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.

10 Personal Tools Every Construction Contractor Needs

I’ve discovered Construction Contractors and Subcontractors are among the most adept and proficient folks around. They wear such a profusion of hats (skilled tradesman, project manager, marketer, salesman, HR manager, supply-chain manager, customer-service representative, PR manager) it can be mind boggling.

Yet there are 10 Personal Tools they need to use no matter which hat they happen to be wearing at any given time.

The quality traits (tools) of excellent construction contractors

  1. Planning Ability

Simply determining to begin a business built on your skill set as well as your desire to learn more about what it takes to “be in business” is a great start. At every turn, your ability to plan and prepare for what is coming down the road will make a difference in how you manage, build, and maintain your business.

  1. Strong Work Ethic

You have to have a ton of ambition. It goes beyond just getting up every day and going to work. You actually enjoy fixing the problems that arise. And you’re actively looking for more jobs which mean you have more problems to solve.

  1. Strong People Skills

You not only have to manage the guys and gals in the field and office, you also have to work with the customer – who can range from general contractors to home owners and anywhere in between. You’re also good at letting other people’s strengths shine through.

  1. Confident

You have to remain confident in your overall ability to complete the many tasks at hand. That doesn’t mean you think you can never make a mistake. It does mean you’re sure you’ll be able to learn from those mistakes and continue moving forward.

  1. Open Minded

Going hand-in-hand with your ability to remain confident is your ability to remain open minded when new ideas, new concepts, and new means to accomplish a task are presented to you. You’re willing to weigh the evidence before making a final decision.

  1. Money Management Skill

When capital is limited and needs to be utilized wisely, you know how to manage for right now while still planning for the future. You know how to keep a handle on cash flow and how to use financial reports for building your business.

  1. Networking Ability

You’re a relationship builder. You pay attention to what others tell you. You’re willing to help others even when it doesn’t seem there will be a quid pro quo. You make others feel at ease when they’re around you.

  1. Delegator

Even though you likely began your construction contracting business wearing a multitude of hats you know when to give one or more of those hats to others. You know how to give people a task to complete without micro-managing how they complete it.

  1. Risk Taker

You understand that taking a risk is the only way to move forward. You look at all the ways you can think of to mitigate the risk, you take those actions, and you still know that failure is possibility.

  1. Integrity

Honesty and trust are central to your integrity. You demonstrate your integrity by being trustworthy and dependable. You are principled and can be counted on to behave in honorable ways even when no one is watching.

Stocking your tool box

Having as many of these tools as possible in your personal tool box will make your job as a construction contractor flow better. You may not have every single tool in this list shined and ready to use. But, if your desire is to scale your construction contracting business then you’ll discover these are personal traits or qualities that will work well for you now and in the future. If you find you have personal weak points, be sure to surround yourself with folks who are strong in those areas. Some things you should consider are: hire a business coach, seek a mentor, outsource some areas, look for qualified advisors, build a good team.

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Why yes, Schulte and Schulte, LLC is a great option for your bookkeeping and accounting outsourced needs. And by golly, we’re team players. Give us a call 480-442-4032 or toll free 866-629-7735