It’s the slow season. Hire and train now … here’s how.

by Brian Sodoma

It may sound contradictory to bring on new hires at a time of year when—if you operate in a cold-weather climate—many companies consider trimming personnel. On the other hand, this contrarian thinking could put you ahead of the game come spring when business starts to pick up again and you must add staff.

Here, hiring expert and founder of InnerView Advisors, Art Snarzyk, offers some tips for finding and catching the attention of top talent during the slow months.


Unemployment is at a stubbornly low 3.7 percent across the board, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. And with a tradesman shortage plaguing construction-related fields, finding good talent is challenging any time of year.

But that also means that with talented help in high demand, a good portion of the employed labor pool is “passively looking,” Snarzyk explains. In other words, if you have a solid job opening, a talented painter may be all ears. So, strike up a conversation with that pro picking up materials at the paint store, Snarzyk says. You may have the offer he or she is looking for.

At the same time, the slower winter months are a great time to hire and train someone new to the profession. That’s why it’s also important to brush up on how to effectively pitch painting as a great step-up profession for top service-industry talent, high schoolers eyeing the trades, or others considering a career change.

“Show them why painting is an awesome career: You can earn while you learn. You don’t have to go to school. You can earn $25 to $40 an hour. Think of the cool benefits that come with being a painter,” he said.


Snarzyk also says it’s important to find clarity about what you’re really looking for in a hire. In ads, list all the qualities you seek, describe the job accurately and thoroughly, answer all the questions a reader might have when reading your ad, including pay range, regardless of whether it’s on Craigslist, Indeed, ZipRecruiter or elsewhere. And don’t use buzz words; they especially turn off newbies.

Above all, paint a positive picture of the profession. Employees are not simply “painting a house,” Snarzyk says, they’re “helping homeowners beautify their home” or “making a house feel like a home” or “hearing accolades at the end of the day after beautifying a home.” Bring as much clarity to the painter’s experience as possible.

“The key to a great ad is making it YOU-focused (the painter), not ME-focused (the employer),” Snarzyk adds.


Employers often overlook the fact that the best recruitment machine is right under their nose; it’s their current employees.

“They are an asset that isn’t leveraged very much. If you need to hire, you tend to put it on your own shoulders,” Snarzyk says.

In one of his programs titled ‘Recruiting Machine,’ company owners gain access to a kit with tools and insights on how to engage employees to seek out new hires. The kit includes scripts and cards to pass along to prospects, and it teaches employees how to talk about their field and work culture.

“Only about 20% of employees will actually recruit. We just need to train them and show them how to do it,” he added. “Then, once you make it easy, they will go out and recruit with you.”

To read other feature articles about hiring in the painting business, visit To learn more about InnerView Advisors, visit

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