How do you find good employees?

Coppersmith

Senior Member
Location
Tampa, FL, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I have no idea. Back when I looked for (non-electrical) jobs, I looked in the want ads, or stopped by stores to ask to fill out aps. After college, I sent out resumés. I joined the union so I've never had to go looking for an electrical job other than showing up at the hall for a job call. How do good electricians look for jobs? Where do I find them?

I need service truck electricians. Those are the unicorns of the electrical trade. They have to be smart electrically, customer centric, look good and smell good, have a good, safe driving record, be efficient, manage time well, and good with paperwork. I'm willing to pay what they are worth. I just can't find them. Unfortunately, the union can't supply these people. They just don't have them. I can hire outside the union and bring them in.
 
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James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
You're right that the union doesn't have them.
But they really can't be found outside the union, either.

When a guy gets to be that good, and he can handle customers, he's usually looking to go out on his own

I ran a service truck for one company I worked for back in '05- '07. They took the phone call, passed the info on to me and I handled everything from there. The only reason I was available to him was that I had tried working for myself from '01 until '05 doing remodel work, and I just needed to get away from doing my own thing for a bit.

Seems to me the best service guys I've seen were moved to that position from within.

But I'm sure some others will have differing opinions
 

Coppersmith

Senior Member
Location
Tampa, FL, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I started my union apprenticeship at 46 and knew almost immediately I wanted to start my own company. I had plenty of business experience, and enough money to start the company. I would supply that. All I needed was an experienced journeyman or woman to go get the license and we could partner. I asked practically every j-person I ran into on my jobs and nobody wanted to go take the test. So while I agree with you that a good service truck tech could easily form his/her own company, getting the license appears to be a big barrier to entry.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
I started my union apprenticeship at 46 and knew almost immediately I wanted to start my own company. I had plenty of business experience, and enough money to start the company. I would supply that. All I needed was an experienced journeyman or woman to go get the license and we could partner. I asked practically every j-person I ran into on my jobs and nobody wanted to go take the test. So while I agree with you that a good service truck tech could easily form his/her own company, getting the license appears to be a big barrier to entry.
So what are all those j-bods doing now? If they were good enough for you to ask then, aren't they likely good enough now, since you have the license?
 

Coppersmith

Senior Member
Location
Tampa, FL, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
So what are all those j-bods doing now? If they were good enough for you to ask then, aren't they likely good enough now, since you have the license?
Well first off, it's been 15 years since I asked those questions. The people I asked are now 15 years older. Whenever I run into someone I've worked with that I think would be a good fit, I ask them if they would be interested in a job. I always hear "I'm too old to be crawling through attics." So I really need to be targeting the younger electricians.

Secondly, now that I have experience running an EC company, I know that I need a very special kind of person to be a service truck electrician. I stated those requirements above. The people who qualify and are available are exceedingly rare. If you know where I can find them, let me know.
 
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infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
I agree with the statement that great service truck personnel will eventually want to be their own boss but not everyone wants to be the sole owner of a company. If you do find that one great talented person you might have to cut them in on a piece of the action. This helps to ensure that they're going to stay and that the harder they work the more money they can make.

Years ago when I was in college I installed fences during the summer. The fence company had a talented, hardworking guy named Dave. He could have easily made it on his own and the owner knew this. So instead of watching Dave become his competition he gave him a slice of the pie and everyone was happy.
 

WasGSOHM

Senior Member
Location
Montgomery County MD
Occupation
EE
There may be no solution.

If 1/3 are honest and 1/3 are competent, your odds of finding someone is 1/9. Assuming they want the job.

The Big Box people ask "Have you ever been fired."
Unless you're 18 the answer is probably "Yes." The question is a lie detector.

And psych tests have an "L" scale. If this score is elevated the test takers throw out the results.
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
Chances are you are wrong about paying them enough. If you were paying enough you would get plenty of recruits.
Absolutely. Plenty of recruits who have become masters of talking themselves up and overselling their abilities. A bunch of freaking liars who need to be whipped with a leather strap
 

WasGSOHM

Senior Member
Location
Montgomery County MD
Occupation
EE
The percentage of crooks, liars and con men in the general population may be constant.
You're looking for that small fraction who aren't any of the above.
If you find them somehow, it could be luck or skill or intuition or experience.

Watch their body language.
Showing open palms is saying "You can trust me." Don't.
Looking to the left supposedly means lying.
Sleep on how the interview went, see what comes up in the morning.
Have someone else sit in on the interview. Women are probably better at body language, they have to be.
 

ActionDave

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Durango, CO, 10 h 20 min without traffic from wing
Occupation
wire pulling grunt
The percentage of crooks, liars and con men in the general population may be constant.
You're looking for that small fraction who aren't any of the above.
If you find them somehow, it could be luck or skill or intuition or experience.

Watch their body language.
Showing open palms is saying "You can trust me." Don't.
Looking to the left supposedly means lying.
Sleep on how the interview went, see what comes up in the morning.
Have someone else sit in on the interview. Women are probably better at body language, they have to be.
He's looking for people to interview not help with his interviewing technique.
 

ActionDave

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Durango, CO, 10 h 20 min without traffic from wing
Occupation
wire pulling grunt
...... How do good electricians look for jobs? Where do I find them?
I always thought hanging around the supply house on Friday mornings when they have doughnuts was a good way to find out what was going on in the electrical community. If you see someone that looks like a good prospect you could strike up a conversation.
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
I don't know what you are trying to say here. If it was an attempt at humor it fell short.
Not an attempt at humor, just honest.
I've tried paying good money (non union) and have found nothing but liars. People who have all the experience on paper, and talk big talk about how they do good work, and come out and lay an egg.

Here's one from a Master electrician who wanted $40.00 per hour. This clown cost me a $10,000 job because he tore up all kinds of crap in a house. My next job was friends of theirs, and they canceled
 

Attachments

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
Not an attempt at humor, just honest.
I've tried paying good money (non union) and have found nothing but liars. People who have all the experience on paper, and talk big talk about how they do good work, and come out and lay an egg.

Here's one from a Master electrician who wanted $40.00 per hour. This clown cost me a $10,000 job because he tore up all kinds of crap in a house. My next job was friends of theirs, and they canceled
Man that is some hack work. :oops:
 

Coppersmith

Senior Member
Location
Tampa, FL, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I don't think that's true based on other threads by the OP he is paying union scale which ought to be pretty good.
This is true. And as of November, I'm required to pay all people who work on their own in a truck the foreman rate which is 10% more than the j-man rate. They get health care, vacation pay, and pension contributions too.

Paying them good is no guarantee of quality however. Usually new guys are on their best behavior for a little while before their true nature comes out. I have never had a keeper. Some guys get laid off within the week. The last one lasted two months. Among his highlights are he crashed his service truck into mine, and I had to go back and fix six jobs he did.

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Are their some jobs websites that electricians use now?
 
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