Several weeks ago, I introduced you to the six systems that control the fate of your construction business. To refresh your memory, they were:
- Financial Control
Today, I am going to expand on the nine components that form your staffing system.
Do you remember that the objective of a staffing system is to recruit and retain a team of highly motivated and skilled employees? The popular analogy is getting the right people on the bus and putting them in the right seats. To do that, you need systems for:
1. Advertising Job Openings
When it's time to add staff, you need to roll out a recruiting system that will generate a large pool of good candidates. You need the recruiting system to work quickly. You need it to pre-qualify the candidates so that you don't spend a lot of time sorting through unqualified resumes and interviews.
Write help wanted advertisements that sound like sales pitches for your company. Don't let your help wanted ad sound like you are doing the candidate a favor. Make it sound like the candidate is doing you a favor by joining your firm.
Know which help wanted advertising outlets work best for the types of workers you need. In some markets, neighborhood papers work well, in others CraigsList.com works best, and for professional positions Monster.com often excels.
List both the minimum skill set the ideal skill set you are looking for. Don't go crazy with the required experience. If you have created skill development systems, look for candidates with the right raw materials (abilities and attitude) then mold them into super performers.
Have template for writing different types of help wanted advertisements: shorts ads for newspapers, long ads for the internet, work fairs, and community bulletin boards (churches, civic centers, etc.)
Interviewing is difficult. Despite what hundreds of human resource professionals claim, there is virtually no fool-proof way to interview. Individuals with superior people skills are the ones universally selected.
Of course, superior people skills are only essential in sales and leadership positions. Decision making skills, problem solving skills, and time management skills are often far more important in most construction positions.
That said, there are certain interviewing techniques that will help you make better hiring decisions. The primary one is asking open-ended questions. Ask the candidate how he would handle a problem that might arise in the position.
Ask him to explain how he dealt wit a similar problem in the past and what he would have done differently the next time.
Know which questions to ask, know how to ask them, and then stay silent until the candidate answers.
Always check references and listen closely to what they say. Their feedback is often the most revealing and predictive information you'll get. Negative comments will be stated very subtly. Learn how to read between the lines.
If you are hiring a manager, ask for references from at least two of his or her former subordinates. Direct reports know whether a manager knows how to lead or not. Rarely does the manager's boss.
If possible, have the candidate meet with multiple staff members.
3. Creating and Updating Job Descriptions
When workers clearly understand their role and their relationship to their co-workers, they are more productive, make better decisions, and tend to work harder. When workers don't understand their role, quality, productivity, and job satisfaction suffer.
Job descriptions are the tool used to establish clear roles and responsibilities. A job description should be written for each position and it should list the major tasks to be performed, the standards the tasks should be performed at, and identify the tasks of highest importance.
All tasks that need to be performed in order for the company to be successful must be documented on at least one of the job descriptions. If the task isn't on a job description, odds are the task will not be done.