Building Products HIRING EXPERTS

Where You've Seen Us

How to Ease the Pain of Firing an Employee

When it comes to “most dreaded things,” firing an employee likely ranks at the top of your list alongside talking to opinionated relatives at holidays and filing your tax returns. I can’t help you with your family or tax liability, but I can tell you how to make firing someone less painful. Read More…

It’s Not You, It’s Me — Management Version

Management of employees is one of the most difficult parts of any leadership position. Even I’ve found myself let down from time to time. But sometimes it’s not them — it’s us. Leaders don’t often see themselves as having a role in the poor performance of their employees; however, it’s important to remember that this is a two-way street. Read More…

How to Use Data to Set Goals for Sales Reps

Managing a sales rep or a team of sales reps can be very different than managing almost any other employee. After all, a sales rep’s position by nature is fluid and ever-changing. But that’s no excuse—it’s still important to provide a certain level of structured goals for sales reps that will enable them to achieve personal goals and in turn contribute to larger company targets. Read More…

Does Your Compensation Measure Up?

It’s the eternal question for most companies, LBM or otherwise: How does your compensation measure up? And it’s an important one to ask. One of the biggest challenges facing LBM dealers today is finding good team members. Much of the workforce is aging out, and it’s been difficult attracting younger workers to the industry. Read More…

When Is It Time to Bring in a Professional Recruiter?

A lot of lumber dealers shy away from the idea of hiring a professional recruiter, namely because of the cost involved (see below). But a professional recruiter can offer a number of advantages, including a vast network of potential candidates to pull from, that can ease the burden of a tough hire and get you back to your regular job. If you find yourself with a position that’s tough to fill or that has had high turnover due to poor hires, it might be time to call in the pros. Read More…

Eight Things to Look for When Hiring a Sales Manager

Having an amazing sales force is one of the most important aspects of an LBM company. With the amount of competition out there, it’s crucial to set yourself apart as the leading supplier in your markets. And one of the best ways to achieve this is by having a sales team that is second-to-none. Great sales representatives are a part of creating a crack sales team, but even more important is having a proven leader—a great sales manager. Read More…

The Surprising Cost of Under-Performing Managers

Hiring is hard. Dealing with under-performing employees is exhausting. Firing is stressful. So, you’re often tempted to take the easy path. This might mean giving up on finding anyone better and just hiring the best who applied. Or blaming yourself or a lack of resources for an employee who fails to deliver. Or postponing termination in the hopes that the employee will improve, or out of fear you won’t find someone who can do better. Read More…

Hate Networking Events? Here’s How to Make Small Talk Work for You

Few employers enjoy networking. You might envision business card pushers or folks who won’t take no for an answer. But if you’re looking to grow your team or your business, you have to learn to embrace networking.  Read More…

The Secret Recruiting Weapon You Have but Don’t Use

Do you wish you had a small army of people who were talking about you and your business and how great it is? Do you wish that when people have great customer service they’d tell the person providing that service that they belong at a great company like yours and should apply? Sounds dreamy, right?  Read More…

How to Build a Talent Funnel

We talk a lot in this column about hiring—where to place your ad, how to write it, etc. But what if you could actually cut back on the amount of publicity you need to do for each and every position? Building out a long-term talent funnel is one way to have potential qualified candidates at the ready.  Read More…

Eight Places to Look for Hourly Workers

As I moderated panel at the LBM Strategies Conference last September, I noticed a common theme among dealers in the audience: Finding yard workers and other hourly staffers is becoming a giant pain in the butt.  Just like builders and remodelers, the labor crunch is hitting lumberyards hard.  Read More…

How to Get over Your Fear of Firing Employees

To put it bluntly: Firing people sucks. I didn’t always think this way. Early in my career, when I worked for a large regional specialty store as a department manager and then as HR manager, part of my job was to terminate people. It was mildly uncomfortable, but they had gotten their warnings—they should have known not to do it again. In my early career, I probably fired a dozen people. I didn’t lose a ton of sleep over it and didn’t think it was all that challenging. Read More…

Setting Your New Hire up for Success

The day has finally arrived. You placed the perfect ad. Interviewed ideal candidates. Extended an offer to the best prospect. After negotiations, they’ve accepted your offer. And today is their first day at your company. Read More…

How to Extend a Job Offer

It’s finally time. You’ve done your interviews, you’ve done your due diligence, and you’re ready to extend an offer. Now all that’s left is getting to “Yes!” Here are some things to keep in mind. Read More…

How to Leverage Social Media to Promote Your Job Opening

You’ve written the best job description. You’ve crafted a great job ad. Now how do you make sure it all gets seen? First and foremost, choose your platforms wisely and spread the wealth. Read More…

The NKBA List: 5 Ways to Network and Recruit Top Talent at KBIS

In the tight labor market — or any labor market, for that matter — it’s crucial to always be on the hunt for future good employees. Even if your company doesn’t currently have any open positions, having a store of potentially awesome team members, perhaps those who are superstars at their current jobs, means you’ll have more options when the time comes, and you can be proactive, rather than reactive and starting from scratch each time. Read More…

The NKBA List: Four Ways to Network Like a Recruiter

When you hear the word “networking,” what do you envision? A room full of people awkwardly making small-talk and that same sales rep pestering you about your phone system — again? Read More…

Three Key Elements of a Great Job Ad

You can’t find the perfect new employee if you can’t get them in the door for an interview. And getting them in the door means writing a job ad that stands out and makes people want to work for your company. Read More…

Good Hires Start With a Well-Written Job Description

As I wrote in my last column, hiring good people requires approaching the process with clarity. And a key component of that clarity is writing a thorough, effective job description, one that’s clear on the goals and objectives of the position. Read More…

How to Tell If Your New Building Products Sales Rep Will Succeed or Fail

Every sales manager dreams of the pull-and-plug hire. You know, the one in which you pluck a top building products sales rep from your competition, and plug them (and their huge book of business) into your operation. Unfortunately, pull-and-plugs are fairly rare due to the simple fact that they are often happy at their current job. Read More…

Stop Hiring People Who Disappoint You

A bad hire is more than just frustrating — it’s costly. Bringing in an employee who turns out to be a poor fit will cost your company in unnecessary payroll, wasted time, and possibly even unhappy customers. Read More…

Well This Is Awkward: How to Talk About Money

The one thing that almost all hiring managers dread is the “money conversation.” It’s awkward, and it certainly isn’t dinner party small talk. Money isn’t the only reason people decide to accept a job offer, but it’s a huge part of nearly every candidate’s decision, so it’s worth figuring out how to address it in a way that feels more comfortable and positions you to extend a job offer that gets a resounding yes. Read More…

Digging Deeper with Behavioral and Situational Interview Questions

Last month we explored the early parts of the interview process—the questions for the first (preferably phone) interview that help you understand a candidate’s basic skills and knowledge. These functional-style questions help you narrow the field by eliminating those candidates who don’t possess the necessary experience for the job or simply aren’t the right fit for the company. Read More…

Beyond Strengths and Weaknesses

Successful hiring managers have mastered the art of determining candidates’ “hot points” and using that information to both determine if they are the right fit for the company and to position the job to make it appealing to them. And that starts with knowing the right interview questions to ask. My three favorite questions are surprisingly simple, but you will learn a tremendous amount. Read More…

Five Steps to Hire Better (and to Stop Wasting Time)

LET'S FACE IT: For most hiring managers, interviewing feels more like luck than a skill. It's easy to get fooled by a smooth talker or get so caught up in selling your organization or opportunity that you forget to dig deep into the candidates experience. Here are five steps to making the interview process fool-proof and productive. Read More…

Firing by Tweet Works for Trump, but It Would Be an HR Nightmare Anywhere Else

In President Trump's White House, getting the ax over social media is a very real possibility. After all, what’s off limits when the secretary of State’s ouster is announced via the @realdonaldtrump feed? Read More…

Having trouble finding great job applicants? It might be you

Are you struggling to find great hires? Are the applicants crossing your desk less than stellar? Sure, it’s easy to blame the tight labor market, and that certainly may be part of the reason. But it may also be you (or your company, at least). Read More…

How To Use Social Media To Recruit Top Talent

Social media doesn’t just have to be about oversharing vacation pictures or even publicizing an upcoming event at your business. It also offers us new ways to connect and new pathways to meet others. As such, social media platforms offer an effective tool to reach qualified candidates. Read More…

Signs Your Job Ad Stinks - And How To Make It Better

Job ads have been a staple for as long as companies have existed. It started with hanging a sign in the window (“Inquire Within”), then moved on to newspaper classifieds, then to online job boards, and, of course, social media… But just because you post a job ad doesn’t mean you’re going to get the results you want. Read More…

7 Clues Your Recruitment Process Isn’t Working

In a perfect world every time you had a job opening, filling it would be as simple as placing a hand-lettered ‘Help wanted’ sign in the window.In this fantasy, you’d receive the exact right amount of applicants – not so many that you feel overwhelmed, not so few that you feel like you’re settling. Read More…

Great Hires Start With Clarity

Poor hires cost your business: lost payroll, wasted training (and wasted time as others cover), errors and mistakes, dissatisfied customers, to mention just a few. But despite popular thinking, combatting bad hires doesn’t start when you’re face-to-face with a potential recruit. It begins with upfront planning, a process that I call “Getting Clear.” Read More…

For your next employee, look beyond "Pale, Stale, and Male"

Better your business by trying one of these four ways to break the LBM hiring mold. Read More…

The Three Stages of Successful Hiring

Few things can change the trajectory of your LBM business more than figuring out how to find, hire, and keep great people. Bad hires can damage (if not destroy) customer relationships, your reputation, your market share, and your profitability. Great hires can deliver new customers, improve existing relationships, enhance your reputation, increase your market share, and deliver ROI and profitability—all while requiring less time and effort to manage. Read More…

Got fewer than 50 employees? Avoid using a headhunter

The unemployment rate in the United States reached 4.3% in the last unemployment report. It is the lowest it’s been in 16 years. For small businesses, hiring people with the necessary experience has only gotten more challenging. Read More…

How To Find and Hire The Right People Every Time

One in three small businesses have unfilled job openings due to a lack of qualified applicants, and 43% of small businesses say their growth is impeded because of this shortage. That's a loss of millions of dollars and huge, unimaginable amounts of stress that small business owners face. Read More…

6 Unlikely Places to Find Your Next Great Employee

We all know about the major talent sources: job boards, social media, employee referral programs, etc., etc. But what about the lesser-known talent sources, the places most of us would never think to look? Tell us about the most unlikely places (and ways) in which you’ve found a candidate who went on to become a great member of your team! Read More…

IS IT TIME TO WORK WITH A RECRUITER?

Anyone who’s ever had to take on the tough job of hiring new talent in the building products industry has no doubt DREAMED of handing it off to a recruiter. This quick 10-question quiz will help you understand how to make the most of your hiring process — and grant you access to tons of free trainings, tools, and more! It only takes 5 minutes and delivers a ton of tips along the way! Win/win!