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When is it Time to Hire Your Next Tech?

By Serve Excellence Training September 14, 2020 When is it Time to Hire Your Next Tech?
plumber

One of the main questions that always comes up in a growing company is:

“How do I know WHEN it’s time to hire my next technician?”

It’s an important question to know how to answer.  Often the decision is made on emotion when were frustrated or feeling burnt out. I frequently see owners and managers decide “in the moment” without tangible guiding principles and benchmarks to assist them. Now, your “gut” may be right, but it’s important to have some measurables that you can check-in with to validate the decision.

I’m going to outline 3 fundamentals that drive when it’s time to hire.  I’ll discuss each and provide some main points, so you know with certainty “it’s time.” Then you can make your next hire with confidence.

They are:

  • You are overwhelmed with more work than you can get to.
  • It’s time to replace an existing team member.
  • Planned growth – hire great people before you need them.

Let’s discuss each one in more detail:

You Are Overwhelmed with More Work Than You Can Get To

This is a good sign it’s time to make your next hire.  When it comes to work overload it’s important to know:

  • If the current workload is TEMPORARY or CONSISTENT

A TEMPORARY need may look like this:

  • You have a large job you don’t normally take on causing a short-term labor crunch that will disappear when the job is complete.

If this is the case, that would not warrant a permanent long-term hire but perhaps the need for temp labor or some other short-term solution.  You don’t want to make a great hire and then not have a plan when the work volume suddenly disappears at the completion of the project. This can cost you money and great people.

A CONSISTENT need may look like this:

  • Your lead volume is consistently up due to a great marketing strategy or local market conditions. You and the team are stretched beyond capacity.

This is great news and is a good sign it’s time to hire your next technician.  Here are some measurable guidelines you should apply to this scenario.

  • The current team should be stretched to managing 50% of the revenue that could be handed off to the new technician.
  • Marketing should be immediately ramped up to fill the remaining 50% capacity as fast as possible.

If you are experiencing temporary or consistent demand and need help determining how to proceed with confidence, we can help.

It’s Time to Replace an Existing Team Member

There are many reasons that a team member may need to move on from your organization. Two of the most common are:

  • Underperformance to company benchmarks and/or
  • Behavioral issues affecting company culture.

Let’s discuss both of these scenarios:

If a team member is underperforming to company performance benchmarks:

  • Look for performance trends over time. Are they showing any signs of improvement or moving closer to the target?
  • Be sure the company has made the proper investments in the team member. For example:
  • Proper training, coaching and support to give them every opportunity to meet expectations.

If a team member is having repeated behavioral challenges and/or is affecting team culture in a negative way:

  • Make sure the company has followed the disciplinary policies and procedures and team member has an improvement plan in place.
  • Have the current behaviors been consistent since joining the team or is it a recent change? For example:
  • Perhaps it is an opportunity to check in and see if there is something causing the behavior that can be re-directed.

Finding great people is always a top priority for trades businesses. If you are unsure what to do with a current team member or need assistance working through this process, we can help.

Hire Great People Before You Need Them

Great companies are intentional with their growth and plan for the future. The best way to know if it’s time to hire your next technician is because you are executing a well thought out plan. To do this in confidence you will need to establish:

Your annual budget and forecast for the next 12 months.

This is a critical business tool that will allow you to enter each month intentionally and:

  • See in advance when you need your next technician.
  • Establish a hiring and recruiting strategy in alignment with those goals.

Developing a 12-month budget and growth plan can be intimidating. Especially if you have never done it.  It is also important to understand how to utilize your annual budget and forecast weekly, monthly and quarterly so your plan can be executed.  If you need assistance with this process, we can help.

I hope these ideas will help you establish some guidelines and a framework for when to hire your next technician.  If you have questions or would like to talk to a Service Excellence coach about this process, we would love to hear from you.

 

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