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Where do you find good help?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by paul luszcz, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. paul luszcz

    paul luszcz Active Member

    Feb 4, 2004
    I know this will sound like an ad and I don't mean it as such. I'm just trying to figure out where you guys go to find good help when you need it. I need someone who knows what they're doing, not just someone with potential.

    I've had very little response to my ad on craigslist, a few walk ins from my sandwich board out front, and no one with the level of experience I need.

    Do you all train your own help? Networking, word of mouth? Newspaper classifieds seem out of date (I don't get a newspaper with classifieds so I can't be sure) and sign boards like this one aren't local enough to get a good response.

    So, if you needed someone to run the production part of your shop, what would you do?
  2. If it were me, I would contact my local Tech school and see if anyone was interested from their design programs. It's too bad most don't teach print or even mention much more beyond resolution and color spaces anymore.
  3. ForgeInc

    ForgeInc Active Member

    Dec 7, 2010
    Portland, Or
  4. AzGene

    AzGene Member

    May 9, 2010
    You won't find anyone with the level of experience you need unless you are willing to pay for it. And even then do you want that "level of experience" to gain acces to all your accounts? Find a good kid with something between his/her ears besides MTV and sex and train them. Yeah, they will not be lifers but you will get used to the training routine. Or you can do what I did. Have a child and bring them intothe business, but that takes a little while. Good luck........
  5. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    that's one expensive training program.
  6. AzGene

    AzGene Member

    May 9, 2010
    Yeah it is. But if you train them right the benifits will last a lifetime.
  7. legacyborn

    legacyborn Member

    Dec 23, 2008
    Winters, CA
    When I advertised for a Graphic Designer on craigslist, I required them to have a portfolio of paid work and two years experience. I got over 700 applications (that all lived within 50 miles).

    I was only able to look through 200 resume/portfolios and out of that I called only 4 people for an interview. One didn't show up, one never responded to my follow up call after the interview, One was very professional but declined because they needed (and deserved) much more money than I could afford, and the last declined the position because I wasn't paying enough ($12/hour was my starting for their level of experience. No college education, poor original art skills, but they knew layout pretty well and that's what I needed at the time. 6 months later they called back not having found any other work, but by that time I had figured out a way to budget my time better and no longer really needed them)

    So if you come upon the secret to finding good help, please let me know. :doh:
  8. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

    Jun 8, 2004
    do you have a local National Guard center? go over there and tell them you have a postition. so many returning troops come home and can't find a job. we've hired a couple that way. you do somehting good for yourself and support the troops too, it's a win win for sure
  9. We use Monster.com. A month long ad will run you the better part of a grand, but if you are offering a decent wage you'll have plenty of worthy candidates applying.
  10. David Wright

    David Wright Very Active Member

    Nov 25, 2003
    Wyandotte, Mi
    It's all about what you are willing to pay.
  11. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

    Jun 18, 2004
    Here in Orlando ..there is a overload of people willing to work.
    Schools here are Full Sail University plus several others & a huge amount of shops.
  12. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    Trenton NJ
    +1 It's all about what you are willing to pay
  13. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Call your competition and offer the person you want...... more.
  14. SD&F

    SD&F Very Active Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    I think Craigslist is a good way to get people to contact you. The next issue is pay.
    If they are experienced you will have to pay the extra $$ to get them. If you find someone who you can train, then you pay them an entry level amount and train them.
    They learn a new skill and hoepfully they stay and you need to make time to train them.
    The training is very important and that will be something of an investment for you.
  15. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

    Jun 4, 2007
    Home Office

    I know if we get to the point of needing help I won't hesitate to get a student from my alma mater. I keep in contact with my previous instructors and they make no bones about who can or cannot step with the program.
  16. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

    Oct 19, 2009
    AND just when you get them all trained up, doing great work...they buy a plotter and try and run you out of business!!!!
  17. paul luszcz

    paul luszcz Active Member

    Feb 4, 2004
    I could have hired a very talented "vinyl guy" last year for $20/hour and I ended up with someone with far less skill for $15. The experienced guy was more than worth the extra $5. Now the only experienced person I've interviewed is unwilling to drop his pay to $25/hour to work here even though he's out of work.

    Just as it's difficult to compete with the large print service providers for quality customers, it's difficult to compete for good employees. The qualifications for production workers in both shops are roughly similar, although sign shops are more diverse.

    I already raised two sons that started weeding vinyl at six or eight years old and worked here all through college. Now they're 25 and 23 and earning more than I am as a Chemical Engineer and a Computer Scientist. Can't go through that again.

    The fact that I relied on them for so long is probably why I'm ill prepared to train someone from scratch, hence the need for an experienced guy.

    This is making me acutely aware of just how much goes into running a business over the long haul. Just as you need good suppliers and sub contractors, you need good employees. And in all cases you need a bench to go to when you're "star" goes down.

    Hopefully this is a one time problem.

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