With my industry ear to the ground, it seems as though stone fabricators are “busy.” In my humble opinion, the industry is about to get much “busier.” As the economy starts to open back up, consumers will be flexing their spending muscles that have been locked down and quarantined for the past year. Those who are prepared to handle the increased demand can capitalize on the opportunities. Those who are not prepared will become frustrated watching their competitors outperform them. It all starts with the people. Be primed and do not get caught off guard.

Always be RECRUITING! If you are a business owner or a manager, it is a helpless feeling to be understaffed, or yet worse, staffed with the wrong people. Success will favor those who are prepared. You need a bench of talent, and it will not usually just happen by chance. I consistently stressed to all my managers that they should always be recruiting. I recommended they always have a file of names for potential new recruits to access when the time arrived to expand the team. Back in March of 2020, my Stone World column focused on the benefits of defining the job role before you even start the recruiting process. The key takeaway centered around the need of clarifying and identifying the specific SKILLS required to be successful in the specific job role. For example, one key skill required for a template person is the need to be detail oriented. If this skill is absent from the person doing the role, they will not likely be successful and the company will pay a big price.

As a quick reference, here is the summery of defining a role on the front end:

  • Define each role inside the organization.
  • Define and prioritize the necessary (top two to three) skillsets required for success in the role.
  • Recruit, interview and hire those specific SKILLS for the role (vs. a person).
  • Stack the deck by hiring someone who demonstrates they possess these specific skills to be successful in that particular role.

What should the recruiting process look like and how should you go about it?

My first recommendation is to fish in the ponds with the most qualified candidates. Traditionally, when most companies are trying to fill open positions, they place a job posting in some form of media. Back in the day, it was in the classified section of newspaper. Then it evolved to an online version of a classified ads, such as Craigslist.

My biggest caution and concern of starting with these venues is the primary audience. Who do you think the main audience would be combing through these job postings? I would argue they are primarily the unemployed. Why are they currently unemployed? I am not suggesting unemployed people are bad people. There are certainly situations and circumstances where unfortunate events happen to good people outside their control. Keeping our main goal in focus, our objective is to find the BEST talent in the market. There is overwhelming evidence that many people find themselves unemployed due to their own actions and behaviors. Perhaps they choose to not show up for the scheduled work hours on a regular basis. Or maybe they cannot get along with their fellow co-workers, or can’t perform the job, have low standards, or get bored easily, or maybe they are just un-coachable.

I prefer fishing (and recruiting) in the stocked ponds which are loaded with responsible, hardworking and trustworthy people. If the statistics are correct, most people who are actively working today do not like their jobs.

Years ago, I read a statistic that 72% of people employed full time are not satisfied with their current jobs. Yet they are still working. Whether it is due to the fact they are responsible adults supporting their families or their employer is pleased with their body of work, they are working. However, they are not happy. This is a BIG number. From a recruiting perspective, this is great news. This is the audience and pool I suggest you tap into and get your lines in the water. (How many of your existing team fall into the 72%’ers? Different topics for a future day.)

How can you get into this pool (employed people and not happy) and start attracting the most qualified candidates for the job?

  • Employee referrals
  • Social media

EE referrals 

My company had a policy that would pay an existing employee $500 for a new hire referral. We would announce the open job position with a summary and ask our employees to blast it out to the entire network, including their social media accounts. One of the keys is to make it easy for the current employees to do it. I would suggest typing up the summary on the front end and encourage them to copy and paste it for their convenience. Once the new hire referral hits 90 days of employment, the referring employee received a $500 bonus.

Social media

This is the easiest way to hit many people. In the messaging, we encourage everyone receiving the posting to pass it forward to their followers. The numbers will scale quickly. If the average person has 100 followers in their social media circle and 10 employees blast it out, the job posting will hit 1,000 people. If 20% of those 1,000 people (200) pass the job posting forward, it will be seen by another 20,000 people. And if only 5% of those 20,000 people pass it forward, it will hit 100,000 people.

If the “experts” are correct and indeed 72% of employed people are not happy with their current jobs, in the example above, the job posting was viewed by thousands of people who may be great candidates to join the team. Fish in the ponds with the best qualified applicants. As the old saying goes, “Catching is a lot more fun than fishing.”

Happy Catching!



Eric Tryon