Scaling your painting business requires good employees who arrive on time and produce consistent results. But sometimes even “good” employees fall short.
This brings up a question: How do you hire THE BEST team for your painting company?
Here we will review 7 steps you can implement today to find and hire qualified candidates to fill your open painting positions.
1) Make Sure Your Company Appeals to The Best Painters
Before you focus on hiring someone to handle your painting jobs, we recommend making sure your company appeals to the best painters in your market. After all, you can only hire someone who is interested in your work.
Consider your company culture — Are your employees happy? Do you provide them opportunities for growth? Have you considered team-building exercises?
Quality painting crews often look for businesses that:
Offers training and encourages growth
Takes on jobs that require skill
Employee vs Subcontractor
Before investing the time into recruiting a quality residential or commercial painter it’s important that you’re prepared to hire the right person. Start by considering the kind of jobs you want to target in your local market, your profit margins, and how much you can afford to pay a quality employee. You’ll also want to consider your local labor laws. If you can’t support a full-time employee throughout the year you may be on the hook for unemployment benefits.
Ultimately, if a full-time employee isn’t on the books then you can consider using the subcontractor business model, but there are caveats to consider.
When investing in subcontractors, you can expect around 50% of your revenue to go directly to the contractor. Since they’re not your employees quality control can be difficult to manage, and availability may become an issue for those that are not exclusive to one painting company.
The benefit of using a professional contractor is they typically expect to purchase their own paint for a project, which can save you money on taxes.
For the sake of this article, we will focus entirely on hiring employees for your painting business.
2) Clearly Define The Job Requirements
To find painters for hire, you need to put yourself out there. Creating a well-written description of the work helps you reach the best painters, so take time to carefully design and edit your posting. Include the following information in each post:
Title for the Project
Quality applicants see the title before anything else when looking at work listings. In most cases, detailed titles produce better results. For example, if you want a Crew Leader for your painting team, write that instead of “Painter Wanted.”
Details About the Work
Always provide specific information about what you expect from your prospective painting employees. Consider including:
Include information that may seem obvious to you, such as “We provide all materials and equipment for every project.” Also, be sure you state whether insurance is offered for the position. All of these details will help prequalify any potential candidates so you’re not wasting time sorting through those that may not be interested in what you have to offer.
Sometimes, you need a worker for a single paint job. For example, the painting project may involve applying paint to an accent wall, several walls, a single room, or repainting a door. Including this information – and details on location – helps professional painters know what to expect.
The Skills and Experience You Want
When looking for quality painting contractors, list the experience you want from your ideal candidate. Start with the most important skills first, followed by the experience that may not be as critical to you.
You’ll likely receive a lot of general handymen applicants for these jobs. While they may work well for some projects, experienced painters often have skills that ensure a consistent outcome, especially for specialized projects like cabinet painting.
Takeaway: Clearly define your needs, and don’t settle for second best. Hold out for a “first place” candidate — the right person is out there!
3) Post your Painting Job Online
After you’re happy with your job description it’s time to list it online. Why not the newspaper? Because over 90% of your candidates use their smartphone to browse or research job listings online. We recommend posting to job listing websites like Indeed, CareerBuilder, Craigslist, LinkedIn, and Monster.
Online Job Search Marketshare for Painters
While job posting websites like these are a good starting point, it’s important to blanket your local region using every platform your candidates may be searching on.
Add a “Careers” Section to Your Website
Do you have a professional website for your painting company? If so, add a section that indicates you’re hiring painters. For best results, consider investing in Google Ads with a link directly to your job listing. An advertising budget of $20/day is a good starting place for job recruiting ads.
Post on Social Media
As we have already discussed in another article, social media is an excellent way for you to reach customers, build trust, and show off a finished project. You can also use social media to find new candidates for a job opening. Consider creating an advertising campaign for quick results.
Be sure to vet your candidates on social media as well. You can learn a lot about someone from what they share online!
Asking for Referrals
If you already have a team and need more help, consider asking your current employees if they know anyone else in need of work. They may connect you with skilled painters for hire.
4) Pre-Screen Painters for Hire
You do not need to contact everyone who applies for your painting job. Many individuals only reply to around ten to 20% of the commercial and residential painters who apply for work. You want professionals, so look for painters with experience.
Professional painters may provide you with a list of completed projects they worked on, allowing you to assess the quality of their work. We also recommend that you look for correct spelling and grammar throughout their application.
5) Interview Professional Painters
Once you line up a few options for your painting project, it’s time to begin the interview process. Go into each interview with a plan and a list of questions. Ask all your professional candidates the same questions and avoid getting sidetracked.
You may consider the following interview methods:
Phone and video interviews often seem more convenient than in-person meetings. However, they may not give you the same information about a painting contractor. Face-to-face interviews give you a more personal experience.
During the interview process, keep an eye out for possible red flags, including:
Refusal to make eye contact
Showing up late
Poor hygiene and appearance
Lack of paperwork or experience
During a professional interview, it’s appropriate to ask how the contractor feels about:
Painting a house, apartment, or business
Their experience with detailed work
How many properties they’ve painted
What kind of pay they expect
See if they have photos of past work. If they give you the answers you want, provide information about one job and quote your payments for labor and material. We recommend using the same pay scale for painting a home’s interior or home’s exterior. If they’re still interested then move on to the next step.
6) Check Their Professional References
Finding a quality painter to hire for your projects often requires you to ask for a list of professional references. References may include past clients or employers.
It’s best to trust, but verify the answers your applicant is providing. The best painters can handle various jobs including interior, exterior, and commercial projects. They should have experience working on small and large projects. Ask for references that can verify your applicant’s skillsets, including:
Contact each reference before you hire a painter. Ask how they handle surface preparation, their ability to work in small spaces, and ask for photos of their work.
Ideally, you’re looking for a painter who effectively handles interior and exterior walls, while also having some intangible skillsets such as good communication and a solid work ethic.
7) Selecting the Right Painter
Once you review all the professional painters who applied for your job opening it’s time to decide who to hire. Finding the right person to hire often depends on the kind of job you have. Ask yourself which applicants would do best:
Handling interior/exterior walls, doors, cabinets, and other surfaces
Communicating directly with customers
Handling commercial paint assignments
Growing into a position — It’s always easier to promote from within than hire a new face.
Professional painters, like any other trade, all have various levels of work ethic and technical skills. Hire the tradesperson who best meets your needs to protect your company’s reputation. Save the contact information for those professional painters who interviewed well, you can always contact them again next time you need to hire.
Considerations on Hiring After the Pandemic
You may have put a painting project on hold due to the COVID-19 crisis. Most professional painting contractors found themselves on hold through much of the last two years. However, as restrictions on space ease around the country, painters are once again looking for work.
While you may need to adjust your prices in response to rising material costs due to supply chain issues, there is never a better time to hire and expand than right now.
Want to find qualified candidates without all the legwork? Contact Base Coat Marketing. Our team has years of experience sourcing the best interior and exterior painting crews. We can help you find contractors who fit the bill, and your company’s culture.