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Hire to Inspire:
- By Andy Thompson
A Method to Find
Develop House Painting Employees
Finding good help is one of the toughest things for any
business owner, but it is especially hard for service and skilled labor
Well first of all, a lot of skilled laborers like painters, who have a
year or two under their belt, have a tendency to think they know
everything there is to know and can do it better than their boss, so
there can be a lot of turnover before you find the right fit for your
It is important to remember also that you must first become the kind of
boss that people want to work for. There are a lot of
paint contractors out there who are only concerned about making the
quick buck and not about building a solid reputable long
This type of paint contractor is only interested in getting as much
production out of a person for as little money as
possible. These same contractors are the ones complaining
how they can’t find or keep good help. Truth be
help is out there, but these contractors haven’t yet figured
how to “develop” the help to benefit their
One of the best places to look for quality painting employees who are
eager to learn and willing to pay their dues is through trade
schools. Men and women who attend these types of classes are
interested in learning the skill and developing it into a long term
A good way to find and keep good help is to develop your employees
through an incentive system and to paint a picture (no pun intended) of
the benefits involved with working for your growing
Here are some ideas you can use to help build a solid crew of painters
who will represent your painting business as if it were their own, take
pride in their work and develop outstanding people skills.
will leave your customers satisfied and referring your painting
business to all their friends and begging you to do all future painting
work for them.
In order to draw in and keep the type of painters that will be an asset
to your business you must first put together a specific set of
guidelines. Here are a couple of examples you can use and
on to fit your needs and individual business model.
First, you never want to hire a painter at top pay based on what they
tell you about themselves. Sure they may say they are
great in all aspects of the trade, but unless they are willing to
“pay their dues” and learn YOUR system and the way
to be done, it may be in your best interest to keep looking.
Consider setting up a 90 day progressive probation period that offers
incentives based on attendance, production and
For example, let’s say you would be willing to pay the
“Right” painter $17.00 per hour once the probation
period is over.
You can start your new employee out at $7.00 per hour for the first 30
days regardless of experience. This is the time when
they will be proving themselves to you.
If all goes well and you feel like they are progressing in the right
direction you could give a $2.00 raise paying them $9.00 per hour for
the next 30 days while increasing their
If all your expectations are met and you feel that your new employee is
a good fit for your business you can bump them up to $12.00 per hour
for the last 30 days of the probation period.
At the end of the 90 day probation period you can do a formal
evaluation to determine exactly what you are willing to pay based on
your criteria and the progress they’ve made.
Once you decide on a the wage your new employee will work for, a great
way to keep them motivated and productive (especially when you are not
there to look over their shoulder) is to offer incentive bonuses for
finishing the job early or maybe some kind
of "no call back" bonus.
Another way is if a customer gives you a cash tip at the end of a job;
consider passing it on to your employee. I can tell you
for a fact, an extra $20.00 tip here and there for doing a good job on
a consistent basis can go a long way in keeping your employees
loyal and happy and motivated.
Again you must first become the kind of boss painters want to work for,
then explain to your employees the benefits and opportunities available
to them as they grow with your
If you think about your painting business as a series of stepping
stones, one leading into the next, you will see that by developing your
employees through a specific system right from the start you will
realize that you are really developing future crew leaders
for when you take the next step of business growth.