As a company that has varying staffing needs, we find it necessary to rely on a lot of part-time workers. HIS Installation, like many service industry companies, takes on different type and size projects. Sometimes we need large crews, other times we need only one or two “good” workers.
So, how do we find good part-time help?
First off, it isn’t easy. Sometimes we flat-out get lucky…of course we like to think that the Man Upstairs is looking out for us.
Here is what 30 years of experience in the material handling industry has taught us:
- Sometimes the best help is home-grown – There are five of us sons, all of whom, at one point or another, worked for HIS Installation. To this day, and this isn’t bragging, we have been the most reliable, hardest-working employees. Part of this is we had a strong motivator, i.e. our Dad; however we also wanted the family business to succeed. As one of our non-family member workers once told me, when we were discussing the difference between good help and not-so-good help, “Joe, it has everything to do with how you were raised.” I think there is a lot of truth there.
- Just because someone is a good friend doesn’t mean they will be a good worker – This can be tricky, having unrealistic expectations for friends can do more harm than good. When we’ve allowed friends to work for us and then things not worked out, feelings always got hurt and the relationship inevitably was affected.
- You have to be able to size people up – This may sound old-fashion, but I’m a firm believer in watching and listening to people, in other words, sizing people up. I normally have a pretty good idea what kind of worker a person will be by the quickness in their step, the firmness of their handshake, the tone of their voice, and their physical shape. I know that may sound biased, but if the shoe fits…it fits. A worker knows a worker.
- It’s okay to give people a chance – Some of our best workers have been guys who have been down on their luck. They tend to have something to prove. They’ve been beaten down bad enough that they want a new start. I’ve always appreciated these type of individuals.
- Be quick to make changes - If it’s not working out, it’s not working out. I generally give a person two, maybe three, days to show me they can do the job. I don’t wait much longer than that. It makes the whole process easier – less resentment, less hurt feelings, less impact on the project. It also keeps the morale of the team stronger. If everyone has the understanding that if you aren’t measuring up you’re gone, they tend to put forward their best effort.
Following these steps we’ve generally been able to build good project teams. While the work is hard, we normally have a good time doing what we do. To this day, many of our best guys have gone on to better and brighter careers, but they all are appreciative for the experience and values they received while working for HIS Installation.