One of a roofing project manager’s most important roles is hiring the crews that complete your projects. It goes without saying that roofing companies rely on these people to do the work, but also to do it in a way that upholds your business’ quality standards. Maintaining positive relationships with good crews can have a big impact on your bottom line – so how do you find the crews that will be a good fit, and after they’re done – how do you keep them around?
Define Your Expectations
The first step when you’re hiring a new crew is to be clear on what you expect of them. If they cannot match your expectations exactly, then they are not the crew for you.
Be clear and specific about what you expect, including, but not limited to:
- Your standard business processes and any documentation you require
- Material placement and installation instructions
- Interactions with the homeowner and their behavior while on the property
- Post-job documentation
- Clean-up procedures
Asking questions and providing instruction before a job begins will lead to less confusion and frustration down the road.
Most of your crews will want to do a good job – because they want to be hired again. When project managers or foremen provide that instruction, it relieves stress on crews and on your staff when a job is performed exactly how you set it out.
Be Fair and Honest
Another important element to hiring and retaining crews is being fair and honest. This means paying them exactly how much you told them they would be paid, paying them on time, and being transparent when it comes to the workload. Trying to cheat them or squeeze in extra little jobs will only anger your crews and drive them away.
Qualified workers want fair and honest jobs, so if you do not meet their expectations, then you cannot expect them to uphold yours. Make sure you are upfront with them about all of the conditions of a job – that way, if something unusual does comes up, they will be more understanding.
Remember that everyone is only human – if you make a mistake, be honest with them, apologize, and allow it to be fixed. Likewise, if they make a mistake, be lenient and allow them to fix it as long as mistakes are not a recurring problem. Finding a happy medium between strict and relaxed will maintain the hierarchy of respect between your project manager and the crews they oversee.
In short, always go back to the golden rule – treat your crew how you would like to be treated if you were in their shoes and be cognizant of how your actions might be affecting their willingness to continue to work for you.
Pay Your Crews What You Know They Are Worth
While you may feel the pressure to save a bit of money by hiring a less expensive crew, always keep in mind that you get what you pay for. If you pay for C+ work, expecting A+ work is unrealistic. If you want a qualified crew who you know will do a good job, then you will have to pay good wages for it. While this can be a bit more expensive, the investment is worth having qualified, trustworthy, and efficient workers who won’t add to the work you already have to do.
Workers who are paid well are also much more likely to continue to take jobs for you because they know that their hard work will be well compensated. You can even use wages as incentive for good work and long term loyalty. If a crew has been working with you for a few years and has provided reliable, quality work, then reward them financially with raises or bonuses. This does not mean you have to break the bank, but acknowledging and rewarding good crews is always a helpful way to retain them.
Your company and reputation are only as good as the product you put out, and because your crew can single-handedly determine whether or not your jobs are successful, your company is only as good as the crews you hire.
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