Hiring A-Players in the Construction Industry

Hiring the right employee can have a huge effect on your construction business.

If you want to build a great business and have a great life, get committed to finding and hiring A-players in your business.  Even in tough economic times, just one A-player can make a huge difference for your business.  Some of the biggest, most highly respected companies in the world were built on the shoulders of a few great people.  Just one great hire could make all the difference at your company.

In the coming weeks I am going to address specific strategies for building your business by finding and hiring A-player employees.  In this initial article, let's step back and discuss the impact that A-player employees can have on businesses in the construction industry.

Talent Wins
At Castle Contracting in St. Louis, Mo, co-owner Rich Ledbetter has worked hard to surround himself with A-players who can take the business to the next level.  One thing you can see at work at Castle is that the talent and experiences of the people you hire make a huge difference in the business.  Castle has been effective at finding and holding onto some great people who have that rare combination of skills:  they know how to bring in business, they can lead people, and they can oversee and deliver great work.  In many companies, adding just one person with this trifecta of skills has a huge impact on the business.

Question: Who are the A-players in your business? What impact would it have to add just one more person with those abilities to your team?

A-Players Can Help You Sell Your Business One Day
If you ever try to sell your business, one of the factors that will affect the price tag is the depth of your leadership team.  A savvy buyer will want to know if the entire company rests on your shoulders or if there is a team of people that can actually lead the business without you around. A buyer may even evaluate the payroll of your organization to see if there is a team of senior leaders which is being paid real money at your company.  If the answer is no, potential buyers may well decide that there is no company without you.  And you will be poorer as a result.

Question: If a potential buyer evaluated your payroll, would he see that you employ some high-caliber leaders and that this is reflected in their compensation? Or would they see a bunch of low-paid "worker bees" who rely on your leadership and guidance?

A-Players Give You Your Life Back
I can't tell you how many business owners I work with whose lives have become subsumed in their businesses.  Can you leave your business for a week and trust that it will be run well?  Do you have anyone with whom you can (literally and figuratively) trust the keys to your shop?  If your answer to these questions is no, you probably don't have much of a life. Hiring just one A-player can make all the difference in the world when it comes to bringing some balance to your life.

Question: Can you go on vacation for a week and trust that someone will run things well in your absence? Or does your operation grind to a halt without you?

No matter your answer to these questions, the right next step is to recommit to finding and hiring A-players.  If you don't have anyone you can rely on to be a leader today, adding that one person will make a huge difference in your life.  If you do have such people in your company today, you have demonstrated that you know how to hire and keep A-players.  Now your challenge is to find the next talented player who can make your team even better.

Every business can get better. Name on position in your company where hiring an A-player would make a measurable impact to your top and bottom lines. This is where you should focus your recruiting efforts next.

Get Passionate About Finding and Hiring A-Players
Hiring A-players, like every over activity that creates real value, takes time and commitment.  When you step back and assess the talent in your company and focus on the impact that just one more A-player employee could have on your business and your life, you realize that the investment of time is well worth it. 

In following articles I will give you specific tactics to consider.  For now, let me suggest that you get a vision for the business team that you want to lead onto the field every day.  Get passionate about hiring A-players.  Make sure that every leader in your company is continually looking for the next A-player employee.  It will pay off for you and your business.

Eric Herrenkohl is Founder and President of Herrenkohl Consulting (www.herrenkohlconsulting.com), a management consulting firm focused on creating organizations that drive growth and profits. His work has been published or cited in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Inc.com, Monster.com, Careerbuilder.com, and MSNBC.com.  Eric is also the author of Performance Principles, a monthly e-letter that reaches thousands of subscribers across North America and is re-printed in a number of industry and company newsletters.