If you’re a sole trader wanting to grow your business, you have probably considered taking on a member of staff – particularly when the phone doesn’t stop ringing.
Or maybe you regularly work with a subcontractor and have wondered whether to take them on full time. Whatever position you’re in, you’ll want to check out the highlights form last night’s #TradesTalk Twitter chat, which covered the topic of expanding your building trades business and taking on staff.
Here is our round-up of the best bits.
The first question asked what people thought might stand in the way of becoming an employer – admin and pension issues were both popular answers.
Probably finding the right people. We’ve got a really great group of lads and find it hard to get people to meet our standards.
Great for 4-5 weeks and then take their foot off the gas
— E.P.Muldoon Building (@EPM_BuildingLtd) May 21, 2019
Then the conversation moved on to sources of information for those wishing to hire someone.
A2 I do not know where this information would be found but between Yougov websites and other online resources I doubt it would be difficult to find. #TradesTalk
— Oilcanfinish Landscaping and Property Maintenance (@oilcanfinish) May 21, 2019
The next question was about recruitment and how you could find the right tradesperson for your business.
I might be bit biased here but a trial period is ideal , also a mature apprentice can be trained to the businesses model. #Tradetalk
— craig leach (@bikingCarpenter) May 21, 2019
A3 think this can only be done by getting around merchants and knowing the person before and by asking previous employees might be the best at their job but a nightmare to get out of bed and is unreliable or bad manner with your customers #TradesTalk
— Lloyd Stafford (@lloydlwlheating) May 21, 2019
A3 – A couple of basic English and maths tests, some job specific tests to see how much base knowledge/ability they might have. See if they can understand some site drawings, you'll be surprised how well things like this can filter out some of the less likely ones! #TradesTalk
— Paul Fasham (@fash1985) May 21, 2019
The next question was aimed at those who had already expanded, and possibly downsized again, a chance to hear their experiences.
VAT. Going from zero to 20% was crippling. Downsized after 18 months and got back under the threshold where I'll be staying!
— D. Savery Electrical (@dseselectric) May 21, 2019
A4. Snags, sick pay, holiday pay, pension, liability insurance, maternity pay, fuel allowance, time keeping & ever increasing minimum wage & living wage – all leave absolute zero margin to make any money on an employee so found it wasn't worth the extra stress #Tradestalk
— Al Fitzjohn (@AJFitzLtd) May 22, 2019
Then the #TradesTalk community discussed outsourcing, rather than taking on staff.
Try keep it all in house as I want full control. However from time to time we need a hand and a good circle of good trades is what’s req. #TradesTalk
— Stewarty Martin (@StewartyMartin) May 21, 2019
I used to subcontract our work I didn’t have time to do but that cost me more money than having employees. #TradesTalk
— J-Elec Solutions Limited (@Jelecsolutions) May 21, 2019
Learning to delegate and maximise your time is key to succeeding in any business
— Danny Morley (danno) (@JSFREALESTATE) May 21, 2019
The final question was about interview questions and using good ones to identify great potential employees.
Mine was- it’s 430 on a Friday you’ve home drinking tea and a screaming customer calls in- how would you respond
— Ian Wood (@Ian_Vaillant) May 21, 2019
Describe yourself in ,one word
— LeeB (@LeePeakHeating) May 21, 2019
I love interviews, the secret is to tell them what they want to hear, not what you want to say. The clues are in the questions.
— Tim Pollard (@LeamingtonSBC) May 22, 2019
#TradesTalk takes place on Twitter every Tuesday from 8-9pm, discussing everything from tools to paperwork.