Beyond Hiring: It Takes More than Recruiting to Build a Successful Team

By Craig Carson

Welcome, spring … oh, wait … is it too early to celebrate? Let’s see, spring must have come early. The normal end-of-the-year slowdown for bid requests over Christmas and New Year’s never materialized. In fact, bids increased even more. While some people were taking time off, the developers were doing time and a half. If you think I’m complaining, well, you just haven’t read enough of my columns. I still fall into the old school way of worrying when there’s not enough work—as well as when there’s too much. Of course, I prefer having too much. I appreciate our good economy, as it means jobs for all who want them.

Something to Fix

If we as an industry have a problem, it’s hiring people for positions they’re not ready to hold. When that happens, as hard as they may try, they will fail. And we still wonder why the project or projects weren’t as profitable as we planned.

At some point we all need to promote or hire that person who knows just what to do and how to do it well. But even the best make mistakes. What was at fault? The person? The expectations? Or, maybe they had the talent, but we didn’t support them enough.

We, the industry veterans, are the teachers and educators for those who follow us. We’re the ones who need to stay involved to ensure we place a person in a situation to succeed.

With the market as busy as it is, we need to hire and/or recruit new people. We also need to spend time with them to help them learn. But what about the more experienced new hires? When someone is experienced but new to your firm, spend time with them, too, to make sure they understand your culture and expectations. If they are field help, go out and check the work in place as they install it. They might be good mechanics, but may have worked for someone who was concerned about how fast things got installed, rather than the quality. If you discover the former, you may also take a big hit when going back to fix issues. Remember, if you don’t have time to install it correctly, you surely don’t have time to fix it. The devil is in the details.

Project Report

For those of you interested in the US Air Force Academy Chapel, it’s moving along at a steady pace, and samples are being matched to the existing glass products. Mock-up drawings are being readied for submittal, and soon the temporary enclosure will be built. In December we had a meeting with government officials, the Air Force, the Department of the Interior (the chapel is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings and the National Park Department is in charge of these buildings) and several consultants, among others (my apologies to those I haven’t listed). We gathered together to discuss the historical aspects of the project. There must have been 35 to 40 people at the meeting, all of us, passionately concerned that the chapel is cared for as it deserves.

Craig Carson is the director of preconstruction for Alliance Glazing Technologies Inc. in Littleton, Colo.

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