Kitchen & Bath Design News

JUN 2019

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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" I FIND QUALIFIED employees by posting openings at design schools, AIA and ASID, as well as networking with colleagues. I build loyalty by having a clear company vision and standards and employing those who resonate [with these]. I also respect my employees, pay them well, share my profits, give them benefits, provide a beautiful and well-equipped working space, have flexible working hours for those who need them, fos- ter regular communication, have clear work- ing goals and standards and put their family needs first. For example, when I had staff with newborns, I set up a crib in the office for infant care during their working hours. We all shared taking care of the baby until the baby was old enough to go to daycare." Mary Jane Pappas, owner Pappas Design Minneapolis, MN " WE ARE A SMALL independent contractor. We have our own cabinet shop staffed by a lifelong cabinet maker. We learned of his availability through a family member, which led to our communicating our interest in hiring him. When we hired this individual, he brought his business and shop with him. We also do general remod- eling and in that area. We have one lead carpenter; this individual expressed interest in working for us and was actually referred to us by a mutual business associate. We strive to be competitive in pay; in addition to salary, we consistently pay performance incentives to the staff based on the profitabil- ity of individual projects." Joel Sollenberger, partner Sollenberger Construction LLC Marion, PA " [WE RELY ON] word of mouth, Facebook and Craigslist. When interviewing, we heavily focus on our business being fam- ily-run; [we are] looking for people to be part of the business, work their way up the ladder and become an important part of running the company. We write complimentary notes to each person once a month, make homemade dinners to give on holidays and ask for their input on company decisions often." Dawn Hartman Studio 321 Hickory, NC " USUALLY, I FIND good employees from a well-trusted source like friends, family or colleagues. But I have hired excellent candi- dates from Indeed and Craigslist in the past, as well. I think the key to hiring great employ- ees is a detailed interview process and a trial period. Aside from good pay and benefits, one thing I try to do to retain employees is to make sure they know they are valued. We also all set goals for ourselves and review each oth- er to make sure we are on a path to success. We make sure to celebrate achieved goals and make [sure they are] noticed. We like to keep everyone involved in what's going on, and this is done with bi-weekly meetings." Luke Stier, owner Stier Construction Inc. Grand Meadow, MN " THAT IS THE great debate! I think we all try to find the most qualified candidate to start with and I think most companies fall short on the retention part of the puzzle. I think the employer needs to be flexible with hours so commute length can be managed by the employee. This gives a better work-life ratio and empowers the employee with time management of their own." Cynthia Collins, senior designer Gilmans Kitchens & Baths San Mateo, CA " I FIND EMPLOYEES usually through posted ads. Currently I have an office man- ager who has been with us for 12 years and a field installer who has been with us for five. I strongly believe in training employees: have them involved in the renovation process, teach them all that I know. I want them to feel empowered. That's how you build loyal employees." David Goodwin, owner Creative K and B LLC Alpha, NJ " OUR LEAD CARPENTERS have been with us for over 10 years. We found some when working on jobs and they com- municated unhappiness with their current employers. The others were referrals by exist- ing employers or clients. I have not found ads to be an efficient way of hiring because of the excess response and inaccurate expectations of the prospective employee (no matter how accurately we describe the position) and the inaccuracies in their resumes. We hold onto our employees by respecting them, offering stability and security, making sure that they adhere to our company rules and regulations and keeping them on even when there is no work to be done. It costs more in the short term, but it pays off in the long run." Paul Bookbinder, president Dreamwork Kitchens & Baths Mamaroneck, NY " I HAVE AN extensive vetting program that begins with candidates submitting a resume. If they show proficiency with the resume, then I check their references and social media before calling them for an interview. My pre-interview vetting and in-person interviews are detailed because I want to know the candidate personally, as well as how much they know about their trade and the associated trades. My employ- ees are representing me, and they need to perform accordingly at all times, both on and off the job. Retention is multifaceted via direct compensation, performance bonuses and special rewards." Mark Kisenwether, owner KW & Crowe Innovations Webster, FL " I PREFER HIRING young folks without much knowledge or baggage. We have had our share of 'track' guys and it is very hard to shake the 'get it done fast and move on' men- tality. I like to train them our way, which I believe is 'get it done the right way, clean up well and have a good rapport with the home- owners.' I do believe that this is the main reason for our success. We have old timers on our jobs that are very stubborn and rude to our clients. They are not very malleable and get angry at change orders. I encourage all of my employees to test for their contrac- tor's license as soon as they qualify; in fact, I pay for their schooling to take the contrac- tor's test. They rarely leave to start their own businesses, but it is a big accomplishment for them and they feel more comfortable picking up side work on the weekends. I also feel I pay them above the average wage and do whatever is feasible to make sure they get their 40 hours a week all year long." Dave Gillem, owner Laguna Builders Sloughhouse, CA Industry Pros Discuss Hiring Practices WHAT DO YOU THINK? Email your feedback, contact information and the subject, 'Market Pulse' with your message to How do you find and hire qualified candidates? How do you build loyalty to your business and hold onto employees once you have them? 6 Kitchen & Bath Design News • June 2019 MARKET PULSE READERS' OPINIONS ON INDUSTRY-RELATED ISSUES

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