Join NTCA – it’s what wise contractors do.
One of the great values of being a member in NTCA is the trusted camaraderie that exists between members. Need some help? Your fellow members – located throughout the country – are willing to lend a hand and answer a question.
Last month, one of our State Directors, Isaac Homza (Hawaii) reached out via email to his fellow directors for some guidance and advice in finding quality help. His question — and answers from other members, directors and NTCA staff — gave Homza some direction and may be helpful to you, dear reader, as well.
Subject: Re: Tips on finding Quality Help?
Aloha Regional and State Directors,
Hope everyone is doing well.
Looking for advice on the best way to find quality help.
We are a small company: myself, another setter and a helper/apprentice.
Both my guys are great but my helper just had an opportunity come up in another line of work.
I prefer a young person that has the potential to learn the trade. We are based on Maui, where there are plenty of distractions and at times a relaxed attitude towards work.
What sources have you used to find quality applicants and how do you handle the interview/application process to find the best?
– Isaac Homza, Higher Standard Tile, Maui, Hawaii
Within hours, Homza had responses from several fellow directors:
We are a smaller company and don’t play in the big arena. I have had my key employees for over 10 years and one from almost the start. I pay them well, give them vacations, and make sure they are trained well and attend seminars on my dime.
I believe their confidence to do challenging installations has improved ten-fold since being CTEF Certified Installers. They are the backbone of my business. We have hired their family members and friends; some have worked out and some have not. We weed them out quickly.
We don’t want every job – just the rewarding ones, both financially and aesthetically. I would encourage you to pick out your key guy – paid accordingly – who is involved with choosing his workforce and fellow laborers. This will leave you more freedom to focus on your business.
I worked in Maui many years ago, so I fully understand the challenges you face with a transient workforce – and when surf’s up, no one shows.
Good luck, and make sure they attend the NTCA Workshops.
– Martin Brookes, Heritage Marble & Tile Inc., Mill Valley, Calif.
I will sometimes stop at construction sites when it is evident that tile work is going on. I have found several good tile setters that just do not like running a business.
This keeps my training investment down and lessens the risk of training my competition.
– Scott Heron, Precision Tile, West Columbia, S.C.
I actually had some luck by paying attention at fast food restaurants that I frequented. I watched to see who was a hard worker and had a good attitude (this sometimes took a little time) and would ask if they might be interested in a different line of work with a future, and gave them a card to call me. This also worked in a grocery store for me once, though that is a better job than restaurant work.
– Michael Whistler, NTCA trainer/presenter