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I don’t know what the talking heads are saying on TV or the radio, frankly, because I stopped watching or listening to them years ago, but from what our clients across the US and in Canada tell us, the economy is on fire again.

While this is awesome, it has shed some light on a new challenge.

It’s the craziest thing, really. It’s so hard to believe but it’s incredibly hard to find good help. Is it because the latest generation has gone to college to study and receive degree for a job that no longer exists, or that they are so educated now that they won’t consider an entry-level position with a new company?

The big mistakeWith this great challenge facing our country and Canada, many companies are lowering their standards for hiring so that they can get these positions filled, and understandably so.

However, they trade one problem for another. They’ve solved the problem of hiring for a particular position, but their new problem becomes not having the right person in that position, and worse, hiring someone who may not align with the values of their company.

Can you relate? I know I can. I wasted over ten long, hard, headache-inducing years grinding through this circular struggle.

That is, until I started implementing some advice from a business coach I hired, and also from some friends of mine in the PDCA, the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America.

It all comes down to a proper pre-qualifying process. And we figured this out without having our phone ringing off the hook or our email inbox flooded with applicants. We have enough emails as it is, right?

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What I would like to share with you is the very first step in this simple and seamless process that you only have to set up once for your:

Hiring For Character CampaignThink of your “Now Hiring” post as a marketing ad, because that is exactly what it is.

Now, would you post an ad or print business cards that read, “XYZ Company is looking to paint homes. Call today.”? Not if you are serious about building a profitable business, right? You craft your marketing ad to attract your target market.

The same goes for your “Now Hiring” ad!

We need to make a shift when hiring. For my first ten painful years, I hired based on skill and tried to teach them all the qualities they needed to represent my company. How to speak with the customer. How to tuck their shirt in. Sometimes, even, how to iron their shirt. How to not use profanity on the job. And most important, how to do the right thing.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had hired skill and killing myself trying to teach character. I had it backwards the whole stinking time!

Hire Character and teach the Skill!

I know what you are thinking: “But, Steve – there aren’t any! No one has character any more!”

I used to think that too. Until my business coach at the time showed me how to craft an ad that would attract them, even re-craft, and re-craft again. And let me tell you, my friend – guys with character are out there!

Once you place this “Hiring For Character” ad and start bringing them in, you’ll discover how much better life is when your business is producing with an amazing team o painters who have awesome character qualities!

Step 1. The Ad.

If you’re the painter we’re looking for. . .

You are described by your references as very neat and clean, friendly, enthusiastic, conscientious, holding yourself to high standards, as well as courteous, mature, and a relaxed team player.

You present yourself well as trustworthy and punctual with a great smile! You are eager to take this opportunity to learn and grow with a caring and fun team with high expectations.

You will be responsible for prepping and painting interior and exterior surfaces, without direct supervision, for a customers expecting excellence with a smile!

ABSOLUTE MUST – You have your own personal truck, a driver’s license, smart phone, e-mail.

PLEASE DO NOT CALL! If you call, you will disqualify yourself by not following instructions.

If this is YOU. . . be ready to tell and show me why, when you fill our this form by 5pm this Friday. In fact just do it NOW!!!

Fill this form out here: Applicant Form

A Couple Of Warnings

You will not get that many applicants. That means the ad is doing its job: to attract the one you’re looking for.
You will occasionally get a colorful response with some thing along the lines of how your expectations are too high, or that you’re (blank, blank, and blank) for requesting such things. When you receive this, that is okay, because again, the ad just did its job: pre-qualifying those who you do not want on your team.
This is just the first step in our process, but if you implement it, it should make an amazing improvement in your hiring process.

Take that ad and post it on Craig’s List and also with Painter Job Hub, along with any other job posting sites.

For the rest of our process, we invite you to join the DYB Café, where you’ll receive this and many other systems I used to build up and then sell Burnett Painting.


You’s also receive full access to the DYB Community of 100 plus contractors who are Doubling Their Business…


For just $1… 


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About the Author

As a newly single father of two from MI, he struggled to start over as a paint contractor in FL, going door to door. His situation was so bad, even the IRS had mercy on him.

 Feeling completely hopeless, he remembered the story of King Solomon praying for wisdom. Could it be so easy? 

He felt he had absolutely nothing to lose. So, as a bankrupt, divorced, high school dropout, single father of 2 young kids, now living 1250 miles away from all friends and family, started to pray for wisdom.
 And while he continues to wait for the wisdom to arrive, what did come was an insatiable desire to learn and read books… 
Thanks to God for giving him the burning passion to read books, and attend seminars, (oh and winning the wife lottery) he not only cracks the success code and overcomes the struggle, but also streamlines his painting business in less than 3 years, published a how to book, then sold the company. Now he leads a business coaching company for painting contractors so he can help other businesses, like yours, to do the same. Hear more... Or

Jack Jordan - June 11, 2015


I was wondering what pay scale should be when you start someone off like this? In the last year , I hired a person very similar to what you’re saying. Ive always looked for experienced painters in the past as well.

I’m now looking for an additional person to bring on. Also, not to sound sexist , but how does everyone feel about a female painter working along side men?

Jack Jordan

    Steve Burnett - June 13, 2015

    Hi Jack,

    Great question and thank you for stopping by.

    This is a tough one to answer specifically because it varies from state to state and even within the individual states. Key is, when you find character, compensate them 10% above your competitors.

    As far as women, we find women to be great painters. They pay especial attention to detail and clean up.

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