We have yet to run across a restoration company that thinks hiring is easy. Many of you network with the best of them and know how to approach that cashier or server with great customer service skills to see if they’re looking for another opportunity.
The truth of the matter simply is that the candidate pool today is slim. According to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there should be plenty of people out there to hire with unemployment around 6%. We can tell you that’s just not true. However, you can be successful at hiring if you are willing to change your expectations a bit.
Most restoration companies we work with require or strongly prefer candidates who know and have experience with Xactimate. In this job market, consider removing that preference and, instead, looking for people with strong construction estimating knowledge who have used other estimating platforms or are tech-savvy.
For example, if you come across a candidate with a great construction background, but no direct restoration experience, do some more digging. What were their previous jobs? Maybe they worked for a home automation company installing “smart home” equipment! What other software have they used? How do they keep themselves and their jobs organized? The answers to those will give you a good idea of their tech capabilities.
There are classes out there that can teach your new team members how to use Xactimate properly. In the long run, it could be faster for you to hire someone with a great skill set who fits your company’s culture and get them trained up on Xactimate than it could to wait for that picture-perfect candidate.
There are obviously some jobs where restoration experience is preferable – like a Mitigation Division Manager. However, in many other cases, other jobs and skills transfer well into restoration.
For example, if you are looking for a project manager, consider looking for candidates with strong reconstruction and remodeling skills. If you are looking for a contents department manager, consider people who have worked for moving companies and therefore understand logistics, inventory, pack-outs, working with customers, handling personal items, etc. And for a sales or business development person, consider other service-related industries – like selling pest control or lawn care services.
One thing to note on this topic as well is that sometimes, having industry experience can bring in bad habits, whereas training them the way your company does things can keep new employees from going rogue with their own ideas of ways of doing things.
Hiring today takes time, and recruiters don’t love it either. Our goal is to always find you your ideal candidate as quickly as possible. Just remember, there are great candidates out there who can also be trained into the position if you have the right training and onboarding process.