Bradley Kimberlin, Columnists, V4I6

Finding Good Help

The phone rings, interrupting your work. You take a deep breath and answer. It’s a sales guy, wondering when customer Smith’s shed is going to be ready. 

You check the sale date—it’s already been three weeks. You frown—that should have been done by now. 

That’s the fourth building this week that is overdue. You head out to the shop floor to find the foreman and see what’s happening. Once you find him, you ask why these buildings aren’t getting finished. 

“I need more guys!” he answers. “I’m already pushing them to work 12-hour days, and we aren’t keeping up.” 

Sighing, you ask when it can be done. This has become the theme the last few weeks: not enough help. It seems like you work so hard to grow your business and provide quality sheds, but finding dependable help to keep up with your growth is hard.

Sound familiar? While we can fret about “those millennials” or that “they don’t make ’em like they used to,” it’s more productive to have some actionable ways to find good, dependable, quality workers.


This may seem simple, but it can be effective. Typically, if someone enjoys their job and is good at what they do, they know someone else like them that they can refer. If you have good workers, this is especially powerful, since they know what the job entails and don’t like working with someone who will slow them down. 

Asking your current workforce for referrals can be scary. What if they are protective of their work and don’t want to spread it out? It’s important to ask correctly. Make sure the current employees know you aren’t trying to replace them, but rather, adding to the team to continue growing. 

Maybe let them know that the current build times are hurting your sales, thereby also potentially hurting their job. (Important: if you are wanting to replace some low-producing workers on your team, don’t ask them for referrals. Not only is their friend group probably like them, it’s not considerate of them.)


This is more than just paying well. Does your compensation plan make sense, and can you provide real numbers of pay potential? 

I know it is somewhat popular in our conservative circles to have each worker be a small percentage owner and this is a thrifty way to do business, but it may not make sense to someone outside of your immediate circle of influence. Consider what offering things such as vacation pay, sick pay, or other benefits could do to attract workers outside of your current pool of candidates.


I wrote about this last month, but I want to repeat it because I think it is important. Not only does it give your employees a sense of worth and belonging to be involved in community projects, it increases awareness of your company in your local area and may attract workers. 

Are you the business of choice for employment, or are you the place everyone who can’t get a job elsewhere goes to? The choice is up to you. If you’re not one of the choice places for a job, look at who is and ask yourself what they are doing differently that you aren’t.


I was at a business recently that was bemoaning the fact that they needed more workers and couldn’t find any, so I asked them if they had a job posted. 

“Well no,” they responded. “Too many people apply that don’t qualify. We’d rather people come in that qualify to ask if we are hiring.” 

I was stunned—how do people know you are hiring if you don’t advertise? Remember, the good workers already have a job. You must attract them away from their current place of employment. If someone is out job seeking, there may be a reason why, and that reason may be why you don’t want them.

You can post jobs on or Facebook for free. Sure, you may get a lot of responses that don’t qualify but waiting until someone finds you is a lot slower and unlikely.


Keeping your current workforce limits the number of workers you need to find. You may think you are doing this, but if you’ve lost any workers over the past year, take the time to ask yourself why and honestly answer the question. Hint: it’s not their pay. 

The No. 1 reason that Balance Careers has found employees quit their jobs is the relationship with the boss. Other reasons include they are bored with the work, there’s a lack of accountability for autonomy and independence, and the lack of meaningfulness of the job.

(Take a look at the sidebar for the Top 10 reasons from

While the reasons may differ for employees that leave your company, my guess is it has more to do with how well they find meaning in their job, are appreciated, and connect to a greater cause than anything else. 

Also, working on finding out why your employees leave and trying to change those things will do the most for attracting new employees and becoming the workplace of choice in your local community.

Until next time, Be Excellent!                                    


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