Painting Contractor How to Successfully Onboard a New Hire | DYB Coach

Painting Contractor How to Successfully Onboard a New Hire

painting business, marketing, new hire

Congrats! You’re hiring someone!

Maybe it’s your first employee since you’ve been out of the field.

Now… what are you going to do?

This is based on a newer employee, maybe someone who has had less than a year of painting experience, we call them a Newbie.

I am Ron Ramsden, and I am a DYB Coach, also a painting contractor up here in Massachusetts.

Years ago, I would hire someone, tell them to meet me at the job, Monday at 8 o’clock in the morning, he gets there.

I’d say, “this is John newbie, newbie meet the crew leader, get him started, show him what to do,” and then I would drive away.

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We didn’t get a ton of positive results this way, so over the years we’ve changed some things and I want to share them with you.

I am the hiring guy, unfortunately, I am also the firing guy, of course, I am the one responsible for everything.

What we are going to do is walk through day one of our newbie hiring and I am going to tell you what goes on, and how we changed things that work for us now.

We are going to call him John newbie, he is the new guy who is going to start on Monday at 8 o’clock.

We are going to meet someplace, him or her, and myself, they’re not going to the job site right away.

I generally hire, then meet them at a paint store or shop if you have a shop.

Paint stores are great because they have free coffee, and every now and then they may have a box of doughnuts.

Anyways, we are going to meet John newbie, he is going to be there hopefully on time, if not earlier.

We’re going to go in, they always have a table at Sherwin Williams, grab a coffee or something to drink and we are going to sit down.

I am going to introduce him to the apps and software we use on smartphones and I want to get him comfortable with that before we walk out unto a job.

We introduce him to T-sheets, show him how to clock in and out, and how to switch jobs.

We are going to get a bit comfortable, especially if he is anything younger than me, he can probably fly through this.

I want them to feel good about punching in and punching out, how to switch jobs and how to read it, then he can look at it when he gets home.

Basecamp, this is where we keep all of our project software, our upcoming jobs, we tend to load the jobs up a couple of days ahead of time, so it’s always there.

I’m also going to pull one up a project that has pictures attached to it, so he can actually see what everybody else is seeing.

This will help him kind of start getting his head wrapped around any jobs he is going to be going to in the future.

Then the habit we want to create is him looking at these jobs, prior to actually going to work.

We’ve got Basecamp and GroupMe, GroupMe is our group chat, similar to a text conversation, but its GroupMe.

Where the guys can ask each other questions and they don’t even ask questions about work all the time, you find them on the weekend at nights, talking about something else.

Once he gets this, which typically doesn’t take too long, maybe my second cup of coffee, if we are at Sherwin Williams.

Then we are going to walk him through where to get his tools, if he has been painting for about a year, he probably has some basic tools.

Maybe we’ll grab him some new brush or something, we will also give him a couple of ‘our shirts’.

Unfortunately, sometimes people don’t last long, so we don’t fill them up full of shirts.

Also if they need a pair of painters whites, we’ll buy the painters whites as well.

You might have a different way of working, but you can at least set the trend of what you were expecting from them at this point.

He has these tools, maybe a little bag of tools and so now we are going to leave there, we’ve been there for probably an hour and a half, maybe two hours.

We’ve got multiple crews out there, maybe 1-3 crews, if they are all working in the same area, this is the great time to visit the sites, but also bring the new painter along with you.

You can actually visit the sites, he can meet the crews and when the crews are talking about other crew members, at least he or she has met them.

It could be Joan newbie or John newbie, they’ve met the other painters, so this is great, we can actually put a face to a name.

He might not remember everybody’s name, but at least he’s met them, you’ve shown him that much, that you care enough to bring him here.

Imagine him talking with another painter friend and he says, “well this is what my boss did the first day, what did your boss do?”

I know if it was me a few years ago, I would say, “okay John or Joan newbie, this is our paint crew leader, put him to work, show him what to do,” and then I leave.

Now, we are doing it a whole different way, we are showing them a little different, we let them know what we expect this whole time.

We are getting a little conversation, we are talking about being on time, punching in, punching out the whole bit.

We are talking about lunches, “what do you do for lunch? Bring a lunch, do you go out for lunch? You only get a half hour, so whichever you want to do.”

You’ve got to be able to get it and eat it within that half hour and I will also, give him some fatherly wisdom on how much money he would save if he actually brings his own lunch.

We are going to leave him at this point, we are going to visit two crews, where we have two crews working.

He visits one crew, says hi to everybody, I get to walk around the project at that time, we go to the crew, he will grab his car at the paint store and we’ll go over to the second job.

This is the job he is going to be on, I introduce him to the crew leader and tell the crew leader, “he is your buddy for today,” the crew leader might work with him for the few hours.

He may have some other things to do and then he might hand him off to another seasoned employee.

I know production is going down, whoever is working with him, their production rate is going down.

I am not looking short term, I am looking long term, it’s an investment, you have to look at it that way.

It’s going to hurt the numbers for a little bit, but in the long run, the numbers are going to be much better, the production is going to be much higher, you are going to get more done, you can take more projects.

You can make more money, we are all in here to make a few bucks.

What is this newbie going to do?

What is Joan or John newbie going to do for the first weeks?

They are going to sand, they are going to tape, they are going to plastic, they are going to move ladders, they are going to move furniture and we are going to show them how to move furniture and ladders.

We cannot expect that they know how to do any of this stuff.

We are also going to show them what a vacuum looks like, our vacuum because when we leave a place, that place better be spotless.

We are going to eventually show them how to paint, but that is way down the bottom.

When he learns to do this, he is going to do this for days, days and days until he masters those, if we have time in the afternoon, we might even have him go out and clean the truck.

He may clean the windows in the truck, this may sound mean, but it’s a whole package deal.

We are going to show him how to load a ladder onto the truck, we are going to show him how to take a ladder off the truck.

If you’ve ever seen me take a ladder off the truck, you’ll know why we teach someone else how to do it, you don’t want to do it the way I do it.

We are going to show him how to clean a brush at the end of the day, in a bucket, not in someone’s sink.

We are going to show him what to do with trash at the end of the day, we are going to show him how to fill out the booklet that we go through with the crew leader.

I shared it before, it’s a journal that we actually log in the daily tasks and what was completed for the homeowner to see.

We are going to show him the whole picture and they are going to do this until they master it.

Once he is good with that, we may bring him into rolling a wall and we are going to teach him how.

We’ve found if we do it this way, one step at a time, and don’t just throw them to the Lions, we get better outcomes all the time.

Anyways, I hope this helps on your day one of learning and showing a new person, a new hire how to handle day one.

I am Ron Ramsden, I am a DYB coach, if you’d like to get in touch with me, please shoot me an email at ron@dybcoach.com.

You can also find me on Facebook here, many of you have, I’d be more than happy to even pick up the phone and chat with you.

I am Ron and I am a DYB coach, also a painting contractor here in Massachusetts, I help painters work on the business so they don’t have to work in the business.

Happy hiring and have a great day!

About the Author

Ron Ramsden is the owner of the successful Ramsden 1-800-PAINTING, who implemented the DYB SYSTEM, and crushed it in 2015, and now coaches other painting contractors around the nation to do the same.