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Ultimate Guide To Hiring For Your Skilled Trades Business
If you have worked hard for years and finally got your skilled trades qualifications, why not set up your own company? You have the skills to pay the bills, so to speak, and if you get things right, it can be a lucrative move. Of course, the real money will come when you start to grow your business and begin to take on employees. It will help you cover more jobs in less time, and the rewards can be significant.
But, without any management experience, are you ready to take on such a big move? There’s a lot to think about when you become a boss - and it’s not just about the money you spend on your employees. In this guide, we’re going to talk you through all the things you should be looking at. Let’s get stuck in straight away.
Hiring the right people
Hiring skilled workers in any trades industry is a tough ask these days. You will probably know about the skills shortages in the country at the moment, and it’s been an ongoing problem for the past decade or so. Less young people are looking at a trade as a way of making a living, and that’s going to make it difficult for you to hire the quality and quantity you need.
There are some solutions, however. You should get in touch with local vocational colleges and try to set up some kind of partnership. You could offer scholarships for anyone that shows the right aptitude for the job. Or, you could offer work experience for students who need it to assist with their learning. You could also get in touch with your local military barracks. There is a genuine need for ex-armed forces to get civilian work, and many will be interested when they leave their service.
Better employee management
As you grow bigger, you will have a need to hire fully qualified tradespeople to work for you. You can take them on full-time, or use them on short-term contracts from job to job. This is the best way of doing things at first, as it will cover you until your company is working flat out all year round. You don’t want to be paying staff if there are no jobs to earn you money, and contracting is the safest way to go.
As you take on people full-time, it is essential to give them the right support. The trades industry is notorious for its treatment of workers, but it makes no sense to go down this route. You need people that know what they are doing, and you need them to work - if they can’t work, that will put you in an awkward position. So, invest in further training, and look into employee wellness programs. You could consider hiring an HR department, or even take up critical stress management schemes. Anything you can do to keep your workers producing will be better for you in the long run.
Improve your people skills
How are your people skills? Be honest - because if you don’t have them you will need to learn some! It’s all well and good attracting top talent - but it’s another thing entirely to hang on to it. With so few tradespeople out there, there is a lot of competition from other companies to hire the best. And, if that mean pinching some of your workers, many of your competitors won’t give it a second thought.
As wages in the trades industry are roughly the same everywhere, it’s the environment that employees work in that can make a difference. So, if you aren’t prepared to interact with your workers and be there for them if they need you, they will find someone else that is.
Be careful about your time
The more jobs that come in, the more pressed you are going to be. So, at the first hint of getting busy, you should think about hiring someone to take care of your diary. This could be a day a week job at first, and then you can offer more hours as you get busier. If you are making money from a certain activity, then these laborious tasks are the ones you should pass on. It’s pointless doing them yourself, as you will, in essence, be costing your company profit.
At some point in time, you may want to end up sat in the office doing these tasks yourself. But, in all honesty, that won’t be for a while. You should be making use of your skills - because that is what earns you the most money.
The importance of marketing
Marketing is critical to any businesses, and this is especially true if you work in a competitive trade. Word of mouth is, of course, a vital factor, and is the traditional way of trades to seek out new business. But, unless you want to investigate more modern techniques such as online and social media marketing, you could be left behind.
It’s doubtful that you are going to be up to speed on such things, so at some point you will need a marketing expert to help you. It’s a good idea to get to know about the basics of the area you want to pursue before you hire anyone. This will give you the chance to find out whether a potential employee has the right skills.
Unless you are lucky, there will be times when you need to discipline - or fire - someone. Sadly, it’s not just a case of pointing the finger and letting someone go, as workers have protection. You have to be sure you have some kind of legal cover and that you have done everything in the correct way.
So, perhaps think about hiring someone who can organise your HR. Or, you could get a business lawyer on a retainer. Either way, you have to have that protection in place for whenever you need to look at disciplinary actions. Or, of course, if someone suffers from an accident while they are under your care at work.
Good luck with the new business - and don’t forget to let us know how it works out.