Episode 54 – Alison Warner
Find Great People To Build A Successful Construction Company
Alison Warner is the author of Build & Grow, an Amazon best seller and the founder of Evolve & Grow, an organisation focused on developing trade based businesses by helping them answer questions such as
- Why am I not making enough money?
- How can I get more business?
- Where and how can I find good people?
- How can I create a stronger, more reliable team?
- How can I have a better work/life balance?
Allison has worked extensively with construction and trade businesses. She formed a specialist division for this sector; Build and Grow in 2015, as well as the BUILD system, which enabled Allison to train other coaches to support more clients. This 5 step system takes the business owner through key areas of their business, identifying the gaps and implementing the necessary systems and processes required for growth.
Discover the health of your trade business here.
What is the biggest barrier to a small to medium sized construction company making more money?
Having worked at many construction companies and businesses, what in your opinion would be the biggest barrier to a company making more money?
Without a doubt, recruitment, the people, because the rest of them, it has to be either training somebody to understand something, for example, the numbers, or it tends to be implementing a system or training them in a time management technique.
It’s all tangible. But people, and I used to say this at Starbucks to my managers, it’s not like when the coffee machine breaks down, you go and get the engineer. We’re all different. So what one technique will work with one person won’t work with the other.
If you’re managing people, you have to be sometimes the disciplinarian, sometimes the motivator, sometimes the counselor, sometimes the psychologist. You have to wear all of these different hats to get the best out of your people, to know who is the right person for your business. And then once you have them, how do you then keep them motivated and keep them performing?
So without a doubt, the people. That’s one of the questions I ask prospective clients, where do you want to get to and what do you think are the three challenges in your way? And I kind of know who’s got the most awareness, I guess. If they mention people at the forefront, I think, okay, well, you’re aware of it. You’re on track.
How can construction companies find great people to join their team?
So how can we find good people?
I don’t have a pink magic wand. Unfortunately, I will say that. What I’ve done is essentially taken the recruitment process that I put in place at Starbucks and Pizza Express, and that we kind of had at Pizza Hut as well, and I’ve just taken it into the world of construction and trade.
The simple answer to that is get the job advert right. Cast it out to as many people as possible. Get on all of the job boards and we partnered with a company that does that at a reduced price, social media, and ask your networks.
If you think of a funnel, get as many people in the top. What tends to happen in this industry is the person feels, “Oh my God, I need somebody.” They start asking around and somebody gets recommended and they, at best, meet them for a coffee and a chat. At worst, just put them straight on the tools and fingers crossed and sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t. Invariably, they don’t.
What we want to do is have the job advert worded correctly so it attracts the right people. We put it everywhere so that we widen the net and get loads of people in the funnel, so to speak. And then we have a really good sifting system starting with telephone interview.
If it’s an office position, psychometric testing. If it’s a trade position, you’d go straight to final interview. Sounds very corporate and it kind of is but I give the person the tools and then you use them in a way that feels authentic for you.
But it’s asking proper structured questions, giving examples. So for example, tell me about a time when you dealt with a challenging customer. What was the issue? How did you deal with it? Blah, blah, blah. References.
A lot of people, and this is across all industries not just this one, they relax at this point because they’re like, “Oh, thank God. I found somebody,” and they forget the importance of checking references. And often, again, this happens in big companies, they forget the importance of then inducting them properly into the role. That’s what I mean by the whole recruitment process.