Guest Interview: Dave Scaturro “Big Commercial Growth” Series: Episode 3 – Creating an All-Star Team

Published On: December 11, 2023

Categories: Podcast

In this series titled “Big Commercial Growth”, Dave Scaturro of Alpine Painting and Sandblasting Contractors will be sharing how he has grown his commercial painting company to becoming one of the largest contractors on the East Coast, and the advice he has for companies looking for ambitious growth in the commercial painting space.

In the final episode, episode 3, Dave will deep dive into finding, training, and mentoring new leaders within your organization.

If you want to ask Dave questions related to anything in this podcast series, you can do so in our exclusive Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast Forum on facebook. Just search for “Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast Forum” on facebook and request to join the group, or type in the URL Again that URL is There you can ask Dave questions directly by tagging him with your question, so you can see how anything discussed here applies to your particular painting company.

Podcast Audio

Topics Discussed:

Episode 3

– Creating an All-Star Team

Audio Transcript


Welcome to the Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast. The show created to help painting company owners build a thriving painting business that does well over one million and annual revenue. I’m your host, Brandon Pierpont, founder of Painter Marketing Pros and creator of the popular PCA educational series, Learn, Do, Grow Marketing for Painters. In each episode, I’ll be sharing proven tips, strategies and processes from leading experts in the industry on how they found success in their painting business. We will be interviewing owners of the most successful painting companies in North America and learning from their experiences.

In this series titled Big Commercial Growth, Dave Scaturro of alpine painting and sandblasting contractors will be sharing how he has grown his commercial painting company to becoming one of the largest contractors on the east coast and the advice he has for companies looking for ambitious growth in the commercial painting space. In episode one, Dave discussed how to conduct effective commercial painting marketing including some unique strategies and tactics that alpine painting utilizes. In episode two, Dave outlined how you can set up your painting company structure for big time growth. And in the final episode, episode three, this episode, Dave will deep dive into finding training and mentoring new leaders within your organization.

If you want to ask Dave questions related to anything in this podcast series, you can do so in our exclusive painter marketing mastermind podcast form on Facebook. Just search for painter marketing mastermind podcast form on Facebook and request to join the group or type in the URL facebook. com/groups/painter marketing mastermind. Again that URL is facebook. com/groups/painter marketing mastermind. There, you can ask Dave questions directly by tagging him with your question. So you can see how anything discussed here applies to your particular painting company.

What’s up, Dave doing? Great buddy. How you doing? How are you doing with that uh sexy sick voice of yours? Yeah, it’s uh we have rescheduled twice. I didn’t dare reschedule with Dave a third time. He was gracious enough the first two. So we’re gonna fight through this podcast, but Dave’s got a lot of great material. So I’m gonna sit back. I got you, man. I’ll carry, I’ll carry you through the finish line on this one dude. Yeah. So finding mentoring, training new leaders, all this stuff, something I think you might be a little passionate about.

This is the magic man. This is it, right. Um We’ve talked in previous episodes how we’re in the people business and you are not growing and scaling your company without people by your side. You can’t, you can’t run this thing alone doesn’t, does not work that way. So that’s, that’s the million dollar question is like, how do you find these people? How do you find the right people? How do you make sure they’re fit, how do you help them succeed is really the way I look at it. Yeah. Yeah.

So we, in the last episode, we really got into company structure. Obviously, your structure is going to look a bit different from a lot of our listeners, but that’s just because your company is a lot bigger. Uh, but it’s good to get that, that, um, you know, know how I guess so to speak of where they could be going. But how do you find, I guess killers, right? For your company are all stars, rock stars, a a players, whatever you wanna call them. Where do you tend to find them?

Do you train them? Do you hire for culture? Do you hire for skill? How do you guys approach it? Um Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So, first, yeah, I think you have to identify, you know, what positions you need to hire for. That’s the, that’s the first piece of the puzzle is analyze your company doing that swot analysis. OK. Where are my weak points? What do I need to build up around and, and when do we need them by, you know, it’s, it’s, uh, it’s having the vision the forethought to say, what are my hiring priorities and then you’re creating, uh, a target hire.

It’s the, when and the, and the who um uh you know, so for example, for us, you know, a few of our hiring priorities include some salesmen for, for 2024. So we have identified very clearly that we want a commercial salesman slash estimator in Q one and we want an industrial estimator in Q three, right? So once you know that that’s the timeline that’s gonna kind of dictate of when you put your plan in action. And for us, it’s um it’s, it’s then getting on the right platform with the right messaging so that I’m gonna use the term different.

Again, you’re different enough to stand out. So the same way you wanna stand out to your customers, you want to stand out to your potential employees to these potential rock stars because what are they, they’re on, they’re on these platforms like indeed and linkedin and they’re going through ad after ad after ad and most of them sound and look the same. So why is yours different? Why is your company different? Why are they gonna stop and read it? Why are they gonna apply for your job? So that’s what we do.

We create a uh a really cool hiring ad on the right platform. We talk about it. What’s in it for them? You know, what is our culture about? Why would they want to be a part of a winning team? Right? We, we and we use very specific language to discuss you know, what, what this job looks and feels like what they would be doing, how would they be be supported? Um And we encourage them to apply. Yeah. Yeah, that language is really important um to attracting the right prospective hire.

I mean, you’re essentially marketing to them. So marketing um message, you’re basically marketing to these prospective hires. Do you find, you know, between indeed and linkedin, it sounds like those are your two primary platforms that you use is, is indeed is our primary platform that seems to work the best for us. But we’re promoting the ad on every platform. So if I have profiles on linkedin for my company or myself, I’m promoting that we’re hiring on all of our social platforms. I’m promoting that we’re hiring, um we’re creating hiring videos, right?

We’re, we’re making unique content that speaks to these individuals to try and stand out. So we’re trying to, we’re trying to package it. We’re trying to, to explain what would be involved in the role and what it’s like working at this company. So what would a hiring video entail hiring video is uh our videographer comes to our office. We have a general overview of the position of what the individual that we’re looking to hire would be doing on a day to day basis. And we speak about, you know, what are the attributes of this individual would need to have in order to be successful in the role So for the last video, it was my brother and I, we’re, we’re promoting an industrial salesperson position.

And we talked about, you know, finding somebody that is humble and hungry, somebody that is competitive. They want to be a part of a winning team. Um They have a great work ethic, great attitude and um they’re, they’re looking for a career, they’re looking for their la their last job, not the next job, the job that they can feel good about saying, and this is where I want to be for the rest of my life. Um And then we’re, we’re, we’re showing some of our projects and we’re kind of describing in detail what the individual will be doing and how we’re gonna support them in those initiatives.

And it’s all done in a, a 1 to 303 minute video segment with a lot of energy and um it highlights our projects and our people and that believe it or not has been very, very helpful with finding good talent. You know, it’s, it’s that piece that stands out. There’s not a lot of people that are putting hiring videos out with the two owners kind of at the helm saying, you know, come come be a part of, of this, come be a part of what we built here at alpine.

Yeah, that sounds very unique. Are you does indeed allow videos to go out with those job posts? No, only pictures. Um But that’s a great question. I’ve got to look into that because I know we’ve put pictures. I don’t, I don’t know if we can put videos, but I’ll check, we normally use the, uh, the videos primarily for our social campaigns, but maybe we need to be putting it on linkedin. I’ll make, I’ll make a note. Ok. So you, I, I think the overall frame of how you’re looking at this is really important to kind of reiterate for people.

I think the, the um underlying assumption that a lot of us business owners make is that it’s on the applicant to prove themselves to us. And that’s it. It’s a one way street. You know, they, hey, we have an opportunity who wouldn’t want it. We’re gonna pay you above market rate. You come in here and you tell me how good you are and why I should hire you, but you’re not gonna get the top of the top just by saying you pay above market rate. If you want rock stars, you have to sell them the same way they have to sell you. Yeah. Yeah.

I mean, there’s the old saying people don’t leave their jobs, they leave their bosses, right? They leave their leaders and we wanna show that our leaders respect and appreciate people. We show recognition for a job well done and we want to get that message across. I think that speaks um, in some cases more than dollars will, you know, like, look you have to have a price point that is at or above market standard or at least show a pathway of how a, a salesperson or individual in your company can, can continue to rise in the ranks, right?

Have a career ladder. I think that’s a piece of it. But um speaking to culture and about the feeling they get when they think about their job means a lot. Yeah. And, and I think unfortunately, a lot of companies still don’t get that, you know, they, they have just this mentality that, you know, hey, you work for me. I’m your boss. No, no, no. I, I don’t wanna be somebody’s boss. I wanna be somebody’s leader. I wanna be somebody’s mentor. I wanna help them succeed both professionally and personally.

So I, I wanna get that message out right from the start. Yeah. So you made an interesting point. You don’t wanna be their next job, you wanna be their last job and then you talked about showing people advancement opportunities. How do you, how do you show them that path? Um Well, we’re jumping ahead a little bit if it’s OK with you, I’d like to kind of stay on recruiting because there’s a couple of key things that I think we can add to, to help out the people listening in and then we’ll jump into the on boarding and then eventually the training piece, which is what you just spoke to.

So, um few other things. So once you have that really unique job ad, that’s what’s in it for the individual and you’re different, right? You have pictures of a fun environment, right? You’re showing pictures of your company appreciation events, right? Or your holiday parties or, you know, you know, high fives on the job. Um You also have now an assessment tool to help manage the influx of resumes because be depending on the position and depending on the time of year and the market, we could have 100 applicants a week for any given role.

So how do you manage that effectively? How do you have like checkpoints or milestones that they need to hit in order to kind of get to the next step? And one way that we do that is through an assessment or a questionnaire, which will be dependent on the role. And they’re typically just a series of questions that an individual would fill out in the grandest scale. It’s um it’s a 45 minute to an hour assessment just based on hiring a true sales professional. And these are, are dialed in assessments done by outside agencies that, you know, basically give you the thumbs up.

Yeah, they’re gonna be a great salesperson because they have all the tools that a salesperson would need in order to be successful to connect with people and ask the difficult questions um or thumbs down uh this person based on how they answered the, the questionnaire it’s, it’s, it’s probably not in their skill in their strengths to be a salesperson at, at you or any company. So that’s, that’s a helpful tool. And um again, if it’s, if it’s for a position, let’s just say like a, a support role or um you know, somebody in the accounting department, we may still utilize like a personality assessment to understand kind of, you know, how, how they would, how they would want to be interacted with how, how this are they high d are they super driven?

And, you know, we wanna know that coming in or they’re, you know, very controlled and measured and calculated, you know, and more of an introvert. I don’t know, I, I, but I wanna know about the individual. So the assessment is good because if they’re not willing to take the time to fill out the assessment, they’re not a good candidate for our company. You know, that’s like a barrier of entry if, if, yeah, you can send your resume and apply to the job. But unless you’re gonna fill out the assessment, you’re not gonna be considered for the role.

So it’s another kind of stop gap for us. What percentage of your applicants don’t do that. So obviously a 45 to 210 minute assessment take, you know, is a, is an investment into that process. Yeah, most, most don’t, I’d say probably 290% don’t fill out the assessment makes sense. And so you use an agency to assist you with this. No, we do not. Ok. No, we have a full time in house uh what we call people and process administrator and they help us with the recruiting, the on boarding and a piece of the training and they basically help out human resources is our people in process.

It’s just an interchangeable term and that’s um that’s a huge hire that we added on about two years ago, that is just solely focused on recruiting and uh maintaining high, high caliber talent. So for people who are listening, who would like to implement something like this, but don’t really know where to start. How could they start email me and I’ll send you her position description. No, but um yeah, it’s, it’s we recognized about 21 years ago that we were, we were scaling our company for growth is slow in control, but we are on this trajectory and one of the most challenging things at the time and still for many people is, is uh acquiring good talent, right?

Whether it’s a craft worker or it’s somebody to support your office staff. So uh we were using headhunter, we were using outside recruiters and we were spending a lot of money and sometimes we work and sometimes it wouldn’t. And we just, I looked at it from the outside and had deep conversations with some people I respect in the industry and we made the determination we’re gonna bring this role in house. Um Because not only did we want somebody that just solely owned the recruiting process and we could be closely aligned, we wanted somebody to own the on boarding process.

And that’s again, the next thing we’re gonna jump into because I think that is so important that first day, that first week of that person’s career sets the tone for their entire career. Yeah, that’s heavy. So, the, the hr people and process administrator, did he or she create the forms, the assessments? No. Um Good question. So the assessments are all outsourced. Um I don’t, I don’t recall the name of the sales assessment that we use, but I could get that information or when we do our Q and A, I’ll have that teed up.

Um But we’ve used Caliper personality assessments for, you know, some of the other roles within our company. Um And, and there are a lot of them out there. But the, the sales assessment tool that we use now I think is probably one of the best ones we’ve ever used. It’s expensive. Um I think we spend probably 290 to $220 per person per, per hire. Um So it’s, it’s a, it’s, it’s expensive now, granted I can use as many assessments as I want until I can bring that person on board.

Um But it is such an interesting tool to get into the mind of the individual we’re hiring that by the end of it, I’m gonna know really clearly kind of what are their strengths and weaknesses in the sales capacity? Ok. So to make sure I understand the 290 to 203 that’s for the position and you can put as many applicants through that assessment as you. Ok? I thought you were saying it was per applicant. I was like, man, this is pretty crazy. No, I’m in the wrong business here.

No, no, no, no, no per per per hire, per hire. Yeah, that makes sense again. So the the people listening who are, you know, smaller, let’s say they have a just a couple office personnel or maybe they’re getting the first estimator or whatnot. Does something like this still make sense to them? Yeah, I think they should do their own assessment and it could be as easy as um you know, the minute that they apply, there’s an automation that goes out that says, hey, and this is how I used to do it right?

Answer these five questions and get back to me and if they don’t answer the questions, then they don’t make it to the next round and they could be just simple questions kind of geared around that position that are important to you and you don’t have to pay any money, right? Um But just having a process for kind of creating the check and balance thing. So you’re not getting, you know, just somebody that just blast their resume that every sales opportunity out there. You know, you’re, you’re qualifying who you’re getting is important and, and, and, you know, that’s just the first checkpoint, right.

So let’s just say the assessment comes back and you get the green light, they’d be a good fit. Then there’s a phone assessment. Why? Because at least in this role, but in most roles, communication is very important. I need to make sure that I feel comfortable communicating with them over the phone if they can’t get past that 220, 2705 minute phone conversation where I have another couple questions teed up. Um I’m not bringing them in for an in person interview. Why? My time is valuable. My team’s time is valuable.

Creating efficiencies in this process is important because if you’re going from, there are a pool of 22020 people and we have to narrow it down to three that make the interview. I don’t wanna interview 20 people. I wanna interview the best three, the best five people. Um So yeah, phone interview would be the next step. They pass that, then they move to the in person interview and there are a series of in person interviews depending on the role. It could be anywhere from one interview. Let’s just say they’re a craft worker and we know real quick that they’re a good fit and we need that person sooner than later.

Yeah, you’re gonna be hired on the spot. If it’s, you know, we just hired a new controller. That role, there was a series of three interviews, you know, um and I as a culture manager, which is one of the roles that I hold. I am involved with every third interview. And I’m gonna ask specific questions around culture, which is one of our core values to better understand this person and make sure that they are humble and that they do have a good work ethic and they can share with me not only their strengths but also their weaknesses.

I think that’s important. Somebody to come in. Hey, look, I’m not great at everything. Here are my strong suits and here are some of the weaknesses that I’ve been working on for the last year. Like if somebody tells me that it holds a lot more weight than they just show up and say, I’m great at everything. Yeah, I I don’t make mistakes. I’m, I’m the perfect candidate. You should hire me. I’m like, yeah, you’re also full of shit. So, no. Yeah, that makes sense, man. Um Yeah.

So the, the I think the idea of having multiple stages of the interview is really protecting your time is key. One thing that I’ve found that companies really of any size can do if you put something on indeed. Or linkedin have, have a word hidden, you know, two thirds of the way down. Say, hey, in your subject line, when you apply to this, say magnificent in the subject line. It’s gonna weed out probably two thirds of the people right there. Whoa, sneaky. Oh, my God, you’re like, like Harry Potter leaving like, secret Easter eggs for people to find.

That’s impressive. It, people will apply and say they have a touch of the detail but not enough to actually read your job post. So, I like that. I totally use that one. Put an Easter egg in the job. A nice. Exactly. But yeah, the automations is good. There’s a lot that you can do to weed people out because when you weed people out it’s a win. It’s not a loss. It’s a win. You avoided a bad hire. It’s, it’s better to avoid a bad hire than to even make a good hire.

Bad hires are a nightmare. Yep. Cool. Well, you want to get into the, yeah. So, so, uh, you make the offer right? And they accept, we try and get people to accept on the spot. If possible. I recognize that some people have to talk it over with their spouse at home, which is cool. But, you know, I like that. Resounding. Yes. I like when they’re coming in saying I want this role, I don’t need to think it over. If they offer me within my range, then yeah, I’m gonna say, yes.

So I’m going for the, yes, I’m gonna say, hey, Brandon, really impressed. You beat out a lot of people I wanna offer the job. Here’s the job offer, you know, let’s talk through it. We spend about 15 minutes and then I look across the table and I say, hey, Brandon, you on our team, you accepting our offer. And I’m hoping to get that. Yes. And we stand up and shake and now we, we’ve cemented our relationship and then from there, it’s just about setting up all the specifics that we need to do our due diligence on to make sure that they can work for our company from a legal standpoint and basically to cover our tail that we’re not bringing anyone in with a, a violent criminal background that we weren’t aware of.

So there’s background checks, there’s in some cases, uh, drug testing or physicals that need to be done depending on the role. Um, and if all that clears, then they come into the office. So let’s just go through an office. Hire the onboarding piece is important. And a lot of people, I think miss this one too. If I, if I look at the majority of how we on boarded people, let’s just say three plus years ago it was, you know, they show up and they’ve got, you know, get their workstation put together and, you know, we’ll eventually get you a uniform and, oh, you didn’t meet your supervisor yet.

I’ll come over, let me meet, you know, and tell you who you’re gonna talk to and, and they kind of flounder for the first day to week. Right. It’s, it’s like, oh, they gotta do a lot of the heavy lifting themselves. And it’s, I would say if I were in that role would be uncomfortable and my, my uncle and father would always be like, no, no, the good ones figure it out. But, uh, that’s, that’s not the way I think about it now. And that’s not how we operate.

We, we make new hires feel like the most important person at the party. We’re prepared for them when they show up. There’s an email that goes out to our entire team that says Great News Brandon accepted the commercial salesperson position and he’s gonna be starting on Monday. He likes to go, his friends call him b so maybe we should start with that. Um Please welcome him to the party. His favorite football team is the Giants and his favorite restaurant is Ruth Chris. Um You know, it’s just, you’re, you’re giving a heads up to everybody to be expecting the new Hiran and, and make, take some time out of your day to, to introduce yourself, right?

And make them feel a part of this, this team, this this family. Um And then, you know, we have these checklists that are built in for on boarding people and a lot of it is, is verification documentation, making sure that they have the hand handbook. And we have a series of frequently asked questions because our handbooks are really big it’s like, all right, here are the things that most of our employees in the new hire process ask. So hopefully we can check off some of the boxes right out of the bat that, you know, give you a little more comfort.

You know, here’s, here’s our, our PTO policy paid time off policy. Um, little things about, hey, here’s a couple of restaurants in the area where you can grab lunch at, you know, just, just help them get ahead, help them, you know, make them feel more comfortable. Um, and then, you know, like mission essential stuff where we dropped the ball in years past where we didn’t have like the computer figured out. Oh, we don’t know if they want a laptop or a desktop. Well, we get that information ahead of time and by the time they start, it’s already set up, their workstation is ready to go for them with a nice little swag bag waiting on the chair, they get the hat, they get the water bottle, they get the gear, you know, they feel like they’re a part of something special right from the start.

And I think that goes, goes so far with them feeling like they made the right decision, right? Because, you know, it’s like that first date, you know, am am I gonna like this person or is this gonna be like, oh man, I made a mistake and I get a run from this person and that that all happens early on in a relationship. And we like to think that if we can get the on boarding, right. And they feel like they are important and valued right from the start.

It’s setting the tone for the rest of their career. Yeah. I love that man. First impressions matter. And when you were just saying that stuff about me, I felt pretty good. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, we have an ad out. I think you’d be a great salesperson, Brandon. I mean, we could work something out here. I’m making you an offer. You can’t refuse. I bet you would. Um I love it, man. So that how does the, so that’s for an an office position, right? I’m sure a lot of this is gonna apply, but let, let’s say it is for more of a field position.

What would that look like? Yeah, it’s similar. Um but you know, day one when they come in, they’re meeting with um our safety manager, right? And they’re gonna get trained for safety, they’re meeting with um our director of operations, right? Because that’s somebody that they’re gonna be communicating with uh uh our, our resource manager who basically puts them from one job to the next. We’re explaining the process of how to use our project management software and log in so that they know how to get the text updates of where they’re going to which job every day.

Um And then the same thing they’re getting outfitted with uniforms, they’re getting their P pe we’re doing their fit testing for the respirators. They basically a week in the shop of getting acclimated to the company. They’re watching videos or taking comprehension exams to make sure that they understand our safety policies. Um, every hire watch is basically a 15 minute onboarding video that talks about the company’s history, our culture, um, our future and where we’re going and, you know, some of the tips and tricks from other employees about how to be successful, how they, you know, got ahead within the organization.

So I think that’s comfortable because they then seeing some faces around the office that they’re like, oh, I saw you in the video before. You’re, you’re Bernard, right? Yeah. OK, cool. Um Yeah, so it’s, you know, for, and then the same concept once we know what crew they’re going out on, we notify that crew. Hey, um we have Billy, he’s starting up on Monday. He’s got a week full of safety training, but the following Monday, he’ll be on your job site. Welcome his, you know, favorite ball team.

Is this his favorite restaurant? Is that his, he’s originally from Peru. Uh he’s got four kids. Um That’s important because you now have a sense of who Billy is and when he shows up on the job, they welcome Billy in, you know, it’s, hey, Billy, just to, just to let you know at our team, we don’t eat lunch alone, we eat lunch as a team. Um 1st, 1st lunch is on me. Um, but I, I want you to be a part of the team. Get to know everybody, you know, setting expectations.

So I think it’s similar. It’s just a little bit different. Yeah, it’s great, man. I love this usage of videos. Even during the onboarding videos are underutilized by most companies. I would agree. So then the, we have the on boarding. So we have the the hiring we use. Indeed linkedin. We did a uh and I’m gonna circle back to some of this, but we, we did use indeed. And linkedin, we did unique messaging, you know, standing out marketing to our prospective hires, not just, you know what’s in it for them, not just thinking that they should be grateful that we’re offering them money.

Uh The onboarding super personalized, super welcoming, uh making them feel at home, big deal, having everything set up for them when they show up. So it’s not just kind of letting them figure it out or get confused and find the door. Uh And then do you don’t want buyers or more so to speak? Right? Or, or any kind of thing like that on their end? Uh How do we now chart the path forward for them? Yeah. So um either week one or even day one, we talk about our strategic goals as a company.

Um And, and look there, they’re gonna be different depending on the hire. But we’re talking about the important pieces of our company which include, what are the company goals? What is our strategy? What is our vision? What is uh what are our values? Um And what is the mission of the company? We’re going over some of those very um very important pieces that make the building blocks of who alpine is. And then we start taking their position description which is very detailed. I think a position description is so underutilized.

Make sure you don’t just have a position description you got off chat GP T make sure you have a position description that is dialed into exactly what success looks like for that individual. The more that you can craft it to having milestones and goals and tasks aligned to it with time frames, the better off they’re gonna be because ultimately, the position description is a pathway to success in your company. And the more that you can help train them early on to feel comfortable that they can do all the things within the position description, the better off um they are gonna be and you’re gonna be ultimately and, and I think you have to have the mindset that you have to give them everything for 90 days, 7053 days.

It is your opportunity to on board them to the point where they, they know that position better than anybody. And you’re gonna find out throughout that process like what what are they really good at and what are they, you know, kind of rising to the level hit and what are they not? And you may have to restructure, let’s assume you, you value them and you want them on your team, you may have to take out pieces of the position description and Recraft that document um to, to, to give that piece to somebody else like an admin or to really train them up to say no, no, no.

This is an important piece of the puzzle that I know that you haven’t missed it. But I, I need to make this more of a priority. You need to put more of your time and effort into it or I need to help train you to get you up to speed to be good at this task because it’s a part of the role. So, you know, really showing the pathway forward and spending the time with them. So we’ll go to a sales position because that’s the hires that I typically bring on and mentor.

You’re gonna shadow me for 90 days. Um I, I’ll be honest, within a week, I’m gonna pretty much have a gut feeling on if you have it or not and it’s based on your activity, your attitude and your effort, um activity and effort are aligned in the sense that if I give you a general task of, hey, I want you to call 10 people today. Um I want you to call 15. I want, I want to see you go above and beyond. I want you to come back to me before I have to ask you if you call those 10 people.

I, I don’t even wanna have to wonder, I wanna know that the job got done if I have somebody that, that is that proactive and that hungry early on. I know, OK, I got somebody that wants to compete. I got somebody that wants to win. Um If I’m asking you for follow up all the time and I have to be, you know, the accountability monster. Oh man, you’re probably not cut out for working here. Uh because I need self starters. I need people that, you know, um look, I, I wanna help you.

I wanna, I wanna be there for you. But if I have to remind you to do your job day and day, I’ll be a micro manager. I, I can’t have you here. I’m getting drained just thinking about that, man. Yeah. Yeah. So it’s, it’s, but it’s, it’s um it’s laying out the rules of the game, man. Just make the rules really easy to understand. Hey, successful people in my company do these five things every day. You know what? Follow me, eat, what I eat, wear, what I wear, drink, what I drink.

You follow this, this clear pathway I’m successful. You can be successful too. I’ll help sharpen your skills and get you, you know, you’re brought in for a reason. We saw something special in you. You know, we’re gonna use your strengths and skill sets to help win. But, you know, this is, this is the path to success. If you follow me, you’re gonna be fun. So, you know, that shadowing piece is important. So everywhere you go they go for the first couple weeks. Yeah, I like that. So, the, you talked about 90 days really?

On boarding them, giving them everything they need. Do you have any sort of official probationary period or anything like that? When you hire someone? You know, it’s um, it’s a, it’s a conversation that we have. It’s, it’s basically, and it depends on the role. But upon hiring that last interview, I look every candidate in the eye and I say, you know, hey Brandon, I am very excited about you coming onto our team. I, I, I’m, I’m, I’m so hopeful that this is gonna work out uh, and be a huge win for you and me, but I just wanna set the tone in in the event that, you know, there comes a day where you know, that you, you, you have a better opportunity somewhere else or this company is not for you anymore.

I would appreciate it if you came into my office, face to face, you look me in the eye and you told me, hey, Dave, uh today is that day I’m, I’m gonna be moving on and we shake hands like gentlemen and part ways and I want you to know that I’m gonna do the same to you. Um, so, um, I just, I just wanna be respectful with each other. You know, if, if it, if it, if it doesn’t work out and that conversation goes a real long way because you’re gonna feel it with our process with these one on one meetings that we have, which I’m gonna jump to in a minute with the amount of time that I’m gonna spend with you in those 1st 90 days.

Like I’m going to tell you what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. And if you keep hearing from me over and over again about things that you’re dropping the ball on and then I really need you and like this is, you know, Brandon, this is an important one, man, this is like a make or break like I need you to do these things like by next Thursday I’m gonna need this done or else. Yeah, I don’t, I don’t know uh I don’t know if it’s a fit.

You like you’re gonna know like so by the time I look you in the eye and say, hey Brandon, I’m sorry, man, I, you know the day say well, kw shake you, shake your hand and we were part of that day like, you know, you get it because if you don’t know if you look at me like you’re surprised. Like, wait, what? Really? Like, yeah, I didn’t do my job effectively. The one on ones we talk about the good, the bad and the ugly we talk about next steps we talk about, you know, what are the five accomplishments you had last month?

And what are the five, five accomplishments you wanna hit for next month? You know, we call them the big five meetings when we do these one on one. So it’s a very tangible items that you need to do in order to hit your goals, which are aligned with the company goals. Yeah, it’s really interesting how, um uh you talked about, well, number one, you’re treating it, it seems like a, almost like a partnership. You know, it’s not like, hey, I’m your boss. Ok. Welcome aboard. Here’s what you do. Great.

Here’s your job description, right? But you’re saying, hey, I’m gonna be respectful of you. You’d be respectful of me. If it’s not a fit, it’s not a fit. You’re talking to them almost like they’re a partner in the business, not someone you just hire, which I think is a totally different scope, you know, scope shift a totally different way of thinking than how most people think, you know, like the boss or like, you know, hey, they’ll, they’ll figure it out if they’re any good, which is not how you would treat a partner.

You wouldn’t just have him come in and, well, he’ll figure it out if he’s any good. Yeah. I, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t feel comfortable when people call me their boss. I don’t, you know, if, um, I was, I was around an employee, um, outside of work recently and someone came in and it was like, how do you know each other? And I said, well, we work together, we’re part of the same work family. You know, I wasn’t gonna say I’m his boss. Like I don’t, that doesn’t feel right to me.

I don’t wanna be somebody’s boss. I shared with you earlier like I wanna be your mentor, be your leader. I wanna be your friend. I wanna be your your support system. I wanna, I wanna try and help you succeed because I know if I help you win, you help me win. Yeah. Yeah, I love that. And then the the other thing that you said that was really, really interesting was you would have a, a job description which is obviously super important, but you would actually entertain the idea of essentially editing that job description and maybe seeing if someone else could, could take a piece of it if the person was the right fit.

But maybe one of those things they were just weaker at and we’re gonna have a hard time getting. Is that correct? That’s correct. Right. So especially in the sales capacity, some people are amazing at connecting with others, right? The bonding and rapport or they can just hammer the phones and bring in opportunities. Um, or they’re, they’re, they’re the closer, right. You bring them in, they’re closing the deal they can negotiate. Um, but maybe they’re not great at admin, maybe they’re not the greatest, you know, person to follow up with, you know, putting information into the CRM.

I don’t want to handcuff myself by saying there’s a one size fits all. You have to do everything that’s on the position. Could be perfectly if I value their skill sets in a certain regard, I’m gonna find a support team around them that helps them win, right? Helps us win by doubling down on their strengths and kind of taking a piece of their weakness and, and giving it to somebody else on the team. Um That’s, it’s, it, it takes a lot of thought in order to put that together.

But if you have the mindset going in and that’s what you’re going to do, you’re not gonna be rigid, you’re gonna be flexible, you’re gonna be open, you’re gonna try and um shift that person a little left or a little right. Um It, I think it’ll benefit you long game, double downing on the strengths. I like that. So when you’re, when you’re creating a job description, are you thinking to yourself? Ok. These five of eight things necessary mandatory like you cannot sell if you can’t connect with people, but then these other three, it, well, if they have them great if they don’t, you know, we’ll figure it out or are you just kind of figuring that out on the fly?

Yeah, pretty much. I mean, there’s some core, some core aspects, some core traits they need to have. Um, you’re, you’re not gonna bring necessarily the person that’s like a high c introvert into a sales role and they’re, you know, they’re like, I just sell different than everybody. I don’t like, you know, connecting with people face to face, I’ll email them and look away from them and I toss up a piece of paper. Yeah. Right. No, I mean, but yes, that’s, that is, that is what I’m saying, Brandon, I think it’s important that there’s some key tasks associated with the, with the role that, you know, these are the must haves and then there’s like to haves too, you know, if they could do it all and they’re the unicorn um then great.

But if, if not, then you gotta be open to trying to support them with other people in your company that can maybe take on a little bit more to help out the rest of the team. So there’s always been this, you know, there are different schools of thoughts about whether you hire for skill set, whether you hire for culture, you know, value fit things like that. Obviously, a lot of people prefer to hire non painters as painters because sometimes people have been painting 20 years that aren’t always the best team members and have, have their own philosophies on things.

How do you feel about that? Does it depend on the role? I? Is it just in general you, you feel like there should be some certain skill set? How do you approach hiring in terms of culture versus skill? I would say culture Trump’s skill set because let’s look at it from the inverse, right? Let’s just say you have one of the more skilled people on your team and that could be in any role, right? The, the, the most skilled salesperson, the, the most skilled crew lead, most skilled painter, but they’re an asshole.

They’re mean to everybody. They, they, they ruffle everyone’s feathers, they make your job harder. They’re constantly getting into verbal arguments with your customers and your other employees. We call that person, the skilled rebel, right? So they can do their job better than anybody. Their skill is outstanding. They’re always making money on their jobs when they’re there, but they’re ruffling feathers and there’s no real way to put a dollar figure on the impact that that has to your company or the negativity that wears on you as a leader and owner.

Um So for us, that person needs to go, we need to either help, get them up to speed as far as what our core values are and how they need to, you know, communicate with people and, and, and uh and, and act when they’re at the workplace. Um, or else they have to go and they have to go fast because what will happen is other people in the organization will look at them and be like, well, you know, Pete is the best at what he does and he doesn’t give a, he doesn’t give a ra ask about what people think that he could do whatever he wants.

So, as long as I’m good enough, I could act however I want and that will bring you down in flames. So the skilled rebels are the hardest people to get out of your organization. So you have to identify them fast if they’re a new hire or you have to, uh, you have to cut them out of the company even if they’ve been there for a long time. Right? And some people are going through different things. You have to talk to them on a personal level like, hey, what’s up, man?

Is this just something difficult you’re dealing with and I can help support you and get, you, get your mind focused and, right. So you’re not like I don’t give an enough anymore. Um, or is this person that’s just who they are? And they’ve, they’ve got to go. Um, but, but along with that, it’s like you can’t just have the nicest person in the world but they can’t do their job well. Right. So, you know, where’s that mix? The all stars have both the, the a players the rock stars are, they have a great attitude and a great work ethic.

They’re great at what they do. They bring in their rain makers and they’re nice people and they add to your culture, those are the people you need to find and you need to, you need to train up for both attitude and first skill. How long does it take you to hire, to hire somebody like that? Like you say, you’re, you’re gonna hire, you said an industrial salesperson in Q three. So when are you going to start looking for that person? Typically it’s about three months out? Ok. Yeah, and it depends on the role, right?

Admin like I think we, we’re looking for like six new hires right now and we found an admin within a week and a half, right? That industrial salesperson position at actually maybe closer to six months or even a year because we do not want to bring somebody on board. That’s mediocre because the amount of investment that 90 days, how much time that we put into them is, is so critical and we don’t want it to be for, for nothing. We don’t want to just keep doing that over and over again because that takes me away from what I need to do to help, you know, get the company to the next level.

So I wanna make sure I’m investing in the right person. Do you ever poach people? So poach employees from other positions. I try not to because I don’t want people to do that to us. Um, I try not to but, you know, I will tell you that if, if people, if I hear through the grapevine that somebody’s looking to leave and they’re a good human and I hear that from, you know, more than one people that are more than one person that I respect, I’ll make a phone call.

Um, but am I going into my customers or? I’m sorry, am I going into my competitors, you know, websites and searching out who their top people are and calling the poaching? Absolutely not. No, I think I don’t, I think that’s just dirty. I, I wouldn’t want somebody to do that to us. Um And I wouldn’t do that to them. Um But you know, it and, and, and people have, right? So I get, I get my guys to come up to me and say, hey, you know, so and so just called me, I told him to go pound salt but you know, he was trying to get me to come to his team, treat your people right?

Make them not want to leave, you know, make them, make them really like why would I wanna leave to go somewhere else? I got a great thing here. Make, make their, make their, make their job environment. Some me some memorable that they like talking to their family about on the weekends. I like what I do, you know, just like create a good environment for your company so that people don’t want to leave. Yeah, that’s the secret. Do you find that there are certain industries outside of painting that you have had luck with?

You know, like, for example, customer service, a lot of times you can get people through hospitality and they’re really good at it. Have you found something similar with your company? Yeah. Yeah. Our best salesman in the commercial sector was the ma or D for a high end restaurant. And my uncle became friends with him because uh he would frequent this establishment primarily because of the relationship he had with the maitre D I mean, this guy was outstanding. And uh when my uncle first told me that II I dave out of respect for me, I want you to interview this person.

He’s coming from a different industry, but give him a shot. I looked at him a little sideways. I was like uncle Steve. Really? Like he isn’t, he knows, he knows nothing about painting. He goes, yeah, but he knows everything about people and customer service. And that’s a big part of what we do. And I go OK, granted, and within four hours I knew this guy was special and he is our top seller on the commercial side. I mean, and he came, so he came in just guns a blazing and, and, and not only is he a great fit for us from a skill set and bringing, you know, revenue to the company.

He’s an even better fit from a cultural standpoint. He’s one of the nicest guys in the whole company. His name is Bessie Genova. Shout out to you, Bessie. Love you brother. Um Yeah, so that, so yes, I would say if you’re in the customer service industry, you’d probably be a good fit for the painting industry because we service customers just the same. Yeah, let’s go, Bessie. So, yeah. And, and then he doesn’t come with any bad habits. You know, you can take his, he has enthusiasm. He has the customer service.

He knows people really well and then you can mold him into your sales process and how your company operates. Yep. When you are letting people go, you, you talked about how they’ll typically know, you know, if they have no idea, then you’re not really doing your job very well. Is, is there a structure to that? For example, some corporations will have a ap, like a performance improvement plan, something like that. Do you have anything official like that or is it just, hey, they’re kind of figuring out this isn’t working.

Yeah, we do one on ones every month with every employee, um, in the office and we’re, we’re doing one on ones now with their crew leads and hopefully one day we’ll get to every employee because I think every employee should have a voice. But when it comes down to our office staff. Uh, it’s very clear that your supervisor is talking to you and giving you feedback and affirmation, right? So I’m gonna tell you what you did good, what you did bad. And then I’m gonna give you very specific metrics that you need to work on by the next time that we meet a month from now.

So you’re, you’re the, I mean, it’s a continuous improvement program to the point where, you know, where you stand at all times and we don’t sugar coat it. Like I wanna, I want to be nice but I wanna be direct, you know, being, being clear is kind and I wanna make sure that, you know, that you need to do these certain things in order to keep your job right in some cases. So um yeah, it’s not necessarily an improvement program but it’s very clear of where your deficiencies lie.

So, you know, when, when you know, I, I say, hey, look, I, I really need to see something by next, by next meeting, you got 30 days or else Brandon, we might be having a different, different conversation like, you know, I better step it up. Yeah, I liked my welcome email more than that by the way, just so, you know, most people do. So the I I think it’s great how you, you know, you focus so heavily on the job description. Um and they’re really being that’s what they’re held to, right?

And I think it’s so common to just put up a generic job description of some kind because, you know, you need an estimator or crew leader or whatever, you know, you need someone in this position, grab a template, maybe change it a little bit, throw it up and then, hey, when they get here, we’re gonna tell them what to do, make sure they’re doing a good job. Um But if they don’t actually know the expectations, if it’s not set in writing that it does become a bit more of a feel like I feel that you’re not doing a good job, but maybe they feel that they are doing a good job and then boom, that disconnect, right?

Hey, you’re fired. What I thought I’m doing a great job. So the do you have clear KPIS in your job descriptions? And do you change them ever? So like, will you go back and, and maybe even work with the team member on the job description or, or how does that work? Yeah. Um We just re evaluated all of our job descriptions across the board um in the last six months. And that was the responsibility of the supervisor to really sit down with each one of their subordinates to go over what they’re doing.

Does it still apply, you know, is the language still makes sense and then craft it so that, yeah, it is a good fit. It does, it does align with the company, it aligns with their role and how they fit. So, yeah, that’s, I think that’s very important. You don’t wanna just a static position description that, you know, you look back in three years from now. It’s like I don’t even use that program anymore. Why is that in there? That’s, it’s confusing, you know, you’re giving somebody something where they’re reading it going.

I don’t really understand this one. OK. Uh I’ll figure it out, I guess so. Yeah, I think that is important to make sure it makes sense. There are absolute Kpis um the more detailed you can get the better. Um but don’t make, you know, a, a 20 page book out of a position description. The micro manages every aspect of their life, either give them autonomy, give them the big picture and, and, and help them get there. But don’t like, you know, you’re gonna come in at seven o’clock and then at 705, you’re gonna do this.

I mean, that’s just nobody wants to work like that. Um So yeah, just be more of a supportive uh supervisor and, and help them get to the end game. Yeah, the the job description will contain kind of what needs to be done, the overall focus, but it’s not gonna be sops, it’s not gonna be 2020 pages of sops for them. Do you actually take this job description when you’re doing your one on ones or your team’s doing them. Do you guys actually bring the job description into that meeting ever?

Um If it, if it’s getting dicey, right? If it’s, if we’re getting on a rocky road and I’ve got to kind of bring this up and dial it in and put it in front of their face. That’s fine. Um But in the one on ones, it’s really their meeting, right? So for the most part, if you got an employee that’s working out well, they’re earning their place at the table. This is your meeting brand. It’s your opportunity to come to me. How do I support you? Um There is an agenda, right?

So, you know, at the bottom of our meeting, which gets updated every month, you’re gonna see your, your top five goals for you personally to help the company succeed and in turn you succeed, right? And every month you’re coming to me with, what are the five things that you accomplished? Maybe a task or KP I that you accomplished towards hitting that, hitting one or more of those goals and what are the five things you wanna try and accomplish for next month? That’s why we call the meeting the big five, right?

It’s an opportunity for me to give you feedback on those items in affirmation. Hey, you really knocked it out of the park on these three things. But on these two, I need to see more, I need to see different. This is what it looks like to me we talk about them. Um I maybe Reprioritize. Somebody said, OK, so I know you came to the table for next month and you want to do XY and Z. But to be honest, I think this one should be above all the rest like this is what you need to be focusing your time on.

I know you like this one more. I get it. So do I spend your time on this important issue? So, um yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s clearly identifying kind of how you align their goals to the company goals and keep going back to that and every one of those goals are tied to the position description. So it’s really just the major pieces of the position description in there, Dave, is there anything that we haven’t covered that we should carry up for this episode? I think there’s one more huge takeaway and this is something that people don’t always incorporate.

So when I’m meeting with one of my teammates on a one on one, I’m doing everything in my power to correlate and connect their personal success with our company success. I wanna marry the personal and professional sides of who they are. If I can say if I can find out like what, what makes them tick, what are the things that are so important to them? What are their core values? Maybe it’s, you know, that young hungry salesperson that just had their first child, they’re living in an apartment, it’s a one bedroom and the wife wants nothing more to get a house.

She wants to be in the, in the neighborhood that she grew up in, in their town. If I can align that goal, if I can connect. Like, hey man, let me tell you how you can get this house. Like let’s, let’s talk about ways like le let me break it down. I purchased house. I understand what down payments are. Maybe I can even help you with that. We’re gonna talk about it. But here’s what I need to see every month from you if you hit these metrics and bring in this amount and then you get this X amount and we could put it into a fun like I’m motivating them and encouraging them to hit these professional goals that align to their personal goals.

If you can do that, if you can marry the two man. Magic happens. It’s, it’s incredible what you can motivate somebody um to do when they really feel in their heart of hearts that their business is helping them be successful in and out of the office. Yeah, I love that man. And the the that was a financial one. There could be training, there could be development. There could be, hey, you know, I really want to do this one day. Ok. Well, you’re here but you have the ability to go there, you know, like you said, make it their last job, you know, to come a path they’ve never even imagined maybe for themselves.

We talk about how do you fill up your cup? Like, what does that look like? Because if you, if you are truly gonna be the best person that you could be, you’re gonna be the best Brandon that you can be. I need you to have a full cup. What have you been doing to help yourself lately? What books have you read? Are you, are you in a podcast? If not? Why not? You’re driving a lot for work. We’re gonna read some pop. I’m gonna give you some recommendations.

What do you, what do you do for yourself? Do you have hobbies? If not? Why not? Like let’s get some hobbies. You connecting with your wife, you’re connecting with your kids. Like these are all important things in the grand scheme of life, right? So we wanna, we wanna make sure that that’s not lost. They need to feel through this conversation that I truly care about you and your well being because then when it counts, they’re gonna go to bat and care about the company and care about me and want to win for me.

I wanna be a coach that inspires people. I wanna be a mentor that should show them a pathway to success. If, if any one of you out there has that mindset where you’re not looking necessarily for yourself, you’re just pouring in selflessly. This servant leadership where you can say I want you to win at all costs. I’ll give you everything in me to try and make you win. I promise you you’re gonna have people that go out of their way to try and make you win back.

Yeah, I love it, man. So Dave, this is episode three of the three episode series, big commercial growth. We talked about effective commercial painting marketing. In episode one, talked about the company structure for big time growth. Episode two, obviously, this one has been uh train finding training and mentoring new leaders within your organization. A lot of what we talked about is of course applicable to residential as well, you know, business in general, but we did get into some commercial painting specific stuff as well as we wrap up the series.

Anything else you wanna add? No, I think we hit, we hit all the major points on this one, Brandon. I’m just uh I, I appreciate you giving me a platform to talk a little bit about our company and what we do and what’s important to us. Um You know, I, I uh I love this industry, the, the PC A other painting contractors out there throughout my career have gone out of their way to share best practices with me and help me get to where we’re at and help my family be better for it.

So I truly appreciate you giving me uh the opportunity to share kind of some of the wisdom and knowledge that I’ve learned from others, you know, back to our industry. And I hope uh I hope we have some listeners out there that are taking it to heart and can put in place a couple of these items to make their company better. Dave. I appreciate you, man. Thank you for lending your time to this and your expertise. Super appreciate you. We will be having a live Q and A with Dave coming up here soon.

So be on the lookout for that. You’ll get to ask any follow up questions you have Dave. Thank you brother. Thank you, Brandon. Appreciate you.

If you want to learn more about the topics we discussed in this podcast and how you can use them to grow your painting business, visit painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast for free training, as well as the ability to schedule a personalized strategy session for your painting company. Again that URL is

Hey there, painting company owners. If you enjoyed today’s episode, make sure you go ahead and hit that subscribe button, give us your feedback, let us know how we did. And also, if you’re interested in taking your painting business to the next level, make sure you visit the Painter Marketing Pros website at Painter Marketing Pros dot com to learn more about our services. You can also reach out to me directly by emailing me at and I can give you personalized advice on growing your painting business until next time.

Keep growing.

Brandon Pierpont

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