Struggling to find quality tradespeople and labourers for your business? We can help!

Ever wondered how to find the right people, with the right skills, that live locally, for the right price? We’ve got you covered…

It might surprise you to learn that salary is the least popular reason for taking a job! 48% of people apply for a job because of attractive benefits, 47% due to a convenient commute and only 46% due to a relatively high salary1

In this article:


1. Top TIPS on how to get the best tradespeople working for you

  • Decent Money. We all love a bit of wonga ££! Keep wages as competitive as possible or you could offer a lower basic salary and bonus scheme to ensure you’re effectively incentivising your staff! But money is not everything… these three tips are just as important…
  • Benefits come in all shapes and sizes; from more holidays, or a company van, to early darts on a Friday, a team curry night, or a crate of beers to say thank you for being brill! People appreciate flexibility and recognition for their hard work, all good reasons to take a job, make sure you use them as leverage!
  • Be a fun place to work and people will want to spend their time with you! Have fun as a team, be an approachable manager. Get on social media, regularly post some team lunches, or a goofy picture of your employee of the month with his celebratory crate of beers. Everyone wants to work somewhere fun…creating a hard-working but fun environment will make your company very attractive to work for. Fun, fun, fun!
  • Career Development is your ACE! 68% of UK workers have changed jobs because of a lack of training and development opportunities2. So… If you can offer training and career development, you will attract ambitious hard-working people to your business. POW! Ambitious people want to learn and will be eager to please! Training doesn’t have to cost a lot, most of it can be done with a decent in-house training plan starting with a well thought out induction! It should give the employee invaluable skills that no ordinary “job” would teach them, which is a very attractive thing to offer. Development applies to all levels of staff; they might be very skilled in their trade but could learn how to manage a successful team or the best way price up jobs using a drone! Be resourceful!

That way you’ve got a highly skilled team by your side! A great quote from Richard Branson is:

Train people well enough so they can leave but treat them well enough that they don’t want to.

Richard Branson


2. Attract the best tradespeople with a sexy job description

To attract top talent and deter unsuitable applicants from applying, you’ll need to write a well-documented definition of the role.

The candidate needs to know what the role involves and what will be expected of them. Make it personal, tell them about you, your company and who you are looking for, make it stand out from the crowd…give it a little PIZZAZ!

The job description should include the following:

  • Title of the job
  • Where the role sits within the team and business
  • Who the role reports to
  • Key areas of responsibility and the deliverables expected.
  • Short, medium and long-term objectives.
    • Scope for progression and promotion. (your ACE)
    • Required education and training.
  • Soft skills and personality traits necessary to excel in the team (to “fit in’)
    • Location and travel requirements.
  • Pay range and benefits available. (also mention your curry night and bonuses here)
    • Explain the business culture and identity.
  • Describe the style of management, the size of the team, the size of the projects managed, current and future initiatives, how success is defined and why the right person would love the job.
  • Include the application details, i.e. where to send the application to (possibly your email address) and the closing date for applications.

Top Tip: Imagine you’re writing a dating profile. Tell them about your business and the job, why they’d love to work for you and what you’re looking for in them. Feel free to add in a bit of banter. Use something like “apply for this job if you’re motivated and love a bit of banter but if you tend to get a flat tyre every Monday morning and want to talk politics we aren’t the company for you” it adds a bit of comedy and personality…and warns off any lazy applicants.


3. Finding those key players

How to get the best tradespeople working for your trade team

Ok, so now you know who you want to hire, next you’ll want to know how to find them…. So, where are local skilled tradesmen hiding? The truth – with your competitors!

  • QUESTION? How can you get them to work for you? Not everyone is happy at work, some will already be looking for other jobs, others might be tempted if they hear you are hiring. So, what do you do? Shout it from the rooftops that you are hiring and why someone should work for you! Here’s how…
  • ASK, ASK, ASK. Get leads from your employees by asking about their favourite past coworkers, or anyone they know. Talk to friends, family, old school or college friends, people in the industry such as someone you might know from previous jobs or projects you’ve worked on. Maybe ask at your local suppliers (they speak to tradespeople every day) let them know you’re looking for someone, leave a few copies of your job ad with them to see if they’ll put it up for you! Ask EVERYONE if they know of anyone decent who would be interested.
  • Recommendations are a great way to get to know about people with the skills you need from a trusted source! After all, 45% of job seekers hear about the job from a friend! But always follow our hiring steps and interview process to make sure they are right for your business and the job! Finding out the hard way is not ideal!
  • Recruitment Agencies have a pool of local tradespeople looking for work. They can be very handy for finding someone quickly, whether it’s a long-term hire, a short-term temp or subby! The downside…it’ll cost you. Still, they can save you time by sifting through applications and dealing with all communications with the applicants! There are loads of agencies available; some of the best ones for tradesmen include: Indeed, CJS recruitment; Trade Recruitment limited, Tok Construction.
  • Apprenticeships. To hire an apprentice, you advertise the position as usual and follow the hiring and interview process, but once you’ve found someone, you’ll need to enroll them on an apprenticeship scheme! The bonus… you’ll gain an extra pair of hands from someone who is keen to impress and learn the trade, and there’s loads of government funding available, so you’re likely to be quid’s in! The minimum wage starts from £3.50 per hour, grants are available to assist with costs and the National Apprenticeship Service will pay for some or all of their training costs Find more information click here or call 0800 015 0600.
  • Post a Job Online. 60% of job searchers find their job this way! You know better than anyone about the job role that you want to fill, so once you’ve created the job ad post it EVERYWHERE! Post it on; Gumtree, C.V library, Indeed, Reed, Total Jobs, Monster and LinkedIn is also a great way to find local talent. You post the jobs on these websites and candidates apply via the site or via email, you then shortlist and get in touch with them to arrange an interview. Easy!
  • Search Engines are a great way to find local tradespeople and labourers for your team. Whether you’re looking for roofers, builders, plasterers, renderers, landscapers or driveways specialists, you can be pretty confident that Google will have your back! Try using the following search terms to help you hire a tradesman or labourer;
    • hire a tradesman uk
    • roofer labourer
    • labourers wanted
    • landscaping labourers recruitment
    • find labourers online
    • builder labourer
    • find labourers near me
    • plasterer labourer
    • builders looking for labourer
    • renderer labourer
    • hire local tradesmen
    • driveway labourer
    • recruit tradespeople
  • Social Media. You have connections from friends, family and at work, so let everyone know you’re looking. Post your job ad regularly on social media, via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn…once you’ve got your job description up don’t be afraid to ask people to share it for you on their profiles. The more people see it, the better!
  • ‘We are hiring’ posters are designed to catch someone’s eye and provide them with essential information that tells them where to look for more details. Post them on your social media, your workplace window, or anywhere they can be seen by potential new employees.

4. Application process checklist

  • Be sure to make it easy to apply. Ask candidates to email you a copy of their CV and a covering email. Just check that your email address is correct on the ad!
  • Review applications. Weed out the unsuccessful ones and chose a handful of candidates that have made it through to the interview stage. Start by checking qualifications and experience if they have what you need, next, look for hobbies, skills and personality traits that will fit in with the team.
  • Telephone interview if you have a load of applications and aren’t sure which ones to interview, you could arrange a short telephone interview to whittle it down some more.

5. Interviewing. How to spot the good, the bad and the ugly.

How to interview tradespeople and hiring the right one for the job

Interview at least 3-5 people to ensure that they have the necessary skills (or that they are trainable). You’re looking for someone with energy, creativity, and a competitive nature 3. These types of people make the best teammates; they’ll get the job done and bring some life and comedy to the team!

Do your homework! Read their C.V, plan questions and read between the lines, why did they move from one company to another, what did they achieve at each company? Once you’ve shortlisted, it’s down to you to ask the right questions in an interview! Use this structure to guide you:

  • The Intro. Warm up the interview by introducing yourself, telling them a bit about the business, the team and an explanation of the role.
  • The candidate. Next, ask the candidate to tell you a bit about themselves – things like their experience (not what’s on their CV, but what exactly they did daily). Ask what they like to do in their spare time. The best interviews are conversations that allow you and the candidate to get an insight into each other. Get them talking freely, it will give you more of an insight into the person in front of you and help you judge when someone is a good fit.
  • Your questions. Ask questions to assess suitability for the role; things like “tell me how you would…” But, once you ask a question, LISTEN, candidates will often fill a silent hole with more detail, the devil is in the detail.
  • Behavioural questions. Most applicants will be prepared to answer standard interview questions and may be perfect on paper, but you’ll want to get an insight into how that person acts at work so ask a few questions like:
    • Tell me about a time you made a mistake at work – follow it up by asking what happened next? What was the outcome?
    • Tell me about a time when a workmate or customer annoyed you or when you annoyed them – how did you resolve it?
    • These questions will be more difficult for them to answer. Still, if you ask them in an open conversation, it will help you understand their attitude towards dealing with issues in the workplace before you employee them.
  • Their questions. Ask the candidate if they have any questions for you. Answer them politely and openly. Don’t forget they are assessing whether they want to work for you too! Make sure you get off on the best foot.
  • Explain the next steps – things like, when they will hear from you and, if they were to be successful, when they’d be able to start, notice periods etc. Go over salary and the benefits package that awaits the successful candidate.
  • Follow up: let everyone know whether they have been successful or not, even those who didn’t reach the interview stage! They might be applicants that you want to hear from again in the future, so be NICE.
  • Top Tip: Before deciding on the final recruit, ask if they’d do a trial job with you so you can see their skills in action. It doesn’t need to be a full day, just a few paid hours so you can get a feel for them.
  • Remember, you aren’t looking for the best candidate from those interviewed. You’re looking for the perfect candidate for the job. So, if you don’t find them the first time, keep looking.


    6. Request references from your candidates

    To avoid overlooked issues, always get references from previous employers or tutors (when hiring an apprentice) and make any job offer subject to successful references.

    So, now that you know how to get those key players to your business, you’ll need to know how to stay on the right side of the law…


    7. Questions About Hiring Tradesmen & Labourers

    We’ve compiled a list of the most common questions that tradespeople ask when building their team. This FAQ will hopefully help you make the right decisions and build the best trade team possible for you and your company!

    How to get the best staff to work for you?

    Follow Get Work’s 6 Top TIPS on how to get the best staff to work for you. Offer: Decent Money, Benefits, Be a fun place to work, and Career Development is your Ace.

    How to hire the best tradesman?

    The best people are likely to be employed. But that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t move jobs if the right opportunity came along. To get their attention, you’ll need to let everyone know that you are recruiting and why they should go and work for you.

    How to get the best tradespeople to work for me for cheap?

    Money is a key factor when taking a job but it’s not the only factor in choosing a job. If you can offer incentives and decent benefits, such as extra holidays or flexible working around children, be a fun, cool place to work and offer training and career development, you will attract the best staff without breaking the bank!

    How to find good tradespeople to work for me?

    They are out there, but good ones are likely to be working for someone else. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t move for a better fit to their life! So, write a sexy ad and job description persuading all readers that your place is the BEST place to work and post that job ad EVERYWHERE.

    How to write a job description for a tradesperson?

    To attract top talent and avoid unsuitable applicants from applying, you’ll need to write a well-documented definition of the role. The candidate needs to know what the role involves and what will be expected of them. Make it personal, tell them about you, your company and who you’re looking for, make it stand out from the crowd…give it a little PIZZAZ!

    Where do I advertise for tradespeople to join my team?

    Firstly, ask your employees, friends, family, old school or college friends, to see if they know of anyone decent who would be interested. Try recruitment agencies, post the job advert online, post it on social media and put up ‘we are hiring’ posters.

    How to interview tradespeople?

    Interview at least 3-5 people to ensure that they have the necessary skills (or are trainable). You’re looking for someone with energy, creativity, and a competitive nature because these types of people make the best teammates, they’ll get the job done and bring some life and comedy to the team!

    How to prepare to interview a tradesperson?

    Do your homework! Read their C.V, plan questions and read between the lines, why did they move from one company to another, what did they achieve at each company? Once you’ve shortlisted… it’s down to you to ask the right questions in an interview!

    How to interview a tradesperson?

    Start by introducing yourself, the business and the role. Next, ask the candidate to tell you a bit about themselves, their experience, get to know about them as a person. Then ask questions to assess suitability for the role, things like “tell me how you would…” Ask a few behavioural questions like tell me about a time you made a mistake at work – follow it up by asking what happened next? End by asking if they have any questions for you. Ask about notice periods, start dates, discuss salary and benefits, and then explain when they’ll hear from you and the next steps.

    How to hire an apprentice?

    To employ an apprentice, you advertise the position as usual and follow the hiring and interview process. Still, once you’ve found someone, you’ll need to enrol them on an apprenticeship scheme!

    Is it ok to ask a Tradesperson to do a trial job?

    Of course, if you’re recruiting for a manual job, you’ll want to see their skills in action; it doesn’t need to be a full day just a few paid hours so you can get a feel for them.

    What do I do if I can’t find someone to fill my job?

    Follow the steps in this article. If you don’t find them the first time, keep looking. Be sure that your job description explains that your company is a great place to work and that you offer attractive benefits. Good staff won’t move for just any job, it needs to be a great job…so make your job description GREAT.

    Should I get references when hiring a tradesperson?

    Yes, and make any job offer subject to references.

    How do I grow a team of tradespeople?

    Decide who you need and how often you need them. Create a winning job advertisement to attract the best local talent to your team. You’ll then need to post that job ad EVERYWHERE online, locally and potentially use recruiters. Next, you’ll have to give them a proper induction.

    How to make recruiting for tradesmen easier?

    Make it easy to apply. Ask candidates to email you a copy of their CV. Start by checking qualifications and experience to determine if they have what you need. Next, look for personality traits to help you whittle it down further. If you still have a load of applicants, telephone interview them before the meeting in person.

    How to get good employees to work for me?

    Be a great place to work, work hard but be organised and have fun as a team. Offer training and development to entice the best staff to work for you.


Author

Antonia Mougkopetrou

After a successful internship with Get Work, Antonia is now a fully fledged member of the team. She is passionate about social media and creative writing and has archived more than half a million words online to date!
Sources
  1. Glassdoor (2020) The Harris Poll, a Survey. - https://www.glassdoor.com/employers/resources/hr-and-recruiting-stats/
  2. Totaljobs (2018). Two in three workers quit due to a lack of learning and development opportunities. - http://press.totaljobs.com/release/
  3. Harvard Business Review (2012). The New Science of Building Great Teams. - https://hbr.org/2012/04/the-new-science-of-building-great-teams

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