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Twright

Beyond Frustrated

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This is more of a vent maybe a question somewhere in here.

 

WHY DON'T PEOPLE WANT TO WORK???? And when you do find people, they don't want to listen, think they know it all and STILL don't do the job correctly.

 

If they do want to work and know what they are doing, in their eyes YOU as the employer don't do enough for them, OR they know the answers to everything but yet cant seem to get things right the first time. 

 

I am so frustrated and beyond that, at times i don't even know how to respond!!!

 

As for hiring, Installers, anyone else have as much trouble as we seems to be having finding anyone with even a little experience?

 

Any specific job boards or places to post that seem to find better/more applicants then others?

 

 

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Frustrated 1st thing in the morning leaves the entire day to really get pissed off.  

When people ask me " How many employees do you have working for you " ?
I answer  " About half "   That is the reality of being a business owner 

If this was easy,  everyone would do it.   
 

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"...about half..." :P

 

When I visit local shops, it's entertaining to see the ones that have bounced around from shop to shop and think to myself *oh boy*.  They're the ones that give owners the headache.  They have bad habits..bad work ethic, probably never learned the right way, you can't teach an old dog new tricks, they find ways to stretch the clock, and now they're at a new shop repeating what happened at other places of employment

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You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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We rarely hire from within the industry, unless we poach them from another shop.

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BTW this is a nationwide epidemic getting skilled labor and people that will work.  

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And then companies have the balls to tell Grey haired old farts that they are old and stupid.  Right on only one point... 

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You really cant hire within the industry. Because if they are from the industry and out of work, especially now there must be a reason... The best bet I think is to just find jacks of all trades and train them on the job. Hire good human beings with positive attitudes rather then the cowboy who thinks hes done it all and seen it all, yet is looking for work.  And most of all pay them well!

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Ah, the old "you can't get good help these days" song.  I sing it, my father sang it, Moses (no relation though my kids think that he apprenticed under me) probably sang it too.   

 

Yes, good installers are hard to find.  The good ones have steady jobs and aren't interested in talking to you.   The bad ones will tell you that they have worked for this shop (but got laid off), for that shop (which closed down), that other place (fired this time for using the company CC*), cut trees for a few years, spent time in jail (or rehab or on the lam from a wife or..).  Hmm, but can you give a guy a 2nd chance?   Don't you mean 22nd?   It's an uphill battle.

 

Paul - I love that comment.   However, at times I think half is being generous.

 

UFB - LOVE LOVE LOVE that graphic.  

 

* - relative of my wife really did get fired for running up "ONLY $2500.00" on the company CC for personal expenses and seriously couldn't understand why he got canned, and why he ended up in court.    He would have paid it back eventually.  SIGH.  

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We did hire a good installer recently but that lasted only about 2 weeks.

 

He wanted to be in this area due to his son living here, but when he got here that's when the issues started.

 

Day one he shows up with two small bags and it was all he had, no place to live no real money in hand.

 

He was a very good installer, but his ego was bigger than could fit in the trucks.

 

He left because we got to a point where we decided we could no longer pay for a place for him to live, pay for all his food and listen to him bitch about it.

 

He said he had lost his drivers license ( but had a copy of it) and it was due to expire anyway and didn't seem worried about getting a new one, so he couldn't even drive our trucks.

 

When he left he told us he did us a favor and we should have basically rolled out the red carpet and kissed his feet ( of course not those exact words), and supported him like we were taking him to raise.

 

He also said he got hired elsewhere and they were flying him out, where ever out was.

 

In reality he did do us a favor, as we just didn't see the drama ending.

 

Now the hunt for a replacement continues.

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3 hours ago, Twright said:

We did hire a good installer recently but that lasted only about 2 weeks.

 

He wanted to be in this area due to his son living here, but when he got here that's when the issues started.

 

Day one he shows up with two small bags and it was all he had, no place to live no real money in hand.

 

He was a very good installer, but his ego was bigger than could fit in the trucks.

 

He left because we got to a point where we decided we could no longer pay for a place for him to live, pay for all his food and listen to him bitch about it.

 

He said he had lost his drivers license ( but had a copy of it) and it was due to expire anyway and didn't seem worried about getting a new one, so he couldn't even drive our trucks.

 

When he left he told us he did us a favor and we should have basically rolled out the red carpet and kissed his feet ( of course not those exact words), and supported him like we were taking him to raise.

 

He also said he got hired elsewhere and they were flying him out, where ever out was.

 

In reality he did do us a favor, as we just didn't see the drama ending.

 

Now the hunt for a replacement continues.

So you did NOT hire a good installer.

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Haha we hired a Fab guy a few years back like that.  It sucks that you wasted the time effort and money but it will be funny after a bit.

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I am a good installer, so I hired myself =0)  Been doing it for 6 yrs now.  Started supporting all the local sign shops, got so busy I had to convince my dad to retire from the postal service and work for me.  Now I'm grooming my son an nephew!  Fully agree with going outside the industry.  I started life as a mechanic. 

 

I love being an installer because no one is ever sad to see the sign guy show up and get to work bringing their business to life!  After getting a look into the back door of several sign companies I see the issues they face and feel for them....but I also see some self inflicted wounds.  Installers tend to be the end of the whip and have to make up for all of the timing issues through out the project.  Its hard to want to work hard when your not set up for success.  There are a few sign companies with killer processes (sales all the way through end of project fully mapped out) and have seen great success with hiring, training and retaining sign installers.  

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There's a LOT of truth to that

 

 

46 minutes ago, Bkohtz said:

 

..but I also see some self inflicted wounds.  Installers tend to be the end of the whip and have to make up for all of the timing issues through out the project.  Its hard to want to work hard when your not set up for success.  There are a few sign companies with killer processes (sales all the way through end of project fully mapped out) and have seen great success with hiring, training and retaining sign installers.  

 

 

 


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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If you find a good one in this region (NC or SC) PLEASE let me know!  When you hire one they think they should make $50 an hour and run the entire place because they know everything about everything.  A true pain in the hind parts!

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I have been trying to hire an as in 1 experienced person for over a year...I didn't think it would be hard. What a fool am I.

I guess I got spoiled with the people I had. Most of them had been with me over 10 years. (Treat them right and pay them well) When it was time to move on I got my eyes opened for me. Not a single worthwhile EXPERIENCED applicant.

I too have taken to hiring for uncommon sense and train to be a sign person.

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Well for now the boss man is on the truck with my one and only installer/ service guy, oh yeah did I mention I really need 2 Installers which is why one with SOME experience would be awesome!  I would love to have my service guy back on service as much as possible and only help install when needed. But ya do what ya gotta do. And we are as always!

 

Oh and Guess what??  As of today I now need a painter too ( i do have others that paint but have other positions here as well)!!!! Since we had to let the one we had go as it was more costly to keep him anymore due to all the redo's.  He used to be an aircraft painter, but sure had trouble with channel letters 🥺.

 

But I have to say that can be an easier spot to fill, I already have an interview set for Monday and he was/is an automotive painter.

 

So while I have no expectations for it to be a one and done kind of thing, my phone chat with him  made things seem promising.

 

I will fill you in on that aspect of things next week.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

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On 6/14/2019 at 3:32 AM, UFB Fabrication said:

BTW this is a nationwide epidemic getting skilled labor and people that will work.  

 

Nah, it's international.

 

For over 30 years I employed staff, average was around five to seven people including myself. Many were long term. For the past five years it's just me and I could not be more content and now I get to pick and choose who I work for and the jobs I take on.

No more stress, no  more staff.

 

GC

image.png

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Wow! dunno how that pic got in there?

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At 68 and still installing part time for other companies. We are in the same boat, companies having problems finding good help. One problem is that employees need benefits, can't raise a family with out them. Surprised how many employers do not offer this and also underpay. When some employers get an experienced employee the tend to jam the long hours to them. So guys like others do not. In my case I worked out of town last week and put in 62 hrs in 4 days and the guy I am helping out was pissed when I didn't want work the Friday. 

I ran my ran my own company for 44 yrs, from my experience a lot of companies do not have a company policy that is review and signed with new employees, I find a lot of employers their communication skills suck, resulting in new and old employees screwing up, and tend to slam the work at their people. When my employees were acquiring a huge amount of overtime, it was time to put another crew on the road.

For our Royal Bank in Canada, I have mentored many business, not too many in the sign business, but finding good reliable help is every ones problem. I tell it how it is during the hiring process, and encouraged my employees to vocal their problems with me without the risk of being fired. I don't know with I am an expert, but when i retired I ha 3 employees with 20 plus years and 1 with 30yrs.  And sure if found a good employee who was willing to learn, we taught them, but also rewarded them with bonus's and gift cards. I figure it takes a good 2 yrs or better to train some one and a sure loss if you lose them to your competitor.

Thanks for letting me ramble on.

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Well, a small update.  I found a painter that had experience ( oh yeah not sure i mentioned we had to let the new painter go last week that we hired a month or so back) , and sounded familiar with the type of paint we use by the questions that he asked me.  We set up a time and day for him to come in for an interview. 

 

He no showed.

 

Had an interview set up yesterday for an installer

 

He no showed

 

🥺

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I'm retired now, after 50 years in the business - 36 years running my own shop.  Everyone is spot on about the problem of finding qualified help.  Or even unqualified help for that matter.  There isn't room enough here to write all of my thoughts on all of the problems in this industry, so I'll just pass on a recent observation.  I happened to see a help wanted ad from a sign company, something like this: 

 

"XYZ is the premiere leader in the Kansas City sign industry, and we're looking for partners to grow with us"  Candidates must be a team player in a fast-paced corporate environment. Should have a degree in rocket science, be able to lift 80 pounds, be proficient in Corel, Adobe, Word, CAD, vinyl and wrap installation, knowledge of neon and high voltage wiring, welding, (Stick, Tig & Mig,),  layout and design skills, have a CDL license, be able to back  up a 30 ft. trailer,  operate a crane, know about fluorescent and LED lighting, not be afraid to dig foundations in 90 degree heat or work over 100 ft. in the air, , experience with every kind of hand and electrical tools, excellent customer communication skills, and able to leap over tall buildings with a single bound.  Starting pay $14.00 per hour.

 

Funny.

Good luck to you all.

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Funny, sad, and true.  Went to a small company here, told me, boy, you've got the experience, but we're looking for a 18-20 year old with that kind of experience! 

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On 6/29/2019 at 6:15 PM, bonehead said:

"XYZ is the premiere leader in the Kansas City sign industry, and we're looking for partners to grow with us"  Candidates must be a team player in a fast-paced corporate environment. Should have a degree in rocket science, be able to lift 80 pounds, be proficient in Corel, Adobe, Word, CAD, vinyl and wrap installation, knowledge of neon and high voltage wiring, welding, (Stick, Tig & Mig,),  layout and design skills, have a CDL license, be able to back  up a 30 ft. trailer,  operate a crane, know about fluorescent and LED lighting, not be afraid to dig foundations in 90 degree heat or work over 100 ft. in the air, , experience with every kind of hand and electrical tools, excellent customer communication skills, and able to leap over tall buildings with a single bound.  Starting pay $14.00 per hour.

Or you can just wait for the fast food chains to raise the minimum wage to $15 and just know how to pull a burger out of a microwave and overcook fries.  I can see why sign companies are short handed.

 

Worked for a sign company once that even after proving all the skills they needed and then some, wanted us road guys all to get CDL licenses.  When asked how much more per hour the job will then pay for the extra hastle,  was told you will be allowed to keep your job.

 

 

 

 

 

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It can certainly be a huge headache. I recommend high turnover until you get the good employees you want to keep. Then give them a reason to stay with you.

 

But you have to pay them what they are worth. That can be hard because there are so many "bargain bin" sign companies out there that routinely price themselves into poverty because they cannot figure out how much of their revenue should go towards paying their employees.

 

I'm sure it's the same reality as any other industry.

 

Charge what you need to charge in order to pay what you need to pay to keep those good employees you want to keep.

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