Home Renovation Pros: Are You Ready to Hire?

Hiring Home Renovation Professionals

Know when you need home remodeling help and how to find it

If you operate a small business, there probably are times you feel overwhelmed by your workload. Having a few extra hands in the office would be nice, but how can you tell whether you’re ready to bring on new employees? 

“As soon as you ask the question ‘Do I need an assistant?’ the answer is likely yes,” says Taryn Hall of ísARK Studio in Austin, Texas. “Hiring more people can help grow your business and improve your relationships with your clients because you’ll have more time to address their needs.”

Below, pros share how they made the decision to add new team members and where to find them.

Determine Your Workload

Take a realistic look at how much work you have and the types of tasks you’re doing day in and day out. Are administrative tasks taking time that could be used for designing or building? If you had another set of hands, could you accept more jobs? 

“Having an assistant is beneficial when delegating work that you shouldn’t spend your time doing,” says Roy Yerushalmi of SoCal Contractor in San Diego. “You should focus on the things that only you can do and let an assistant update clients, make invoices, schedule meetings, etc. Being able to delegate work is essential in helping your business grow. It will give you more time to focus on other tasks.”

Whom you hire depends on which types of tasks are taking up the most time. 

If you need help with general tasks, an office manager can:

  • Field incoming calls and screen new leads.

  • Follow up with clients, suppliers or subcontractors.

  • Schedule meetings.

  • Provide customer support.

  • Manage accounting.

If you’re interested in promoting your business, consider hiring a marketing generalist who can:

  • Keep your website and Houzz profile updated.

  • Organize photo shoots.

  • Request reviews from past clients.

  • Build your brand on Houzz and your social media channels.

  • Develop customer outreach strategies.

Adding another staff member will mean having to issue another paycheck, but it ultimately could free you to do more work and generate more revenue. If hiring a full-time employee feels too risky, start by hiring someone part time and reassess in six months.

“Your budget and margins are important considerations that need to be factored in when deciding whether or not to hire,” Hall says. “We’ve found that more help usually allowed us to take on more jobs.” 

Think About Titles

Whomever you decide to hire, how you refer to your staff shapes your clients’ perception of them. “I have a full-time designer who works with me, as well as a design assistant and a business manager,” says Angela Todd of Angela Todd Designs in Portland, Oregon. “I don’t introduce my staff with the word ‘assistant,’ because it doesn’t give people confidence in my staff, as it sounds like I am the only one capable of making sound decisions. If your new hire is working on office management, bookkeeping or back-end work, consider calling them a ‘business manager,’ ‘office manager’ or ‘studio manager.’”

Find the Best Candidates

Once you’ve determined that you do need a new team member, how do you find the best applicants? 

Online job websites. “For office staff we found our best employees using LinkedIn,” says Rick Beahm of Beahm & Son in Evans City, Pennsylvania. “You will get a lot of applicants, and you can quickly tell the good from the bad.”

Some other online options include Construction Jobs, Indeed and ZipRecruiter.

Industry associations

Professional associations can be a great source of prequalified potential employees. “We have hired from local design chapters including ASID [American Society of Interior Designers] and IDS [Interior Design Society]. We have also hired from the local Home Builder Association,” Todd says. 

You can find candidates by attending networking events hosted by local chapters or annual association conferences, or by using their online career centers:

Vocational institutions. “Contact a programs or events director and ask if you’d be able to participate in career fairs or events,” says Jamie Critchlow of LKW Design Associates in Colorado’s Vail Valley. “Use this event to screen through candidates as the initial step, and make follow-up appointments for those who made a great impression and have them return for a second, in-depth interview with key personnel.”

Veterans organizations

“Ninety percent of my military hires have turned into excellent employees,” says Matthew Hallett of Ellsworth-Hallett Home Professionals in Savannah, Georgia. “I can teach people the trade of construction, but I can’t teach people to show up to work on time and take instruction.” 

Tell us: Have you expanded your staff? Share your tips and advice in the Comments.

This story was written by the Houzz Industry Marketing team.