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The Contractor Coaching Partnership Blog

Remodelers: Install The Lead Carpenter System Before You Hire Leads

Posted by Mark Paskell on Mon, Jun 24, 2013 @ 09:02 AM

Remodeling activity is on a steady rise and remodelers are looking for qualified lead carpenters to handle the influx of new projects. In both the Boston and Worcester, Ma market we are asked to find lead carpenters on a weekly basis. When we have a lead on a true lead carpenter they are quickly hired by a client who uses the lead carpenter system. Unfortunately, there are not many competent lead carpenters. The good ones are working for someone else or have started their own business.

Before hiring a lead carpenter do you have a lead carpenter process in place?

In our last fall protection training a remodeler lamented about his most recent hires. His work load increased and he needed to add lead carpenters to run kitchen and addition projects. He put an add on Craig's list and received dozens of inquiries. He hired 2 individuals who claimed to be lead carpenters. It turned out they were not and now the contractor is looking again. He told us that he knew they weren't really lead carpenters but he needed bodies to meet his work commitments.

He said " I figured I could turn them into leads. In the interview they even said they could do it all from frame to finish. Unfortunately, I should have known that they were full of it but I hired them anyway. I was afraid I would not be able to complete the new projects on time." 

Today this owner finds himself buried in the field running his own projects. His new hires turned out to be lead carpenter wannabes and a huge waste of time and money. He admitted he is not fully versed in the lead carpenter process. He read a book on it but never implemented the program. He said he never found the right time to put in place and now he is too busy to do it. 

Now even if he finds a qualified lead carpenter he will likely lose him in the interview process or shortly after hiring one. To attract and keep a lead carpenter a lead carpenter process needs to be in place with the appropriate compensation package. Then when a qualified lead carpenter shows up you will have a better chance of bringing him/her on.

"Slow to hire and quick to fire"

When you find yourself under pressure to add a live body to handle your workload be careful before you hire. Take a step back and scrutinize your situation. At a minimum write out what you are trying to accomplish and promise yourself you will not allow emotion to enter into your decision process. Write out a job description for the role you need to fill. Develop a list of interview questions and have them ready for your interview. Remember hiring just anybody will lead to disappointment, loss of time and money.

Remember if they (lead carpenter candidates) say they can do it all it doesn't mean they can. 

For help learning, developing and implementing the lead carpenter process contact Mark. 


Tags: lead carpenter process