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    How To Find And Keep Top Construction Employees

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Jan 17, 2020

    We all know the usual process of finding new employees. Advertise a job,  read resumes, conduct a telephone interview, conduct a face-to-face interview, then choose someone. The steps to recruiting new talent have been the same for decades, leaving many construction business owners to think these are the only way to find new employees. 
     
    There are many top-notch employees that you might not find if you don't change your strategy, however, these days there are many new and exciting ways to connect with possible staff and attract qualified employees to your business. All you have to do is be willing to be creative in your thinking. 


     

    Get your current employees on it

    Besides you, who knows better what you need in an employee than your current employees? Not only do they know what you need, but they can also vouch for the people they recommend. Using an employee referral program can save you the costs associated with advertising a position, undergoing extensive interviews, and then training and retraining employees who don't work out. 
     
    How does it work? Your employees recommend people for a job with your company, and if their recommendation is successful, they get a reward. This can be a cash bonus, a gift, additional days off work, or the opportunity to work from home for a few days. 
     
    Make sure the program's details are precise: does the referred employee have to be hired for the benefit to kick in, or do they have to work at your company for a specific period? Does the gift get more extravagant if they recommend more successful recruits?
     
    Keep the rules simple and make sure all employees know about the program. 

    Turn to Social Media

    Social media isn't just a great way to build your customer base; it's also a fantastic way to build interest in working for your company. Employees of all ages—but especially younger generations—use some form of social media to look for work. That could be LinkedIn, but it can also mean Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or a variety of other sites.
    Even if someone who sees your post isn't interested, they may share it with their friends or followers, who will share it with theirs, vastly increasing your reach. Be sure you know who your target candidates are and what social media channels they use and tailor your ads or posts to them. 
     
    If you have the time to have a long-view of recruiting, start building your company's employment brand online early by releasing content that highlights your corporate culture. People may see those posts and come to you so you can develop your talent pool. At the very least, you'll already be on their radar when it comes time to hire. 

    Reach out to past candidates

    Just because someone wasn't the best candidate for a job in the past doesn't mean they aren't now. There could have been many factors that resulted in that person not being the best fit at that time. Perhaps they've taken courses or developed their experience since you interviewed them. 
     
    When you interview people that you like, but they don't quite make the cut, keep their resume on file and consider reaching out to them when a position opens up. You never know when the time will be right for them.
     
    In light of finding the right employee, make sure your company is also a good fit for job-lookers. One way of attracting and keeping top and able crew is creating personal development plans for your employees.

    Hopefully, you have long - and short-term plans for your company, and you may even have a strategy for your development, but have you considered having a personal development plan (or individual development plan) for employees?
    An employee's development plan is an action plan that focuses on helping staff improve their knowledge, capabilities, and skills in areas related to your business.
    Creating such plans shows your staff you're invested in their future, which increases employee satisfaction. It helps them understand their role and gives them a framework for expanding their talents. It enables you to develop your staff, allowing you to promote from within and enabling your employees to grow with your construction company.
    Here are some steps to take to write a personal development plan.
     
    1. Determine business and employee goals 
     
    The first step is to determine your company's goals and needs. Are you looking to expand locations soon? Add new products or services? Do you have senior employees who will be retiring soon? Once you know what your business needs, you can identify the skills, experience, and training that will support the people who will help you meet those requirements. 
     
    Then determine your employees' goals. Talk to them about the work they currently do and where they feel they could use training. Ask where they see themselves in your company in the future. Find out why they want to develop their skills. Their answers will help you determine how to put the plan into action.  
    When you assess employees, keep in mind that having the ambition or potential to move up in your business doesn't necessarily mean they're ready right now. They may require a few years of gradually expanding their role and skills, or they may be great at one job (say installation) but not at another (such as sales). 
     
    2. Explore training and development options
     
    Now you can look at training and development options for your employees. Consider what training will give them the skills they need to expand their talents while also weighing their learning styles. Not all employees learn well in a classroom setting - and not all have the time to devote to taking courses. 
     
    Explore other options, such as coaching and mentoring, special projects, networking groups, online training, and working with experts. Combining a few of these strategies will likely work well for your employees as they can learn new skills and see how those skills apply to their jobs. 
     
    3. Write a development plan
     
    Finally, you can write up the plan, including specific goals with deadlines and the steps to take to help your employees achieve their goals. Sit down with your employees to talk about the program over, so they know what the goals are and how acquiring new skills helps them and the construction company. 
     
    Ensure that each employee has the opportunity to apply their new skills on the job and get feedback about their progress. This will keep them engaged in the process and help them refine their abilities. Remember to review the plan periodically so you can measure their development and determine if the project should be revised.
     
    In conclusion
     
    There are many things you can do that can be successful in finding the right employee for your business. As a bonus, some of these strategies won't necessarily cost you a lot of time or money and may get you highly qualified and loyal employees. Employee development plans are a great way to invest in your employees and help them acquire new skills that will help them in their careers. It also enables you to promote from within your construction company, saving you time and money in the long run. 

    About The Author:

    Sharie DeHart, QPA is the co-founder of Business Consulting And Accounting in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the leading expert in managing outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services companies and cash management accounting for small construction companies across the USA. She encourages Contractors and Construction Company Owners to stay current on their tax obligations and offers insights on how to manage the remaining cash flow to operate and grow their construction company sales and profits so they can put more money in the bank. Call 1-800-361-1770 or sharie@fasteasyaccounting.com

     

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    Simply scan the QR code or search for ‘MyAccountants’ in the App Store and enter the Access code: FEAHEROS to utilize the powerful App features and capabilities, and benefit from having our Construction Accounting App at your fingertips, 24/7."

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    Topics: Hiring Employees, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, Construction Systems And Processes

    Home Maintenance And Repair Service Company Automation And Technology

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Jan 10, 2020

    The daily processes and transactions involved in operating a home maintenance and repair service business can mean long hours of repetitive tasks and occasional oversights due to human nature. These days, you can use technology to take care of almost any issue facing your business. 
     
    Automating these tasks can result in significant savings in resources and eliminate mistakes caused by human error. The key, however, is to know which tasks should be automated and which ones warrant staff intervention and guidance. Let's take a look at some of them.
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    Topics: Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, Construction Systems And Processes

    The Number One Thing You Need To Know About Your Construction Business

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Jan 03, 2020

    When you own a small construction business, it's vital you understand how money flows into and out of it. At a basic level, you need to know where your income comes from and what your expenses are. At a deeper level, knowing how money moves through your business can help you make strategic decisions about growth, invoicing, and debt management. 
     
    The consequences of not understanding money can be drastic—poor financial management is one of the main reasons businesses fail. That's why you need to understand cash flow. 
     
    What is cash flow?

    [Starting Cash + Cash In - Cash Out] = Cash Flow

    Before you can start to understand your cash flow, you need to know what cash flow is. Cash flow refers to the movement of money into and out of your business. It's fundamentally understanding how much money is coming into your business (your income, loans, and transfers of personal funds into the company) versus how much is leaving (your expenses, taxes, and loan payments). 

     
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    Topics: Construction Cash Flow, Cash Flow, QuickBooks Do-It-Yourself construction Bookkeeping, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, Construction Systems And Processes

    How To Achieve Business Success With A Construction Accounting Mentor

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Dec 27, 2019

    As the year ends and another page is turning, it is important to learn and listen from trusted people who have come to assist you and guide you in your personal and professional endeavors. Your construction business's financial board, mainly your accountant, is one of them.
     
    Ideally, you and your accountant are more than just an "adviser" and a "client" to each other. With your combined skills, expertise, and a shared mission to support a thriving business, you're more like strategic partners. 
     
    The key to achieving success in any partnership is, of course, healthy communication. Before the year ends or at your next meeting, be sure to ask your construction accountant these four important questions:
     
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    Topics: Construction Business Consulting, Construction Accountant Who Listens, Business Consultants, Contractor Mentoring, Contractor, Contractor Tips

    Common Bookkeeping Pitfalls And The Value Of Outsourced Accounting

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Dec 20, 2019

    Although most construction company owners recognize the importance of careful financial management, few want to spend their time dealing with numbers. Unfortunately, not keeping a close eye on your income and expenses can be very costly for a business.
     
    Here are five of the most common bookkeeping pitfalls, and some simple tips for getting back on track.

    1. Mixing business and personal

    All too often, contractors adapt a "buy now, sort later" approach to expenses, using the same credit card for personal and professional purchases. At the end of the month, they're left poring over statements, trying to sort things out. Mixing business and personal expenses cost extra hours of bookkeeping each month and muddles your overall financial picture.

    Avoid this pitfall by using a separate credit card and bank account for business, and being disciplined about separating expenditures.

     

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    Topics: Outsourced bookkeeping, outsourced construction accounting and bookkeeping, Accounting, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, Construction Systems And Processes

    Construction Business Blueprint For Updating Plans And Setting Goals

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Dec 13, 2019

    As another year winds down, it's a good time to reflect on your recent construction business successes – and consider what you'd like to achieve in the coming twelve to fifteen months. One tiny change in your process can help you grow your Construction Company.
     
    Entrepreneurs are typically highly creative and optimistic; as a result, they often have difficulty narrowing down their ideas from among all the exciting possibilities, whether it's an opportunity to expand to a new market or choosing a better time management strategy. 

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    Topics: Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, Construction Systems And Processes

    Quotes Vs. Estimates And Insights To Contract Negotiations

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Dec 06, 2019

    The nature of some types of businesses makes it challenging to come up with a standard price list. For tradespeople and construction company owners like you, what's required in terms of time, skill, labor, and materials frequently vary from job to job.

    Offering an estimate or quote provides potential clients with a customized figure for what they can expect to pay based on what will be required to complete a specific project.

    Quotes

    A quote is a legally binding fixed price a company prepares for a client; as such, they should always be in writing. A quote should summarize the work to be performed and include a detailed breakdown of all the costs and the final total, including taxes. 

    Once a business offers a quote and a client signs off on it, the price cannot change even if the job ends up costing more than initially anticipated. For this reason, it's crucial to always quote as accurately as possible, allowing ample time to complete the job and carefully pricing out costs for materials and labor (e.g., subcontractors). 

    To protect your business from "scope creep," a quote should also stipulate that additional charges for extra work beyond what the original quote covers will apply.

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    Topics: Contractor, Contractor Tips, quotes, estimates

    Efficient Business Systems And The Value Of Documenting Your Processes

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Nov 29, 2019

    Too many construction businesses fall over because the owner has not established efficient business systems. This typically happens because the construction company owner is so caught up in the day-to-day operations that the fundamentals of proper business management get forgotten. Often too, it must be said that the owner doesn't like bookkeeping or other administrative tasks, so these get put on the back burner.

    The symptoms are familiar, and their results disastrous:

    • Poor or non-existent record-keeping. 
    • Tax obligations are not met. 
    • Invoices go out late, and debts remain uncollected. 
    • There is one cashflow crisis after another. 
    • Goods and services are incorrectly costed and priced.

    Any of these factors can lead the business down the slippery path to failure, but all are avoidable. The whole point about putting in sound systems is that they free you to spend more time working ON your business, not in it.


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    Topics: Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, Construction Systems And Processes

    Understanding Construction Accounting Terms And Why It Matters

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Nov 22, 2019

    Hiring an accountant is widely considered best practice for small business owners. But delegating financial analysis and reporting doesn't mean thoroughly checking out of the process each month or quarter. On the contrary, it's recommended that business owners work closely with their accountants throughout the year to better understand their financial position and make smart plans for future growth.

    We have discussed time and again the importance of knowing the difference between Construction Accounting and Regular Accounting. For the sake of our new readers, blog subscribers, and podcast listeners, I'll be providing you with some basic accounting knowledge so you can have more informed, insightful discussions with your financial advisors before the year ends.

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    Topics: Contractor Challenges, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, Construction Productivity

    Improving Client Relationships With CRM In The Construction Industry

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Nov 15, 2019

    Many complex moving parts are involved in operating a profitable construction company, but at its core, business success hinges on just one thing: customer relationships. 
     
    This is why Customer Relationship Management software is vital for contractors who want to grow their business.
     
    A CRM solution helps your construction company nurture and improve client relationships by maintaining centralized data on all your leads and existing clients. With access to a history of customer transactions and communications, your team can make their next move with confidence while offering highly personalized customer service.
     
    Construction business owners know that to find a loyal client base, they have to stand out from their competitors. One of the best and easiest ways to do that is to have outstanding customer service. How you treat your customers reflects your entire business. People think positively about companies that treat their customers and clients well. 
     
     
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    Topics: Contractor Challenges, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, Construction Productivity

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