I was talking to a plumbing contractor who had just joined our organization. The topic of hiring came up. This contractor said he would only hire plumbers with 10-plus years of experience. He insisted that he would never hire a young plumber.
Now, I’ll never say you shouldn’t give an experienced plumber a job. You can find plenty of great plumbers out there. However, experience shouldn’t be the only thing you’re looking for. I’d actually say it’s the last thing you should be looking for.
If you’re in the residential service business, you want plumbers who are excellent communicators, full of energy, and willing to do whatever is necessary to make your customer happy. You want plumbers who want to go above and beyond.
We tell our new plumbing contractor clients the most important thing they need to do in their business is TRAIN. Yes, train your people. Not just on the technical aspects of the job. But more specifically, train people on how to communicate with homeowners. Train your plumbers how to approach a service call. Train your plumbers how to walk up to a home. Train your plumbers how to greet a customer. Train your plumber how to explain a repair to homeowner. Train your plumbers on how to present the price. Train your plumbers how to properly leave the home.
Here’s the problem with plumbers and training… Usually, the more experienced a plumber, the less likely he will take to the training. He feels like “he knows it all.” And that’s a problem.
Here’s a fact: No one knows everything. And in the trades, very few people know how to deliver stellar service. I’m talking service that makes people say “WOW.”
I’d rather hire a young plumber out of trade school—who has basic knowledge, but is open to learning everything and anything—over the close minded plumber with 25 years of experience. Because the young guy I can mold into a technical wizard. But the old know-it-all rarely will adjust or accept the customer service training I provide.
Something to consider the next time you hire.