Labor Shortage Part 2

August 18, 2003

Dealing with a Labor Shortage (Part 2)

By: Linda Leigh Francis

3. Attract people from other companies. I am not talking about unethically stealing employees. I’m talking about attracting reliable employees with your reputation as an employer. Good employees pick and choose where they want to work.

If your company is known for being a great place to work, the word spreads. Good workers want to work for good companies. So when you advertise for employees, make sure the word on the street about you encourages people to apply.

I work with a remodeler who just hired two leadmen. Both are excellent employees, and both were working elsewhere when he hired them. They wanted to work for him because of the company’s reputation for quality and his reputation as a person and employer.

4. Seek non-traditional workers. Hire women. Women are entering the building trades in larger numbers. I know a painting contractor who employed a woman who became his best detailer. A plumbing service company finds that women customers will request his female plumber because they are more comfortable with her in their home.

Hire non-English speaking immigrants. Make an investment in English language training, and you will create a good and loyal employee. In addition, word travels fast, and your employees will be great recruiters for you. Make skills training, whether English or technical, a requirement of ongoing employment.

Finally, for truly long-term solutions, you, your trade associations, local schools, and politicians need to put time, money, and effort into training programs, and spread the word that the trades are a great career and profession.

Linda Francis teaches workshops and seminars on business management and it the author of Run Your Business So It Doesn’t Run You. For information on her seminars or to order her book, call 707-485-0162, or e-mail

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