being effective for laborer type jobs but more for sales or management type jobs.

    One of the things that hurts us in jobs postings is that our pay is low but we have a lot of incentives that add to it. Typically we start an assembly person at $ 11.00 and a welder or painter at $ 12.00 but have a production bonus that adds a couple of bucks an hour and we have profit sharing at the end of the year which last year averaged about 4K per employee. They seem to like getting one big check that lets them do something big and we like that it is tied into our profits and if the economy ever goes south or our business falls off it will cut our costs. The drawback is when advertising they really only pay attention to the hourly rate which makes our listing less appealing. We do also provide health, dental and vision coverage and pay 75% of that cost.

    One last thing I will add before I post this is the reason we went with a production bonus. Way back when we started we just had an hourly wage and our productivity was terrible. As an example I tracked the time to build one machine at 125 hours. We now built that machine in 10 hours. The guys were trying to stretch out the work so they would not run out of work. At first I came with the idea that each machine out the door would add $ 35.00 to each workers pay and things started to fly out the door. Our system now is a bit different but when I go back to the production area everyone is always working and everyone tries to get as much production as possible. The production bonus has been highly effective.
    Ray Badger, Turbo Technologies, Inc.
    www.TurboTurf.com www.IceControlSprayers.com

  2. #2
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    I'm in the middle of starting an internet company. I started a new job far away from my home as well, so I'm forced to get an apartment or make a 4-hour drive every day. I specifically posted saying I want a roommate that is fluent in Javascript and Node.js who would also be open to helping me develop the application. After interviewing about twenty different people, I found a guy who works at Hubspot who loves the idea and wants to help me.

    I've tried to use Indeed which is the new Monster.com and it works much better in my opinion.

  3. #3

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    We used a local staffing agency for a bookkeeper, and I was attempting to use a local labor agency to find someone to do my assembly, logistics, inventory management etc. My accountant showed me that the labor hire would only be working about 20 of the 40 hours I would be paying them and asked me to consider alternatives. I'm older, and I guess there is value in me not hurting myself in the warehouse. I was hoping for a Latin so I could work on my Spanish when work was slow. No one wants to work part time. Minimum wage here is $7.25 I was offering $12 ($15 with labor agency fee) no benefits. We give bonus and are easy when someone needs time off or to run an errand.

    Property across the street from the fabrication shop that has done work for us (for about 25 years) is available. I hope I can get it. This way I will not have to drive 30min there and back to delivery work to them, and maybe it will create an alternative for me with regards to hiring someone.

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    Bobjob, one of the toughest things about growing a business when it isn't big is justifying adding workers. What I mean by that is if you have one welder for example and he can't quite keep up, if you hire a second welder then there isn't enough to keep both busy. One option is to hire someone part time but part time workers are hard to find. If on the other hand you have 10 welders and they can't keep up hiring one more may be an easy answer. This is about what you are running into. You need someone but don't have quite enough work for them.

    One of the things I struggle with are workers we could use but can't quite justify. I could really use an engineer but don't have enough work for one so I do that and it is not a field where I have much expertise or experience but do manage to get the things done that need to be done. We could really use someone to manage our web sites and social media but good people in that field are expensive and hard to find so I do that. I could get tempted on this one of these days if I could find someone.

    I never liked using a agency. Mostly it doesn't take much more time to find a good person myself and the fees just aren't worth it. We did just hire two welders this week. I miss the old days when times were tough in our area and if you ran an ad you would be swamped with applicants. I ran an ad in Craigslist and did get three applicants who applied and hired two of them. If that had not worked I was going to try zip recruiter or indeed which Owen suggested but we did get enough applicants. My plant manger was skeptical that we would find anyone since most of the welder ads on CL that listed a wage were in the over $ 20.00 range. We bumped our pay up this year to $ 13.00 plus a production bonus that averages more than 2 bucks an hour plus profit sharing at the end of the year which last year averaged about 4K per employee. So effectively we are paying about $ 16.00 an hour but I do think a lot of applicants don't see anything but the $ 13.00. Both of the guys we hired were making about $ 11.00 an hour in their former job. We may have to add another person or two soon which I am not looking forward to.
    Ray Badger, Turbo Technologies, Inc.
    www.TurboTurf.com www.IceControlSprayers.com

  5. #5

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    Turboguy, Indeed is a bare bones easy to navigate platform, and is the largest search engine in regards to postings and job seeker traffic. Probably the best solution for what you are looking for. You can build in some screening questions that will help you sift through applicants, and ads can be tailored to sell the job and some of the perks offered. Each add can be specific.

    There are some other ways to manage the needs of the business without adding headcount and fixed expense. Let me know if you want to discuss, happy to chat.

    Best,

    Patrick

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    Thanks Patrick, Well since we are going to fire one of the welders we just hired I may be back in the hiring market again. The guy we are firing was a good worker when he bothered to show up but seems to have a major problem showing up particularly on the day after he gets paid. I haven't even looked at Indeed but may try that if we decide to replace the one we are firing. I don't think there is any way to manage our business without adding to the headcount and fixed expense. Mostly what we need done is in the category of work and I don't know of any substitute for something like a welder when you need something welded. I am always happy to look at options however.
    Ray Badger, Turbo Technologies, Inc.
    www.TurboTurf.com www.IceControlSprayers.com

  7. #7

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    No worries Ray! In regards to adding headcount to the welders, that may be unavoidable, but to support the back end pieces it is much easier sometimes to contract some of those projects out as the needs arise, and saves you fixed cost while you are scaling up.

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    Well I started this thread a while back when we were looking for a welder. The welder we hired then just turned in his two week notice and instead if driving for 40 minutes here has a new job a stone's throw from his home for a a little more money. So once again I need to hire a welder.

    The last time I tried CraigsList and got about 3 applicants. I had talked about ZipRecruiter and Indeed and since I just got a coupon that said "post a job for free on ZipRecruiter decided to give it a whirl. So their "generous" offer to post a free ad lets you post one for about 4 days after which you are charged $ 369.00 a month for the premium plan or $ 269.00 a month for the basic no frills plan. I opted for the premium plan. I do intend to cancel before being charged. So far it has been 24 hours and I have heard nothing from it. I will keep everyone informed if I do actually get some prospects.

    In the late winter or early spring of next year I will need to add 2-3 people and may try Indeed before falling back to CraigsList. I will also post a review or information on how that works if I try it.
    Ray Badger, Turbo Technologies, Inc.
    www.TurboTurf.com www.IceControlSprayers.com

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    Are there any trade publications (or sites) for that industry where you could post an ad? Or are there welding schools where you could grab a newly trained welder?

  10. #10
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    There are a lot of trade publications but they would be nationwide and not local. We have occasionally had luck getting welding interns from our local trade school that generally have stayed a while. The first one we had was really good but left for a union pipe fitting job starting at $ 28.00 an hour. The last one we had wasn't worth much but also left eventually. We have two trade schools but neither is close so a lot of the students are not that close. We actually have an intern at the moment but not for welding. He is from the one trade school but is a 3D cad (SolidWorks) guy. We have about enough to keep him busy for the 360 hours his internship requires but we will have everything we could ever need done by the time he finishes. We also just added a college student for the summer. That may help a bit but still need to do something about a welder. So far no results from ZipRecruiter.
    Ray Badger, Turbo Technologies, Inc.
    www.TurboTurf.com www.IceControlSprayers.com

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