How Contractors Hire and Retain Great Team Members

Hiring and retaining the best employees in 2022 is no easy task. With worker shortages nationwide, competition for the top employees in every industry is at an all-time high, especially for home service and contracting businesses.

So what can small business owners do to hire and keep team members around? During a recent ArcSite roundtable discussion with experts in the fencing industry, this question came up.

Zachary Lincoln, owner of Lincoln Gutters in Tacoma, WA, shares many of the same beliefs as the fencing experts. Lincoln spoke with ArcSite and detailed five strategies that all business owners should consider in order to hire effective workers and keep good employees happy.

1. Pay Competitively

Starting with what many would assume is the most obvious and important aspect of hiring and retaining the best team, successful businesses have to pay a competitive salary that is either at or above the going rate for the work being performed.

"We pay competitively, often above what our competitors offer, including benefits," says Lincoln.

2. Offer Unique Benefits

A well-rounded compensation package includes a competitive salary and employer benefits. Common benefits include health insurance, dental and vision benefits, disability coverage, life insurance, and retirement savings.

Benefits also include things like paid time off (PTO) and paid family and medical leave (FMLA). Business owners looking to include unique perks to attract the best employees might consider offering tuition reimbursement and encouraging in-house professional development. Offer an annual budget for people on your team who are looking to up their skills with a new certification or training session.

3. Encourage Ingenuity

It can be assumed that most people don't enjoy doing the exact same job every day. Complacency can cause a good worker to grow tired of the job and look elsewhere for something more interesting. 

Lincoln says he encourages his employees to be innovative on the job, trying different things to figure out what works best for that person.

"We give our employees as much agency to do the job the way that works best for them, as long as it adheres to our standards," Lincoln said. "Empowering them to find the way that works best for them often lends itself to a sense of ownership and pride in their work."

4. Build a Cohesive Team

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Perhaps the most critical part of hiring and retaining employees is building a cohesive team that gets along. Lincoln says this is key to their entire hiring approach at their business. 

"Being a team player is absolutely critical," he says. "You hear it all of the time, but being able to work in harmony with others is a must. We have had really strong employees that fought hard to be independent, and they were not a good fit for our company. As all of our teams consist of two or three individuals, they really have to be ready to work together with others."

Sometimes the most skilled worker is not the best fit for a company due to their inability to work with others and contribute to the work environment in a positive way.

5. Trust Your Team

Once you hire someone, it is important to show that you trust your decision and believe in their ability to do the job. Lincoln says that when you provide your team with the necessary tools to succeed, the entire business stands to benefit.

"Trusting your employees to do a good job, while providing them with the means to be successful, is how we have found our gems," Lincoln says. It may take some time to come across the right fit, but once you do, they often thrive within these parameters."

More Resources for Home Service Business Owners

Small business owners looking to improve hiring and retention have a variety of tools and resources available. The Small Business Association of America (SBA) has resources for best practices on hiring and managing employees, as well as legal information on workplace accommodations and requirements.

McKinsey, a management consulting firm, offers research and insights on attracting and retaining the right talent.

ArcSite Homeowner Survey Report

Looking to learn more about your potential clients? ArcSite recently surveyed over 1,000 homeowners in the United States and asked them about their experiences with contractors.

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Download the free 2022 Homeowner Survey Report or learn more about How to Grow Your Residential Contractor Business.

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