How to Find Your Next Electrical Lead Man
By: Dave Varga | Sep 09, 2020
In the electrical industry we sometimes see the term “lead man”. This “leader of men”, or foreman, is the key to a successful project and a successful company. This person can be the most difficult employee to find and the most important person in the field. Today’s company must be prepared and knowledgeable about the foreman hiring processes in order to capitalize on today’s booming electrical industry. Let’s look at how to find your next lead man – your foreman.
Your needs for a leader in any part of our industry are usually met by placing an ad for help and waiting for the right applicant. Unfortunately, this procedure is used by just about every other company in your area, so one simple ad will not be enough. If you are going to live or die by simply placing an ad online, you should at least place multiple ads. Plan on at least a three-week campaign and use a variety of online services. One week you could use a company like Indeed.com, maybe the next week Careerbuilder.com, and even a week with the local Craigslist. These sources are well known and an easy find for that foreman looking for a change. You should be very descriptive about the position in order to find the candidate with exact qualifications. Always put a salary range in your ad. When a foreman is looking to move on, that person is usually looking to move up with his status and pay. An experienced applicant will look for the top pay advertised and then read the ad. Be prepared to interview a good applicant immediately even if it is after hours, on weekends, or even meeting at a location convenient to the applicant.
Local Staffing or Recruiting Firms
There is a good chance that an online help wanted ad will not work to find the right person quickly enough. As your online campaign is running and you are starting to stress about finding the right foreman, you may want to reach out to a staffing or recruiting firm such as Aerotek or Tech USA. Companies like this will already have a list of applicants and can use this database to help search for the best match. Many of their applicants have already been interviewed and screened as they use this information to help companies fill various positions. Some electrical personnel find it easier to apply to a staffing or recruiting firm because the firms have many industry contacts, they can easily search for an exact job match, and they can negotiate the wage for the applicant. Contact a few firms in your area and explain to them what you are looking for. These firms will search for the right person and there is no cost at that point. When they find that person, you can hire them through the agency while paying a premium hourly rate. Then, after a certain length of employment, you can hire that person direct. Make sure you contact a couple different firms and understand the process and costs.
National Search Firms
For a large company in a large market with multi-million-dollar projects, you may need to go to the next level. That next level is a national search firm or “head hunter”. A firm like Delta Partners or GPAC can help an employer search the entire country for that needed person. These companies work like the smaller local recruiting firms but have a more in-depth and farther-reaching search. These companies have many sources and can even search local. Some top-level foreman are already in their database while still working and can just wait for a better opportunity to come in.
Another Option for That Next Lead Man
The best option may be to take your second best person and develop that person into your next foreman. Even if you are unsure of this person’s ultimate skills, you should at least give it a try. You could be surprised by this person that now has some added responsibilities and a little extra money.
Appreciate Your Lead Man
Another option is to try harder not to lose your foreman or foremen that you have now. Make sure to give them yearly reviews, give them better than average pay, and have a fair bonus program with them. Overtime is nice, but don’t over work them. Talk with them often and know their likes and dislikes. Most importantly, treat them with respect, appreciate them, and give them more than just a paycheck. A free lunch, a new company shirt, and additional electrical training will go a long way. Go to www.jadelearning.com to see the many courses available to help keep every lead person trained and up- to-date with their skills.