This is a great question, and one we as recruiters are constantly pondering, evaluating, and reevaluating all the time. It’s certainly wise to try to look outside the restoration industry for certain positions. Others, it makes sense to try to at least find some lateral experience. Let’s break it down by position.
Project Manager & Estimator
For both of these, construction knowledge is pretty much required. However, restoration and remediation experience doesn’t need to be. Candidates with a solid construction background who understand structures, materials, and the overall construction process, can often relatively easily be trained to do restoration work and rebuilds. If you’re considering someone with a strictly construction background, take into account:
Again, construction knowledge here is good. However, you could also consider someone who has been heavily involved in the remodel department at Lowe’s or Home Depot who is savvy with coordinating a lot of jobs, managing a lot of people, keeping customers happy, ordering and handling materials, managing budgets, and so on. It’s likely people from retail stores like that are used to running lots of jobs at once, know lots of subcontractors in the area, and have also established at least some basic knowledge of construction.
Business Development Rep or Manager
This person could potentially come from outside the industry, it’s wise to first look for candidates with outside sales experience. In restoration, business development is much more about building relationships and rapport with referral sources and potential bigger clients (like property managers, operations managers for local government entities, etc.) than the actual “sale” itself. Consider candidates from other service-related industries such as:
For every candidate you hire, it’s always wise to gauge character and customer service. In restoration, as you likely already know, honesty and open communication with the customer are important. Plus, you also want employees who will be able to handle the often strong emotions of clients who have just been through a traumatic loss.