We all know the statistics. The trades are running out of qualified candidates. Even high-quality apprentices are becoming hard to find. At Contractor 20/20 we know how to get you qualified employee leads, but you will also need to offer a competitive reason why these employees should choose to work for you! Remember, the candidate pool is drying up. That brings us to our discussion on non-traditional employee schedules: FLEX TIME.
The first time I ran into the concept of flexible hours (three 12-hour days or four 10-hour days) was with a client near one of the national parks out West. Many of his employees had moved to the area because they were avid hunters and fishermen. The three-12-hour day schedule would allow them to pursue these activities. They wanted to work. They needed to work. But they also wanted to find jobs that wouldn’t steal their entire “day” 5-6 days a week. In order to attract these guys, he offered a non-traditional schedule option . . . they ate it up! They were able to work hard and play hard.
FLEX TIME is attractive to a variety of different people who would make great employees
- Those who have young families. FLEX TIME allows them to pay out less in childcare.
- Those with a retired spouse. Your employee can continue to work but have time off to spend with their spouse without retiring.
- Employees still in school.
- Those with avid interests such as activist causes, church, or political work.
- Those who work to live instead of live to work.
A note about that last bullet point: Studies are showing that younger employees, particularly millennials, are more invested in their time off work than at work. They are good workers, but their job isn’t their identity. Because of that, flexibility is a real attractive job feature for them.
The bottom line is that the customers will always get what they demand, and the employees will eventually get what they desire.
Customers want service from 8 AM to 8 PM or 9 AM to 9 PM, and employees want flexible hours. Being available in 12 hour shifts is a great branding tool. Having non-emergency late day/night availability lets the customer know they don’t have to take a day off from work and won’t be financially penalized. This will put you head and shoulders above the competition with both hourly and high-end executives—both who can’t afford to lose hours at work.
What about your bottom line? The effect of flexible hours is that it also lowers your overhead as you can get more work done with fewer vehicle expenses. Also, when you do the math, what you find out is that even if you only get 4 hours of billed work on the 12 hour shift, if you look at it on an incremental basis you still make money even though they only billed 4 hours. Call us and we will help you work out the numbers.
Being the first, or one of the first, in the market to offer extended hours will gain you a competitive advantage over your competitors. For example, Seven Eleven was originally named Seven Eleven because they were open at 7 AM and they closed at 11 PM. Today almost all are open 24 hours. The moment a convenience store opened up with 24 hour availability it forced the hand of Seven Eleven to get on board. Lucky for Seven Eleven they already had a strong top of mind awareness which made the new switch and their promotion of it more effective.
I believe that every indication shows us that the shortage of the best employees means that we need to do extraordinary things to attract them. We can get employee leads to your door—what are you going to offer them to get them to choose you?
Also, what would be the risk of offering FLEX TIME? If it doesn’t work, you could just go back to traditional schedules.