How to Hire a Knight in Shining Armor

Hire the right people and your kingdom reigns.

Hire the right knights

Hire someone soon or see your kingdom hurt.

So, you’re the King (owner) of your construction subcontracting business. And you find you’re in need of a few Knights in Shining Armor (skilled tradesmen) to keep your kingdom healthy. Where in the world do you find them?

You know many nearby kingdoms have robust knights in their service and if you’re to compete you must have the same. Yet don’t be fooled, even the large kingdoms are having knight recruitment problems of their own.

Here are the 3 keys to finding your knight

  1. Understand where your kingdom stands
  2. Be sure what your kingdom has to offer
  3. Know which damsel in distress your potential knight seeks

Where your kingdom stands

Whether you’re the new king on the block or a king who has been around for a while there are things about your kingdom which make it unique. What are they?

  • Does your kingdom have great potential for growth which is sure to bring its knights along with it?
  • Have you been around long enough to show your kingdom strength is stability?
  • Are you actively seeking ways to use construction tech to appeal to a generation of knights which is attuned to screens and clicks?
  • Do you have seasoned knights in your kingdom willing to pass on the information and skills they possess?
  • Are you a king whose strength is sharing the kingdom vision?
  • Does your kingdom have knights who know how to have fun and work in harmony?
  • Is your kingdom one where Squires are welcome?

Take time to think through and list all the things about your kingdom (subcontracting business) which make it unique at this point in time. They’re likely to change as your kingdom grows. Yet, for now, what makes the grass greener in your kingdom than the grass of kingdoms nearby?

Tidbit from Medieval Life and Times

“Knighthood training was a long and often arduous process. Knighthood training began in early childhood when a basic education and good manners and rules of etiquette were taught at home. At the age of 7 young boys were sent away to the castles and homes of wealthy lords or relatives to embark on their knighthood training. From the age of seven to fourteen these young boys were given the role of a Medieval Page. From fourteen to twenty-one these ‘apprentice knights’ were referred to as Squires . The different types and styles of Knighthood training depended on the age and strength of the apprentice knights. Knighthood training was focussed (sic) on weapon practise (sic) which included enhancing skills in horsemanship, the two-handed sword, battle axe, mace, dagger and lance.”

What your kingdom has to offer

If you were to have town-criers stand at the gates of your kingdom (and you should) what would you have them say to those who might be seeking a knighthood in your realm? If you can offer all the items in the list below, then by all means have your town-criers (marketing and advertising) call them out loud and clear. Otherwise look for those you can provide and make sure every knight in your realm has opportunity to see what you have to offer.

  • Excellent salary
  • Paid training
  • Life insurance
  • Profit sharing
  • Medical insurance (medical, dental, vision)
  • Kingdom culture (including fun work environment)
  • Opportunities for kingdom advancement
  • Safety practices
  • Bonuses (including sign-on bonus)
  • Paid vacations
  • Kingdom provided cell phones
  • Retirement programs
  • Kingdom outings
  • Food (weekly breakfast, lunches, or other meals “on the king”)
  • Steads (kingdom vehicles)
  • Organized yard
  • Efficient offices
  • Clothing (free kingdom uniforms)
  • Weapons (use of kingdom tools)

Where to have your town-criers stand. Everywhere!

  • Job fairs
  • High schools
  • Tech schools
  • Community colleges
  • Veterans organizations
  • Inmate rehab organizations
  • Job hiring services (use more than one)
  • Your family and friends
  • Through referral bonuses to employees
  • Social media channels
  • Craigslist ads
  • Even newspaper ads

Which damsel in distress?

Every knight who comes your way has a pretty good idea of which damsel in distress he is seeking. (That might change – but hey, for now, the knight has a damsel in mind.) For example, we recently heard of a subcontractor who lost two of his skilled tradesmen to someone who doesn’t offer the high-level of pay they had been receiving from him but has a robust benefits package.

So, while some (many) will indeed look for the bottom-line dollar amount, there are those who will be concerned about other damsels. Therefore, take home pay, benefits, and company culture will play a big part in the decision-making process for potential knights, yet there are other considerations. The best knights will come to your door with certain useful attributes and will welcome the opportunity to use them in the service of your kingdom and for the well-being of their particular damsel. Watch for them.

Among them are:

  • Those who will want to build their skills concerning establishing customer rapport and relations. (Hint: they’re usually friendly and outgoing – they like people.)
  • Others will want to know that they’ll have a job which doesn’t interfere (often) with their home time. They want to go to work, do a good job, then go home at night without having to worry about the next day.
  • Then there are those who’re anxious to learn, to add skills to their list, and find a path to advancement.
  • There are those who are good at teaching. They’ll welcome the opportunity to teach both their fellow knights as well as your clients. They like being able to help others learn.
  • Some will find their happy moments in connecting people. They want to help you gain new referrals and repeat business. There may be some of the “knowing which side their bread is buttered on” in the process, but mostly they simply enjoy being good connectors.
  • Others will be determined to maintain a clean, organized job site, and well inventoried truck.
  • There are those who pride themselves on being accurate and timely.
  • Some will know how to “take the edge off” with humor or whatever it takes to keep the crew working together.

Each of the traits these knights bring will indicate which damsel they seek. Of course, you’re seeking knights (highly skilled tradesmen) who can and will do their jobs efficiently and with your client’s well-being in mind. They’re not always easy to find, yet you can grow them if you’re willing to build on the traits potential knights bring to the (dare I say it?) round table. (Forgive me, I simply had to do it.)

Hire well!

My mission in presenting the foregoing information has been to bring forth encouraging news, wherewith you, oh King, may make progress in the building of your majestic kingdom.

Or said another way – hope this has been helpful, Mr. Subcontractor.

You can take your place on our waiting list to receive our accounting services by getting in touch here. Simply state you want to be added to the list.

Oops, I Made a Mistake

Customer or client? How to know the difference.

Customer or client? How to know the difference.

Client or Customer, what is the difference?

You’re a construction contractor or service provider and you do business with other folks. What do you call them?

Recently, it was brought to my attention that I have frequently, in the past, referred to those folks for whom you provide services as customers when I should have been using the word clients. My first thought was, “What’s the diff?” When I dug deeper I learned there is a difference, and it is worth paying attention.

First, I picked up quick definitions from Dictionary.com. This is what they say about each word:

Customer – a person who purchases goods or services from another; buyer; patron.

Client – a person or group that uses the professional advice or services of a lawyer, accountant, advertising agency, architect, etc. 

Merriam-Webster offers up even more information concerning the definition of client. They say:

1 : one that is under the protection of another : dependent

2 : a person who engages the professional advice or services of another

Not so subtle

Before I began digging into the definitions I thought that any difference would be rather subtle and not worth concern. Turns out, I was wrong. Aside from the fact that the Dictionary.com definition for client requires more words than the definition for customer, there is the blaring difference found in the word professional. Tack on to that difference the word advice and you can see where this is leading.

Professional advice

In almost every instance of the dealings between you and your clients there is a factor known as professional advice. Then consider — your clients are under your protection.

The biggest difference lies between companies who sell to customers and those who serve clients. Clients buy your advice and solutions personalized to their specific needs. 

Building building relationships

Building relationships in the building business means those whom you serve are clients. If, in the past, you’ve made the same mistake I’ve been making concerning the use of the word customer as opposed to client, you may want to join me in using the proper word in its proper place. There’s a good chance you and your employees will be more likely to think in terms of providing better service when you understand the relationship angle. Besides that – your clients will appreciate it.

Want to know more about being a client of Schulte and Schulte? You can call us toll free at 866-629-7735 or get in touch here.