Finding good employees is one of the most important aspects of building a successful roofing business. However, many contractors struggle when it comes to hiring a roofing crew. Roofing companies compete with other contractors for skilled labor. Plus, young people who would have become roofers in the past are choosing other careers, or going to college after high school. So, when roofers retire, there are fewer workers to fill their shoes.
The demand for roofing services is consistent year-over-year, yet the lack of workers entering the field, combined with retirements, creates a labor gap. Roofing companies will need to hire some 15,000 roofers a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Competitive roofing companies make recruiting a top priority. They use a combination of digital marketing and referrals to attract new workers. Plus, they get support from human resources and marketing professionals.
Six Tips for Hiring the Right Roofing Crew
Successful roofing businesses think through every aspect of recruiting, from advertising to interviews. Treat your recruiting marketing like you do marketing for your business: Create a plan with your target audience in mind. Most roofing crew hires want to work outdoors, and have stamina, strength, and good balance. They also are not afraid of heights. They are busy people with families and hobbies. You need to meet them where they are, then close the deal with productive interviews. Follow these six steps to hire the right roofing crew:
1. Encourage Word-of-Mouth Advertising
Your employees probably have friends who would consider applying to a position on your roofing crew. After placing the job description on your website, share the link with employees and ask them to share it. Encourage them to do so by offering an incentive for referrals.
2. Use Job Boards Wisely
The cost of posting on job boards like Indeed and Monster can add up quickly. Try a more targeted approach by posting your positions on a hiring platform for the roofing industry, rooferjobs.com, or constructionjobs.com. Many successful roofing business owners say the quality of candidates is better from these sites.
3. Tell Your Story on Social Media
Good employees want to work for a company that treats its employees right, so give candidates a look at your company culture. Ask a current employee to speak in a short video showing a day in the life of a roofing crew member. Post consistently with short videos about your employees—the people who will be new hires teammates.
When you post on your social media pages regularly, you show anyone who intentionally looks at your page that your company is active on social media, while they learn more about you. However, you will not reach new audiences unless you place an ad on social media. Many roofing businesses hire marketing agencies to help with their social media. Honest Abe Roofing Franchise owners receive advice about social media from our marketing team.
4. Grow Your Own Candidates
Create a pipeline for future hires by educating high school students about the roofing profession. Some roofing recruiters find out where their best employee prospects go in their time off and approach them there. Others contact their local school district’s career and technical education center about taking on apprentices or offering co-op work opportunities. High-quality training programs are critical to solving the nation’s labor shortage.
5. Simplify Your Application
Hiring a roofing crew takes more than smart advertising. When candidates find out about your opening and decide they are interested, make it easy for them to apply. Most will be applying on their mobile devices. Having a simple, short, and mobile friendly application is critical because, on average, 53% of candidates applying for jobs on their mobile devices successfully complete their applications.
6. Ask the Right Interview Questions
Follow up a short application with detailed questions during interviews with candidates. Ask questions designed to provide insight into their knowledge and skills. You might ask how they would tackle a challenging project or handle a difficult situation with a client. Assess their personality to see if they will be a good employee for your roofing crew.
What it Takes to Keep Good Employees in the Roofing Business
Once you hire new employees, put just as much effort into retaining them as you did into recruiting. Otherwise, there is a good chance another roofing company will lure them away. Save yourself the cost of recruiting new employees with these best practices:
Help new team members feel like they are part of the team from Day One. This may include a night out together, going to a baseball game, or just talking with them over lunch.
Give positive feedback on-the-spot. Recognize when teams have done a job well.
Schedule one-on-one meetings for more lengthy feedback and goal-setting.
Encourage them to make suggestions and offer solutions.
Train employees and show them opportunities for advancement.
Reward them both with raises and with other items such as branded clothing, water bottles, or gift cards.
The return on investment for employee retention efforts pays off in quality work, happier customers, and savings in your recruiting budget.
Get Help With Hiring for a More Successful Roofing Business
Hiring a roofing crew is one of many important aspects of starting a new roofing business. Ensure your launch is successful by tapping into the resources of Honest Abe Roofing Franchise. We have developed a successful franchise business model based on four fundamental pillars: marketing, sales, human resources, and construction management. Contact us today to start a conversation about your dream of owning a roofing business.