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Finding qualified help

Discussion in 'Personnel' started by AECCorp., Apr 3, 2016.

  1. cuttin edge

    cuttin edge Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2014
    Messages:
    422
    Occupation:
    Finish grader operator
    Location:
    NB Canada
    It's going to get worse. They all have ADD, ADHD. When I was a kid it was just "Jesus Christ there's something wrong with that boy". There are no losers, everyone gets a trophy. No one fails or gets left behind. If the kid is doing poor in school, it's the teachers fault. My boss hired a young fella to pick rocks in the bottom of a trench. When he saw what he had to do he turned sick, and had to leave. A land scaping company we sub contract out to offered the young lads an extra dollar fifty an hour if they would leave their phones home, and they wouldn't do it. He can't get anyone to work, so he puts up with it. They don't want to work, they just want to get paid.
     
  2. Bls repair

    Bls repair Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2017
    Messages:
    132
    Occupation:
    Equipment operator,mechanic
    Location:
    S E Pa
    How much does he pay his workers? If you pay $9.00 ph you get $9.00 ph workers ,pay $20.00 ph you will get more applicants that know something and are willing to work. You get what you pay for.
     
  3. cuttin edge

    cuttin edge Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2014
    Messages:
    422
    Occupation:
    Finish grader operator
    Location:
    NB Canada
    I'm a finish grade grader operator, an I only get $20.50 an hour. Most unskilled labour positions are minimum wage, which around here is about $10.75 an hr.
     
  4. Bls repair

    Bls repair Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2017
    Messages:
    132
    Occupation:
    Equipment operator,mechanic
    Location:
    S E Pa
    Exactly what I am talking about ,if you want class A help you néed class A wages.
     
  5. cuttin edge

    cuttin edge Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2014
    Messages:
    422
    Occupation:
    Finish grader operator
    Location:
    NB Canada
    You must be a union man, cause there is no way anyone is going to pay operator's wages for a guy raking topsoil. I understand what you are saying, but that is just the going rate around here. If I wanted big bucks, I would have to move across the country to the oil patch, and have my cost of living go up to match.
     
  6. alskdjfhg

    alskdjfhg Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2015
    Messages:
    307
    Location:
    Houston TX
    I hired a guy to do some land clearing and to build me a shop pad and driveway.

    He noticed I can operate equipment to some extent and he offered me a gig helping him on the side.

    I'm not used to efficiently running his modern equipment (all my stuff is straight out of the 60's and 70's), but I'll spot trucks, read a print for what grade were supposed to be at and follow the dozer with the grade rod, run the compactor, run a POS water trucks, etc. And since I can read a drawing (certified draftsman), he's always wanting me to help him on working up quotes. Also planning on getting a CDL this summer. Can drive a truck, just not legally. I always carry tools so he's always bumming stuff off me.

    last Saturday we were doing line stabilization, I ran the 1970's vintage incorporation machine for 13 hours straight listening to a 6v-71 a 40 degree windy day (that's cold for Houston).

    I go to the University of Houston full time getting a Honors degree in mechanical engineering and on my hard earned friday's off from school and very precious weekends I work for this guy.

    And I get paid $100 a day for this. I like the machinery, I like the work. But it's about the point where I could make better money picking cigarette butts out McDonalds's urinals. Atleast doing that I get paid promptly, they don't "forget" how many days I work, it's inside and I dont have to deal with any idiot dump truck drivers.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about any of this. It just always makes me laugh listing to this guy complain how he can never find good help, but doesn't want to pay anything.

    I can pass a drug test any day any time no notice, don't use my phone during the day, have my own PPE, am equipment savvy, show up most days before anyone else and leave last. But apparently I'm worht about minimum wage. Doesn't make too much sense to be busting my ass on a construction site when I could get the same wage doing a whole lot less.

    Just my $.02.....
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
    JDOFMEMI, Shimmy1 and RangerJake72 like this.
  7. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Messages:
    1,158
    Location:
    Grass Valley, Ca
    Unless you look at it as an internship, for resume enhancement.

    It is not a guarantee that someone reading your resume will care about what you are doing now, but they might.

    Then again, they might not. It is all a risk of some sort or other.
     
  8. alskdjfhg

    alskdjfhg Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2015
    Messages:
    307
    Location:
    Houston TX
    That's pretty much how I look at it, and I am learning a lot.

    Although I am looking for a better, more formal internship with an engineering company.
     
  9. cuttin edge

    cuttin edge Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2014
    Messages:
    422
    Occupation:
    Finish grader operator
    Location:
    NB Canada
    What is the income deduction like there? For a 2466.36 dollar pay, after deductions I get 1751.75.
     
  10. JD955SC

    JD955SC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Messages:
    152
    Location:
    South Carolina
    What I'm seeing around here, depending on the industry...lot of times it's seems like it's 1980s wages but 2017 grocery prices. The cost of living might be comparitively low in this area but it's not THAT low

    Common pay for a mechanic around here is around $15-16 an hour starting out. Don't know for sure what the going rate for mid level of experience and higher is though but I'm under the impression that high level of experience is's between $20 and $30 an hour.

    I don't mind paying my dues (doing so right now, getting experience to expand upon my school education) but I can tell you that right there is going to push a lot of people away from this kind of work if they can make similar (or higher) without the sweat and risk. Not to mention it's actual work work of course. Not when they can get the same amount of money sitting at home on a welfare program...which is the biggest obstacle in my area, it seems.

    Yes I work for a paycheck but I also work this field because I do enjoy it despite the hard work. It is a satisfying job to me. But I can tell you people aren't going to want to enter the trades when the pay is stagnant and low (outside of booming areas) especially when the work is hard. No one has followed me in the door for the past two years in our apprentinceship/school program.


    Now believe me I see the flip side too. All too often the business can't afford to pay the worker more. So many expenses in hiring somebody. I'm fairly certain that it costs my company twice as much to employ me as what I get paid, for example.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  11. mikebramel

    mikebramel Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,121
    Location:
    milwaukee
    It's a very interesting job. Always enjoy the thank you from the customer. But other than that yeah if you can sit in an air conditioned and heated office for $20/hr there's no point in having half a hou$e worth of tools and a bad body by the time your 50
     
  12. catwelder

    catwelder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Messages:
    64
    Occupation:
    welder
    Location:
    north carolina
    the problem around my area when i was trying to get into being a laborer to move up to operator is that no one wanted to hire me as a laborer because no experience as a laborer or because i could weld but welding would not lead me to the path of operator so it was just annoying
     
  13. cuttin edge

    cuttin edge Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2014
    Messages:
    422
    Occupation:
    Finish grader operator
    Location:
    NB Canada
    I have never been hired with a resume. Every job I have ever got was by knowing someone. It's hard for a company to trust someone they don't know with a machine they have a lot of capital tied up in. A young fella that was hired once told me he figured they should teach everyone about running a roller, because they always stick you on one.
     
  14. rossaroni

    rossaroni Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    SE PA
    Its not this trade, its a generation. I do alot of work for plumbers and mechanical contractors. I see plumbers, electricians, carpenters, all standing outside for 3 hours a day smoking and looking at their phone. Who's paying for this? I guess its either the customer or the employer. I get tired of watching 4 guys on their "pipe crew" leaning on shovels, not a stick of pipe in the ground, no screenings leveled, so I get out and do it myself. My morals prohibit the behavior of billing for work when there is none being done. I dont want to take on hires of my own and wind up in the same mess. Its the main reason I sub in to dig for plumbers and made the conscious decision to stay small. I hire in other one man bands when I need it, and they work like they own the company, because they do. I dont make markup on their wages, but the job gets done and done well. The BS of the situation is, if you pay a guy less or terminate for reasons like lack of productivity due to constant smoke breaks, it gets labeled as discrimination, and then it turns to a court battle. I've decided that the most effective way to win the game is to simply not play.
    But for what its worth, I had a class A cdl, piping experience, project management and estimation skills, could run a backhoe and skid steer, can breath on broke equipment and make it run, a farmer background that Id work whatever hours you wanted, and I couldnt get a call back on an application from companies that were actively hiring. I was asking $17 an hour. So I started my own.;)
     
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  15. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2017
    Messages:
    159
    Occupation:
    Field Service Tech
    Location:
    Alberta
    I don't know how big of companies you guys are operating but any jobs I see that state in the ad "Apply Online/By Email/Fax" I don't even waste my time applying. Anyone can write a pile of steaming bull#### and some office clown will believe it. Applying in person and speaking with an owner/manager/supervisor I feel allows me to show to them I know what I'm talking about better than 500 words on a piece of white paper. Not only that but being able to talk to someone at a company shows me that the company actually cares about the quality of the people they hire.
     
    old-iron-habit likes this.
  16. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Messages:
    2,392
    Occupation:
    Retired Cons't. Supt./Hospitals
    Location:
    Moose Lake, MN
    Well said, and then when you go there, make sure you have shoes and socks on, look awake, and act like you are interested in actually working. I have had only one job offer off of a very detailed resume. That was when I was looking to relocate closer to home, I stopped in and dropped it off in person after talking to the senior person at a division office. The companies corporate office called me a few days later and flew me in to interview me. I retired from that company a couple years ago. Of course I had been in the specialty trade for 15 years previous. The main point is, that had I walked in wearing shorts and sandals I would never have got a second look.
     
    92U 3406 likes this.
  17. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    6,606
    Occupation:
    Owner, Lanway Tractor Company
    Location:
    Coos Bay, OR, USA
    Yeah.... years ago applied for a job what was on paper at least tailor made for me. Had to talk to a busy lady from HR to get past the gatekeeper.... she was so busy she "interviewed" me in the hallway and from the start had an attitude. After a couple minutes I was trying desperately not to show she was totally clueless about the job she was hiring for and made a polite exit. Never heard from them, wasn't surprised. As 92U says, it's corporate and it's all about the BS. People that work with their hands seldom are good at selling themselves nor are they so inclined, they let their work speak for them.
     
  18. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    8,140
    Occupation:
    Running what I brung and taking what I win
    Location:
    Alabama
    I think you have hit the nail on the head.

    I run a small site work company doing small commercial projects. What I've seen over the last 8 years is strong competition in the bidding arena that has kept the price of the work low compared to the skill and knowledge it takes to get it done. I chock that up to not enough work for the companies bidding, that's in my area. I live in the Birmingham, AL metro area which has historically been the "last out, last in" when it comes to the economy - meaning we are the last to see an economic downturn and the last to see the uptick. The crash of 08/09 hit Atlanta a year before it hit Birmingham. All of the sudden we had Georgia companies competing on bids that we never had before, even small site work jobs.

    However I am seeing a shift in the amount of projects up for bid, to the point I can pick and choose which ones I want to go after. It has not been that way for a long time and I have seen this coming. It doesn't take a large increase in demand when the supply is small and finite to a degree. The cost of entry to get into the site work business is high and equipment is only getting more expensive, which in turn has increased used prices.

    What I see coming is a perfect storm in the construction industry for skilled trades to take advantage of. I believe there is a tremendous amount of pent up demand for construction, combined with a shrinking skilled labor force. Skilled trades do not get paid what they are worth in the current economy. When the demand curve keeps going higher than the supply curve, there is money to be made if your in the supply business.;)

    I don't get paid what I should for the work, time and risk I put into projects - neither do my guys. The economy the past 8 years in my area has provided enough work to pay the bills and put food on the table. Putting food on the table however has become more expensive as JD955SC stated. Our local economy has not allowed much more than that but I see it changing. As it hopefully changes we all are going to make more as there won't be that many who will have the skills to do what we do - be it moving a yard of dirt, putting a stick of pipe in the ground or repairing a final drive.

    The need from society for roads, buildings, houses, etc will always be there. The real question is who will build it?

    Well those are my rambling thoughts of optimism.:cool:
     
    JDOFMEMI, old-iron-habit and Shimmy1 like this.
  19. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2017
    Messages:
    159
    Occupation:
    Field Service Tech
    Location:
    Alberta
    That's just the thing. I've applied online or by email for at least 2 dozen jobs in my life. Never heard a single word back. Out of the 4 jobs I've had in my professional career, 3 of them I walked in the front door and was hired on the spot by the service manager. The other one I dropped in to talk to the service manager with a resume in hand every 2 months for about a year until he called and offered me a job. Worst part these days is most major companies have their own app or online profile they want you to set up to apply with. Like I have time to fill out a profile for every job I want to apply for (that I won't even get a call back for an interview) plus remember usernames and passwords. Much easier and less stressful for me to simply print off half a dozen resumes and drive around town talking with the managers. Plus it gives me a chance to get the general vibe of the place and see some of the facilities.