Recruit Like you Market

Brian Nolan

iStock_000064361063_XXXLargeHow much time to do spend thinking about hiring the right employees? Now consider how much time to you spend on implementing creative approaches to recruiting new employees. Do you have a recruiting budget or are you still depending on a ‘help wanted’ ad on Craigslist to bring you in the abundance of great employees you need to achieve your goals? Are you still looking for only experienced painters? Are you fitting in recruiting activities at the end of a long day?

The single biggest problem facing the trades is a shortage of field workers. Yet, as a painting contractor industry, we are still using passive approaches to recruiting talent. Below are some ideas to consider to shift your paradigm and create an abundance.

WHO TO HIRE: Everyone has heard the expression ‘Hire attitude, train skill.’ It’s time to put that expression into action. Consider setting up a booth at a community college. Talk to a high school guidance counselor so they know your company is a great option for those graduates not going on to college. Yes, you need a core group of experienced painters, but turn that group into trainers. It’s up to you to create a teaching and learning culture.

MARKETING FOR EMPLOYEES: Think of everything you’ve ever done to get customer leads: social media vehicle lettering, web site, business cards, billboard, radio, email blasts, prospecting, search engine optimization, etc. Now, imagine if you applied all of those ideas to recruiting employees. Come up with a slogan, such as ‘Join a winning team’ and post it everywhere. Become the sought-after place to work. Share your vision and values with applicants to bring in people who will care.

Hold a brainstorming session with your team and list out every possible ‘marketing for employees’ idea you can. If one field employee brings in about $8,000 per month in revenue, isn’t it worth spending money on this? If you miss bringing in your targeted number of employees, you’ll miss your revenue goals.

RESOURCES: Many business owners post ads, receive applications, and put them in a pile. When they have time, they sort through them and make some calls. Even though the quality of applicants is often low, they hire them anyway because they need painters NOW. Not surprisingly, many of these hires don’t last and owners find themselves back at the beginning.

You can avoid this vicious and unproductive cycle by hiring a part-time recruiter. Depending upon your volume, you might look for someone to work 10 to 15 hours per week recruiting, screening, checking references and setting up interviews. This hire could end the bad-hire routine, keep your pipeline full of talent, and minimize the challenges of finding talent.

Don’t wait until you need an employee to look for one. Market for employees all year long and create an abundance, giving you the freedom to fire the employees who are hurting your brand and culture.


BrianNolanBrian Nolan is a managing partner at Nolan Summit Services, Inc., a national business consulting and coaching company focused on helping painting contractors implement business systems, build their teams, and increase profitability. Summit, an affiliate company of Nolan Painting, is a residential repaint company with annual revenues of $7.8 million.


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