Professional Finishing

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Scott B.

We are a small shop that does our own finishing on 50% of our jobs. I have 2 employees that are at top wage and I need to find an employee to do the sanding between coats on our finishing. I consider this a very important job because we are known for the finish we provide and it takes 3-4 sanding tasks per job between all the coats. This translates to a very tedious and mundane job. What type of person do u look for that will be happy doing this and conscientious in the outcome? This needs to be cost effective and long term. Anybody have a solution?

11/25/18       #2: Employees ...

over the years (40+) I've worked with 100's of employees (either working for me or working for the same company as me) and thinking back I can only remember 1 person who would fill your requirements (allow me to paraphrase) "someone who was willing to work at a tedious job, who does a great job, is reliable, has no ambition to move forward in the job at all and is cost effective price" The guy was a saint!
In my time I've found 4 types of workers that make up what I would call great employees starting from the ones that make you the most money...
1)highly skilled craftsman willing to take on a leadership role
2)highly skilled craftsman
3) talented apprentices with a appetite for learning and moving up
4) part timers (usually college students) who work hard, will do the tedious tasks well without complaint but of course don't last long at the job.
I've always been either the boss or the foreman on jobs I've had and I've found spreading the tedious tasks (sanding, glazing, masking, stripping, wiping) and the less tedious tasks (spraying) a good way to keep all the people happier and on the job.
If I were in your shoes I'd look for a talented apprentice.

11/26/18       #3: Employees ...
Puzzleman Member

Aren't we all looking for that person!!

11/27/18       #4: Employees ...

I have never tried this myself but a local company was successful with it.

They hired a stay at home Mom with hours they could tolerate with kids, 9 to 2.

The mom (or dad I guess) was happy to have a job that fit their hours. The problem I foresee is being absent because a child is sick.

Good luck


11/29/18       #5: Employees ...
Mark Member

Even if you find the perfect person, they won't do it forever unless they're part robot. Probably be better to have a way for them to do different things to mix it up for them. Otherwise, they'll be looking for something else within 6 months...... right after they get good at it.

12/2/18       #6: Employees ...

I would look for someone older, preferably female around 55-60, looking for part time work. This generation understands that a job is a job, and you just need to work, no matter how mundane the task at hand. Older women seem to have a much better attention to detail in this area in my experience.

12/25/18       #7: Employees ...
John Bishop  Member

It may help a bunch to offer this individual an opportunity to wonder around a bit in the shop and mingle with the craftsmen. See is he or she is capable of other chores which will take some burden off the other more skilled folks. Most people like to be helpful and the craftsmen generally donít mind assigned tasks. Donít assign this person any tasks outside of someoneís vision literally. Or it can get sideways fast. Each one the craftsmen and the sander need confidence.

The sanding is just so important. I have had successes offering those sanding types the opportunity to learn other skills or just plug into another job. Anything. Even an hour a day will make them happy.

People like to feel appreciated make sure the others donít treat them like a slave; I have lost many good people from this. The young person comes into a new environment and has a repetitive tough important job and is eating shit from the finishers or craftsmen. They will not stay.

Good luck

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