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A Solution To The Recruitment Crisis

Is the labor shortage as dire as reports would have us believe, or, are we actually missing something? Could we be creating a (unconscious) self-imposed roadblock to our recruitment efforts?

If you’re turning down painting jobs because you don’t have the manpower, this may sound counterintuitive . . . agitating even.
But bear with us.

Following three years of industry specific research, we discovered what could be a game changer when it comes to solving our recruitment challenges.

How It All Began

Over the past three years our coaches and sales staff have been hearing from members and contracting leaders about recurring pain points when growing their painting businesses.

We realized that through building our own system at Breakthrough Academy (BTA) we had collected a ton of resources; so we set about on a journey to better understand the most common pain points for contracting leaders, and how (and if) we could address them.

We began gathering data, listening to feedback from members about their failures and successes, and drew from our own experience as business owners.

We also started doing a ton of market research to get ourselves better oriented for our own show, Contractor Evolution, in which we unpack the systems, tactics, and skills you need to take your fast-growing contracting business to the next level.

What We Found

Pretty soon it became obvious: There were 10 pain points that fell right in our wheelhouse, four of which were directly related to recruitment.

What We Did Next (The science bit)

We’ve read the reports….

81% of construction firms have trouble filling both salaried and hourly craft positions –
Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)

35% of contractors report turning down work due to skilled labor shortage –
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index (CCI)

Only 80% of the 1 million construction workers who lost their jobs at the start of lockdown are returning –
CNN

The industry needs to hire 430,000 workers this year & 1 million more over the next two years to keep pace with demand –
Associated Builders and Contractors

Pretty scary data. It makes you want to throw in the towel.

If this was all true, why then do some painting contractors have zero recruitment issues?

Our research was showing us it’s not all doom and gloom. We wanted to know more; we wanted to dive deeper…and find solutions. Real solutions that are actually working.

We began dissecting exactly what the challenges were and, when it came to recruitment, these came out on top:

  • Too much work, not enough workers
  • Difficulty attracting good quality candidates
  • Not knowing who you’re trying to recruit & how they will will bring a solid ROI to the position
  • Not enough knowledge on how to build a job post that will stand out from the crowd
  • How to get that job post in front of great hires
  • Wasting time on interviews that go nowhere (if the candidate even turns up)
  • Recruiting isn’t easy!

The Lightbulb Moment

What we discovered was that the difference between Contractor A who has a team of high performers, and Contractor B who is struggling to find staff (let alone decent staff), is not the labor market, the attitude of Millennials, or the pandemic, but their recruitment systems…Contractor B basically didn’t have any!

That, and, here comes the game changer, you don’t actually have to hire people who can paint already, because it’s a trainable skill.

Leaders who went in search of the right person first (the right fit), broadened their recruitment pool.

Using this information, it was time to build a tool for the industry unlike any other out there.

Why We Built It… And What Makes The Tool Different

Let’s be real. When it comes to templates and “How To” guides, they are a dime a dozen.

Most templates come with a catch. Either that, or, trying to make sense of them is tough. And a template without concrete and relatable industry examples is about as useless as a chocolate fireguard.

The team got to work.

We tapped into our knowledge network and began building 10 Contractor Quick Tools. We refined, and refined again.

The intention was to build tools that contractors could easily understand and start putting into motion in their business immediately.

We ended up with a suite of tools that cover the 10 pain points our members most commonly come up against, and that are in our wheelhouse to deliver exceptional resources on.

  • Ideal Candidate Profile & Job Post Tool
  • Interview Setup Call Tool
  • Interview Guide Tool
  • Employment Agreement Tool
  • Training Checklist Tool
  • Budget Tool
  • Strategic Planning Tool
  • Reclaim 5 Hours Per Week Tool
  • Tech Stack Tool
  • Compensation & Incentives Tool

You’ll notice the four tools in blue directly relate to recruitment.

What’s In The Tool

It was key to make the tools super accessible and hyper usable.

Each Tool contains a template with real life examples through the vantage points of our members. These are all current owners operating a contracting business in North America; all on a journey of growth, systemization, and professionalization.

Every tool has a two minute video, a short written component explaining what the tool is and the 3 things you impact in your business when you use it.

It’s a downloadable pack with two files: the workbook guide that details step-by-step how to use the tool, including a filled-in example file; and the second file, an editable template.

Super duper simple to use. Take a look.

See what we mean?

How Long Will It Take You?

Time is a precious commodity, and these tools take up surprisingly very little!

They vary in length. The shortest is 2-pages, and the longest is 11-pages; nothing crazy time consuming.

Simple, and effective.

But don’t take our word for it….

Contractor Success Story

“Learning how to hire people properly was the most pivotal system [I learned with BTA]. It was a major factor that allowed us to go from $1-million a year to $10-million a year in 3 years. It was really important to moving our production capacity, especially at our quality level, forward. I hired some wrong people along the way (big time) and I learned my lesson. It was expensive, like super expensive, and it actually hurt our brand so getting the [recruiting and hiring] right was really important.”
– Kim Larson, director, All Elements Design. Manage. Build

Kim is a great example of how effective these tools are.

Before having a system in place, Kim admits she made mistakes by trying to reinvent the wheel. “The first time I tried to grow the business, I failed. I didn’t have the systems or knowledge, or the right people. So I scaled it back down again.

She made hiring mistakes and learned lessons that we share. “It was expensive and it hurt my brand. Now I have an SOP for everything.” (See her inspiring story here).

This is the impact being had.

Check out Contractor Evolution on PCA Overdrive, listen to episode 25 featuring Kim Larson

How It Will Help You Level Up

Painting contractors have a lot of grit, put in a lot of sweat equity and a lot of businesses are bootstrapped.

Reinventing the wheel becomes tiresome when the outcome isn’t conducive.

The quick tools address that. It doesn’t matter where you are with your growth journey.

In short, the Tools will bring you a professional process and just the right amount of education so that you can consistently execute it to broaden their recruitment pool.

What’s The Catch?

The tools are free, to everyone.

Why? Because we’ve made a commitment to have a broader impact on the industry at large.

OK, so we will add you to our nurture list (where you will get more kick ass content like this), and if you don’t like the content, unsubscribe, we won’t be offended!

For more information on the 10 Contractor Quick Tools, click here.

About The Author

Erin Scheel
As BTA’s Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Erin Scheelconnects her love of community with her background in brand growth. She is focused on bringing great people and great companies together in a meaningful way.