Its gotten to the point where I am unable to keep up with the damand. It is time I hire some mechanics to run some jobs of mine. I am however nervous about doing so. I mean I send them to a job working under my license. I dont always know what they are going tobe doing. How can I rest properly knowing they may of done something wrong?! I guess my question to those out there already in this posistion. How did you know the time was right to hire mechanics to run your jobs? and more importantly how do you know what they are doing meets your standards?! I mean to say a disgruntal employee can cost you thousands in some cases millions not to mention your license..
Start out slow. One man at a time. If you can hire by word of mouth reference, you're 9 times out 10 better off. If not check references close and hire one man at a time. Then keep close watch on him and talk a lot about different things. You can learn a lot about a person just by listening to him talk. You're still going to have work alot until you can get enough to men to keep up. Still stay in the field if nothing else just to check on jobs and crew. I didn't have to check on all my crews when I had several but there were a couple I had to keep on their toes by just driving by. Good Luck.
[This message has been edited by smurf (edited 04-07-2002).]
I think the most important thing is making your expectations clear--quality of work, productivity, customer relations, safety.
The best way to do this is have an "employee handbook". Big pain to put together the first time, then takes time to keep up to date.
The methods and quality of work can be based on the National Electrical Installation Standards (published by NECA). Productivity expectations can be based on the cost estimating books or your own man-hour figures for a specific kid of job. Safety is a biggie, as an employer, in the law's eye you are responsible for the employee's safety; this means that you have to tell the employee what safety practices they must use when they're working for you, and the consequences if they don't (warning, time off w/o pay, firing).
It'd be ideal if everyone was on the same wavelength on productivity, quality, and safety. If you're lucky, you'll find someone who is in sync with you. Then having all your expectations put down in writing seems like overkill. But some states require written safety procedures for any company with empolyees. You can buy packaged "safety handbooks" for general office setting, don't know if anyone has one for electrical contractong business.
It's easy to see why so many guys run one-man shows. Good to hear you're busy, best of luck finding a good worker or two.
p.s. One thing you can do to protect yourself is set a zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol on the job. CP
Good luck! Finding good help is the hardest part of my job. They can make your company more succesful or give you an ulser. It shouldn't take you but about 45 days to see if they can retain what you have taught them. If they are serious about the trade it will show. Never show them just enough to be dangerous. I always try to show how and why, give them the code reference. Learn their limitations and keep in mind that if they knew as much as you, they would be your competition.