Tips for Hiring as the Remodeling Industry Recovers

Just a few weeks ago, Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies released a promising outlook for the home remodeling industry, with the prediction that it would be on the upswing by the end of 2012.  With more and more homeowners looking to remodel, now is a good time for remodeling professionals to consider evaluating their current hiring strategies to ensure they are prepared for what will hopefully be a year of growth and increased sales.

For a company like ours, the nation’s fourth largest home remodeling company, offering energy efficient exterior home remodeling solutions, including replacement windows, siding, roofing, entry doors and home insulation, recruitment is a constant priority across a wide variety of departments and locations. Our hiring process is always evolving to meet our needs and better staff those departments, and in 2011, when we expanded into new markets including Long Island, Boston and Atlanta, we needed to recruit several hundred new employees.

By following a few simple guidelines, we were able to staff those new locations with valuable employees, who share our company’s values and plan to stick around for the long haul.

  • Highlight your perks – Most businesses think the most important thing they can offer is a competitive salary or employee benefits, while overlooking the value that many candidates place on an attractive company culture. Perks like work from home days or an in-office gym can go a long way for companies looking to stand out from industry competitors among job candidates. Promoting those assets can make a difference, so be sure to share them through job descriptions and social media tools like Linkedin and Facebook.
  • Experience Counts – Attitude, personality and a candidate’s ability to fit into a company culture count as well, especially when it comes to hiring a new addition. While a large portion of the interview should be spent discussing prior experience and how it can be applied to the new position, be sure to include time to gain insight into the candidate’s general demeanor and outlook by asking a few open-ended questions that allow the candidate to expand past one to two word answers. Learning how one deals with conflict or challenges can reveal a lot about character and whether the hire will work out in the long run.
  • Patience is a virtue – While it may be tempting to just “get it over with” and fill the position on the spot, instead be patient and take the time to do the homework necessary before extending an offer. Not only will it make the candidate feel confident and secure in the fact that their prospective employer values the position enough to think it over before making a decision, but it allows for time to check references and mull over the interview itself. Even if a candidate aces an interview, leave time to sleep on it before taking the next step.

Building a roster of employees you can count on is just as important for a small business as it is for a company with thousands of employees.  With the outlook for the home remodeling industry looking up, hopefully the next few months are filled with new business — and new hires.

Jeff Kaliner is a founding partner of Power Home Remodeling Group, the nation’s fourth largest home remodeling company with more than 1,200 employees and $135 million in annual sales. Power provides energy-saving and environmentally friendly exterior remodeling solutions to homeowners in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Georgia. Shortly following his college graduation, Jeff co-founded Power with his cousin Adam Kaliner in 1992. Together they have built an organization recognized for its high ethics and integrity. As founding partner, Jeff oversees the overall direction and growth of the company, strategic marketing initiatives, regional expansion decisions, and culture development. An Inc. 5000 company, Power has served more than 50,000 homeowners and is recognized as a home improvement leader by its "Dealer of the Year" award from Window and Door Magazine and the 2011 "Top Workplace" from The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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