People You Don't Need On Your Crew

It's an uncomfortable truth of construction jobs that it's better to put a start date off for a couple of weeks than it is to move forward with a crew that isn't quite up for the task at hand. There are some people that you're just better off not hiring.

Substance Abusers

There's a big difference between substance use and abuse. There are people who drink at the end of the day, people in Colorado who smoke pot on weekend, and of course, a lot of us in construction can't live without coffee and cigarettes. The difference between use and abuse is whether or not it's affecting your daily life. You don't need someone showing up for work drunk and trying to operate heavy machinery when they can't even stand up straight. It's simply not worth the risk.

The Exceptionally Inexperienced

Most people in construction didn't attend a university to learn how to operate a screwdriver. In this industry, we do most of our learning on the job. Most of your gofers, for instance, are probably working their first professional construction job, or at the very least, they haven't been paying their rent on construction sites for more than a year or two. What you don't need, however, is a bunch of employees who have never so much as replaced a doorknob without calling in a professional. Even the lowest ranked new hires on the job should at least know the difference between a Philips and a flathead.

The Totally Disinterested

Having one or two part-timers on staff is fine. Extra hands on deck are never a bad idea. The problem is when you have too many people who are just not that interested in the work up and quitting on you all at once, leaving you short-handed and unable to complete a job on time and under-budget. There are day labor agencies to help you out in these scenarios, but it's easier when you know the people you're working with, and you don't have to leave the house an hour early in the morning to replace the guys who quit yesterday, or worse, just plain stopped showing up one day.

One of the great things about running a construction site is that there's always work to go around, it's a great industry for giving opportunities to young people who don't have advanced degrees or a lot of on-the-job experience. With time it becomes easy to tell the people who appreciate that opportunity apart from the ones that don't.
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