For us athletes, gold is the standard we strive for. Whether it’s a gold medal, gold watch, or gold plated, it is the mark of excellence. Recently, Gary McGuire, owner of Gary McGuire Construction & Development appeared on my DSA $1,000,000 Blueprint podcast to discuss employment recruiting strategies and his efforts to employ young African Americans in his construction company.
October 17, 2018
Many contractors throughout the greater Houston metropolitan area believe we have a labor shortage. Several contractors are holding on to their employees for dear life; some are poaching workers from other contractors and a few are hiring unskilled, undocumented workers and refusing to pay an honest rate for an honest day of work. These practices are wrong.
August 17, 2018
A great company classifies workers correctly as employees, provides worker’s compensation, pays above prevailing wage weekly by check with taxes taken out and submits certified payrolls in a timely manner. A non-compliant company heavily relies on non-documented workers and cheats them by misclassifying and paying them in cash, so they can’t be verified in compliance reviews.
July 19, 2018
“What If?”What if your construction company had the opportunity to secure K-12 construction work with the largest school district in the State of Texas?What if you had the right crews to bid, win, and execute the work?What if your craft workers could be safe, make a livable wage, and have the promise of several years of work on your construction jobs?If you are in the K-12 construction industry in Houston, your “what ifs” could become reality with the Houston Independent School District (HISD) bringing an approved $1.89 billion bond, seven-year construction program to market consisting of 40 schools, three athletic facilities, and numerous renovations.With all this work in the market, what more could a serious career-minded construction company ask for its workers?
July 02, 2014
Construction companies can easily run into problems when they hire the wrong people. Not only is it a money problem, but it also affects productivity and safety. Replacing someone restarts the hiring cycle, taking time and energy away from more productive work. To avoid costly hiring mistakes many companies have moved from reliance on educated guessing to better selection processes. They have done that because according to the National Center For Construction Education and Research (NCCER):Traditional hiring methods (resume, interview and background checks) only provide a 14% likelihood of a successful hiring decision.The cost of employee turnover can range from one half to four times the employer’s annual salary and benefits.People are good at convincing hiring managers that they are right for the job even when they know they might not be.Many times you won’t realize you’ve made a poor hiring decision until the team member has already become an emotional part of your team. With the right tools and know-how you can improve the chances of hiring success by as much as 75%.
September 25, 2013
Have you ever received an invitation to a function at the last minute where you wanted to attend but you’re already booked? Frustrating isn’t it? I hate it when I receive an unsolicited bid invitation to bid from an unknown prime contractor three days before a bid due date. The MWBE bid process is like living the Ray Charles’ song, “You Don’t Know Me”. We see each other’s firm name on a list, we see each other in public, but we don’t take the time to get to know one another or our capabilities in time to make a viable team for the bid.Brother Ray’s song was in my ear as I witnessed the dissention and frustration at a recent City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity meeting. The new Minority and Women Business Enterprise forms meant to streamline the current arduous M/WBE process were introduced to a room of contractors, subcontractors and business owners, Black, White, Hispanic, male and female. When the phrase “good faith effort” was brought to the forefront, new business owners and old established firms took sides.
September 05, 2013
All human beings, by nature, have a desire to know.So, in the grand scheme of things, does holding a college degree really matter for a prosperous career? How about a willingness to learn a skilled craft or trade in the construction industry?A recent New York Times article entitled “It Takes a B.A. to Find a Job as a File Clerk” identifies an employment trend stating a college degree is the new minimum requirement for getting even the lowest-level white collar jobs, which do not require college-level skills.According to the article, economists have referred to this phenomenon as “degree inflation,” and it has been steadily infiltrating America’s job market. Across industries and geographic areas, many other jobs that didn’t used to require a diploma — positions like dental hygienists, cargo agents, clerks and claims adjusters — are increasingly requiring one, according to Burning Glass, a company that analyzes job ads from more than 20,000 online sources, including major job boards and small- to midsize-employer sites.The author states “up-credentialing” is pushing the less educated even further down the food chain, explaining why the unemployment rate for workers with no more than a high school diploma is more than twice that for workers with a bachelor’s degree: 8.1 percent versus 3.7 percent. Yet, the U.S. is facing a skilled workforce shortage in construction and there are many jobs available for those with high school degrees who are willing to work.
April 18, 2013
“I don't need training, I don't have time for that! Get me a job and then I can show them what I can do!”I hear this all the time when I recruit small and minority contractors to sign up for leadership/management training. After spurning my invitation, the contractor eventually wins a job, fails to perform, and is either struggling to keep the business afloat, or has quit altogether and moved into a different industry.I've seen this happen many times and had to bail out many a contractor in my career as a consultant to the construction industry. The question we must ask is, “What can we learn from other people's mistakes?”Actually, everyone needs strategic training and planning, and here's why.I recently read an interesting Construction Lending News article entitled, Why Do Contractors Really Go Under? by Dev Strischek and Kevin McLaughlin that provides insight to this issue. Strischek and McLaughlin indicated that a study identified 80 construction firms with revenues over $300 million annually that went out of business or experienced significant financial distress in the past 25 years.
January 24, 2013
Houston, Texas is on track to have many more well paying job openings with secure futures and stability. At least, that can be the case if we start developing our workforce to meet the upcoming demand for skilled trade construction workers. That demand will be increased if the Houston Independent School District’s (HISD) $1.89 billion bond initiative is passed in this November’s crucial election.More than “green-collar” jobs, and just as much as nursing, these “blue-collar” positions are going to boom no matter what else goes bust. These careers are the kind that can never be out-sourced, are always going to be needed, and offer practitioners the income and advancement lacking in many “white-collar” environments (just compare the wages and benefits packages for a journeyman plumber against those of recent college graduates). The best way to help our students capitalize on this trend is to start training them with the interests and aptitude for building trades beginning as early as elementary school.
October 17, 2012