Video Transcript:

Hey Mike Callahan here with a quick video, got me thinking here with a lot of snow on the ground coming down in upstate New York here is, is your virtual hiring bench frozen? What I mean by this and what got me thinking about this is a lot of local contractors that I’m friends with are posting on their personal and business Facebook pages believe it or not looking for employees to help them out in the latest storm. Whether it’s lawncare, home cleaning or snow plowing one thing that we always talk about is stacking the bench it was a lawn care millionaire video that I did with Jonathan Patashnik of the Lawn Care Millionaire probably four or five years ago before SA3 and Jonathan I talked about the bottlenecks of growing your business and one of the biggest ones is labor but it counts for about sixty percent of the cost. One of the things that Jonathan I talked about was stacking that bencher or as Jonathan calls it the virtual bench but I use the analogy of a sports team we want to go out and stack the guys and girls on the bench so if they’re not producing on the field we have people on the bench that can replace them that are qualified trained and in shape and ready to go and know your systems or plays in the field so when we stop doing that including in my business that’s when we get in trouble. The last thing you want to do is go out in the middle of a snowstorm and start posting on Facebook are people ready or available to help plow snow they’ve never plowed before they probably have no idea how to run your equipment even if they’ve run different equipment and the last thing you want to do is throw a rookie in any type of job in the service industry whether it’s lawn care, home cleaning, especially snow removal just given the dangers of that. The way we tackle that and the way we’ve tackled that in both of my businesses we’re going into creating this bench like a sports team just like the analogy I highlighted but how we’re doing this we’re going out and recruiting once twice a week even three times a week for every position in the business including the owner in my opinion that’s how I found my replacement in Callahan’s Lawn Care. This might sound like wow I don’t have enough time there’s no way I could spend one, two or even three days or even an hour a week recruiting so it doesn’t have to be in person it should be in my opinion eventually as you scale into it but what we want to do is create a process through interviewing hopefully in Spanish and English, Spanish is probably to be more of a street Spanish Play is what we’d recommend right now for better traction and conversion so have an online application that’s constantly out there on your Facebook, Indeed, Craigslist you give the link to your existing employees and let them fill that out as well and what we’re gonna do is create a couple virtual hoops to make sure we’re getting someone who’s qualified and actually interested in the job itself. In upstate New York With recent laws if you apply for so many applications you got to certain point in the process New York State would grant continued unemployment so a lot of people would be filling out these applications just to continue their unemployment obviously a complete waste of time so you want to create some virtual Hoopsin that application process so let’s just say Joe gets through the application process now we’re gonna go in and remind him the week before and the day before via text where to show up when to show up whether it’s in person or online and give him the ability to text us back or email us back letting him know he’s not gonna show up believe it or not some of these folks were signing up for interviews to get to that point for their unemployment but did have the courtesy to actually text back and say hey you know what I’m not gonna make it to the interview so that allow us to reschedule those bookings the other thing we did is we actually had Christine my office pre ranked them as an A B and C with reviewers comments so that allowed the interviewer whether it’s in phone in person to know what they’re getting into and we started to take that application pipeline and limitit to the A and B application so we presorted them. When we actually got some to the physical interview on the phone or in person we had a standardized set of questions four or five questions we asked every applicant and the reason that we did this is we wanted to create an interview process that didn’t have biases in it and the interviewer can rank them A B and C with any of your comments and we created a searchable database and this virtual labor pool or bench as we use the analogy of a sports team allowed us to go in and not hire the first individual through the door with a pulse or sometimes half a pulse or in the middle of a snowstorm to do this. So we had a searchable database that was qualified and ready to go and some people ask well what if we don’t hire them immediately that’s fine we want to be pretty transparent about it after we talked them after the interview but if let’s say we don’t hire Joe it’s been a few weeks or a few months and we call him back maybe he’s at the shop down the street they’re having cash flow problems they can’t pay him on time maybe the pain of cash money under the table and it’s not the professional organization that he wanted to work with hopefully through a little nurture we’re still staying in contact with Joe so when the time’s right we can contact Joe and hopefully get him on our bench. The main things that we see in a lot of the lawn care businesses and home cleaning is there are seasonal spikes of influx in and out in our businesses so what we saw in upstate New York was I can go back probably the last seven or eight years and literally tell you within a two-week span that we either fired someone or someone quite literally the first week ofApril the Memorial Day weekend July 4th weekend within two weeks either way the week of August 18th and the last week of October there was some other stats Idon’t know I’m off top my head but I will tell you those for sure in upstate New York within two-week period either way we had either fired someone or someone had quit each and every time so traditionally we’d go out and recruit Monday and Wednesdays for all the positions in the business before a week or so before those spikes where we knew traditionally we were gonna lose somebody we would ramp that up to Monday Wednesday and Friday so we’re constantly casting that digital net as we do with our online marketing for our clients we’re casting that net for online applicants and continuing to build that bench just like a sports team so we’ve got people trained and ready to go and I don’t want to leave out the importance especially if you’re in the snow belt right here itis hard to retain seasonal employees especially if it’s not snowing now this year we’ve got well above the average and snow and it’s probably not an issue but actually it probably still is because I’m seeing at least three local companies right now begging for people to work today and this was predicted the way we tackled that at Callahan’s is we went out and not only created a bench for employees but we created a bench for qualified subcontractors that knew our systems and were ready I’m not gonna sugar-coat it we paid through the nose for these individuals significantly more than we would have if we had them working as subcontractors throughout the year but they were our virtual bench of subcontractors for no-show employees breakdowns and for big massive storms so we were getting 18 17 inches of snow in 10 to 12 hours we would call these individuals up and literally double up on our commercial plow routes and our subs would take half the route in our internal crews would take half the route but it was also great for being able to swap out some of our internal employees far as the amount of time on the road because some of these events as you well known in the snow industry can last up to 32 or 36 hours I think my record was about 36 hours straight one time covering the crews and getting them some breaks not healthy not safe so in order to create a safe working environment we brought in these subcontractors and some additional trained people on our bench to sub out some of our employees that needed a break for safety. The idea of the analogy here is is your virtual bench or is your hiring frozen we need to go out and create that bench like a sports team or Jonathan Patashnik of the Lawn Care Millionaire calls it a virtual bench same exact thing pretty much the same approach we need to go out and constantly be recruiting and as I found the gentleman who ran Callahan’s lawn care I found him probably about a year and a half to almost two years before I actually needed him but when you’re looking for what you need in your business when you need it it’s too late but if you have an organizational chart without names on it but skill sets and expectations of what they’re going to be doing when that individual walks in your office or comes on the phone you will find them and if it’s within the budget you may want to work them in because to find a high-level individual to run your finances or run your entire business it’s hard to come by nowadays especially with the labor market so we need to be out constantly recruiting for every position and it keeps your employees on their toes so occasionally I would come down to the shop and like well guys I got a full day of interviews today and they’d be looking around going well we’re fully staffed what’s going on we didn’t want to threatened them that we didn’t want them to get basically pompous and lazy and know that they had job secured they still needed to produce production rates that we produce with budgeted time to the quality constraint otherwise we had a bunch of applicants that could go out and replace them. I Want to say what’s up to Thomas, David, Jim, Matthew, Austin, Michelle from Pink Callers whatsapp. Any comments questions about how do you stack your virtual bench or are you midseason right now going into the winter and your bench is frozen? That’s where we get in trouble every time at Callahans we stopped recruiting and we didn’t have that bench stacked and myself or someone on the management team would get sucked back on a truck and that’s when issues happen and I’ve always been in the firm belief of either coach up or coach out we are slow to hire but quick to fire and every time I was slow to fire if I couldn’t coach them up that’s when things happen accidents, no calls, service issues so don’t make the same mistake that I did in some of the earlier years where I literally would say well we can’t live without this individual especially in the snow season those are the individuals that ended up getting an accident not showing up causing a service concerns having us to call subcontractors in it two or almost three times their normal rate to cover those routes. Go out don’t have a frozen bench constantly recruit keep your eternal staff on their toes let them know that it’s a fluid thing and they have a solid job but if they aren’t producing in doing what they should be doing we’re recruiting and we’re not gonna leave them out to dry especially all night and a plow run covering two or three routes when people don’t show we’re stacking a bench to protect them as well and building a team of credibility and predictable systems. Comments or question drop them below appreciate everybody watching and stay warm out there especially if you’re in the Northeast because another three to six tonight and it’s coming down boys and girls