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Ep 30: Part 2: Where Did All The Good Talent Go? – Recruiting Roundtable with the BTA Coaches

The imagery and messaging to use on your job ads and landing page that attracts top talent
How to leverage your Instagram account to peak the interest of potential applicants
An easy way to add fun into your team culture so you can showcase it to the world
The way to add style to your team that gets them and prospects excited
An ‘outside the box’ referral program that you won’t find in most contracting businesses
What’s at stake in the next decade if you don’t implement some of these things

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Read a Summary of Episode 30

In the first of this 2 Part Contractor Evolution Recruiting Roundtable episode, we culled some of our brightest minds to discuss the labour shortage and what you can do about it.

Now, in Part 2, our coaches Danny Kerr, Thomas Cobleigh, and Ryan Gabel are back to identify what we call low hanging fruit: the easy to implement tactics that you can use to boost your employer brand and attract, hire, and retain those A-Team players.

Let’s break it down.



1. Create a ‘Join Our Team’ Landing Page (with video) On Your Website

The problem with using platforms such as Kijiji or Indeed is they don’t give you enough real estate to highlight what makes you special.

Instead of relying on them exclusively, build a section on your website wholly devoted to recruitment and how awesome you are to work for. Then augment it with video highlighting your team. It’s easy and really doesn’t cost much these days!

Hire a photographer to create wicked imagery. Then list every position you have open, “as well as postings you’ll need filled soon,” Ryan says, adding that when you post ads on the other venues “then you can link from them to your website, which will help your ROI.”

(Brett Farrington, president of Holiday Spirit Lighting, has a great example of that here [INSERT LINK])

“The ability to find hard working labour is becoming a finite resource. Part of the definition of being an entrepreneur is to forge new paths, and when circumstances change and we don't change, we're setting ourselves up for failure.”

2. Write Better Job Postings (that speaks to your ideal candidate profile)

Have you ever posted a job ad only to get applicants who don’t fit your team culture?

One way to avoid this is to do what Danny did years ago in his painting business. “I needed another project manager, so I sat down with my existing one and asked what he loved about his job,” he recalls. “He said, ‘I love that you’re my coach more than my boss.’ So I changed my ad from stating that I required a project manager to read that I needed a quarterback to drive our painting teams.”

The right candidates showed up at Danny’s workplace, and they can show up at yours too – take time to understand the dynamics and preferences of your team.

3. Use Instagram to Highlight Your Jobsites & Employees

This is your chance to show what it’s like to work for your company . . .and make it look really cool.

Many BTA members are finding that their Instagram pages are better recruitment tools than marketing tools. Why? Because the photos showing teams at work and having fun signals that they are celebrated by their employers.

“Plus, on Instagram people follow things they’re interested in: carpenters follow carpentry companies, landscapers follow landscape companies, and so on,” Ryan says. “So when you post on Instagram your target market is already paying attention, making the recruitment process even more effective.”

(Check out blue_water_concepts on Instagram. Owner Mike has nailed this strategy!)


4. Budget $$ For Team Events

This is a quick, easy & BIG win.

Showing staff a good time for the hard work they do will inevitably attract the attention of potential recruits who check out your company.

“Ensure that you allocate money for trips, barbecues, parties,” Thomas says. “Start identifying what needs to be planned, and schedule the events accordingly.”

Also, if there’s a real team driver on your staff, give him/her the events budget: that person will regard it as the best side project ever, and it’ll be one less thing for you to do.


5. Upgrade Your Uniforms/Outerwear

This has a dual advantage, the obvious is that a smart team uniform projects a confident brand to the outside world.

On top of that, determining what type of clothing – t-shirts, windbreakers, mesh hats – your team wants to wear will also ensure they are comfortable on the job and inspire them to flaunt their apparel to friends and family.

“If the clothing is good they’ll want items for themselves too, meaning your brand will be seen outside of work circles,” Danny says.

Also, find a clothing company you like working with to ensure supply consistency, and brainstorm to determine how best to highlight your brand.


6. Implement A Referral/Reward Program (so your team do the recruiting for you)

This program focuses on team members who refer potential employees to management – it’s about networking within peoples’ networks.

Given that those who make the referrals are demonstrating loyalty (as well as helping you nab new recruits), they deserve to be rewarded (at BTA we have been known to send these staff members and their loved ones on relaxing weekend trips).

As for making full use of an employee referral program, Danny suggests structuring a team event around it, during work time. “Get your team members to each message 100 people they think might be a good fit for a position, on Facebook or other mediums – then get those people to message other people they think might be good candidates.” 

That’s 3,000 direct FB messages within hours!

It’s Time To Act Now, Not Later

What’s at stake if you don’t implement these strategies to boost your employer brand?

We’re entering a strange new world in which demand is growing stronger than ever compared to an employee pool that seems to be shrinking. “The ability to find hard working labour is becoming a finite resource,” Danny says. “Part of the definition of being an entrepreneur is to forge new paths, and when circumstances change and we don’t change, we’re setting ourselves up for failure.”

Don’t become obsolete.

Work on developing your Employer Brand and grab the low hanging fruit – now, not later.

Benji Carlson

Benji Carlson

As the son of two proven entrepreneurs, Benji’s spirit for self-starting business runs deep. Since he was a young teen, Benji has been starting and running profitable small businesses; most recently culminating in a highly successful 4-year career as a franchisee with College Pro Painters. Benji’s enormous heart and passion for people is what drove him to produce over $1,000,000 in revenue while taking the highest quality care of his employees and customers. He was consistently acknowledged for having the most productive staff in the company, while leading more junior franchisees to fulfill their potential. Benji’s uncanny ability to find the right people and put them in the right place make him a natural fit for Breakthrough Academy’s Assessment Team.

Upon finishing up his career with College Pro, Benji set out on the ultimate victory lap: a nine-month transcontinental motorcycle trip from Canada to Peru.

Benji lives in beautiful Kelowna BC. During the summer you’ll usually find him on two wheels: either bombing down a trail on his mountain bike or cruising the pavement on his motorcycle. When the snow falls, he escapes to the mountains for steep and deep powder.

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