Here are two signs of how hot the recruiting and placement market is:

  1. At any given time, we have over 100 positions in the LBM industry that we are looking to fill for our clients.
  2. The quality and quantity of the candidates has improved to the point where we have added four additional members to our team.

Our company has placed countless job-seekers in the LBM industry. In looking back at 2014, we discovered the top reasons that your employees are looking to make a move. Business owners and managers are always evaluating the performance of their staff, but how often can we honestly say that we are evaluating ourselves? The quality of the candidates on the job market has significantly improved, so why are the good people getting away?
When top-tier candidates approach us in the most confidential manner about moving on, they often reveal these three major reasons for a change.

  • They Feel Unappreciated
    We hear this way too often. This feeling of being unappreciated is separate from money. Employees have mentioned time and time again that all they want is a simple thank you. Saying "Job well done" goes a long way. These are your top people who feel that they have been forgotten. They are so good at what they do that you have come to expect greatness and nothing less. A simple thank you can prevent this employee from building a resume.

  • No Room for Growth
    Your employees are motivated and want to excel. The top candidates are ready for the next level. They feel ignored and they want the responsibility that they feel is being denied. This has been an outstanding year for the LBM industry and as you grow, the employee wants to grow. You may not have that next-level position available. However, taking a top employee under your wing shows that you value their future.

  • Money
    LBM employees know that the industry is climbing. They know that the job market has changed and their value has increased for the better. I personally know of companies that are paying their truss designers $13 an hour. This is way off the industry standard and you can bet that these employees are looking for a new home.

As a recruiter in the LBM industry, these scenarios have made my job that much easier. We only work with select companies in the industry and feel that we can partner with only the best in the market. Employee turnover is a like a bad disease with some dealers. The revolving door is a word-of-mouth dagger that has and will continue to cause some dealers to go belly up.
The one quality that our best-in-class dealers have in common is parallel to the approach of a good football coach. Each employee plays a position and looks to the coach for guidance and praise. Just like a great football team, these employees know their roles and have bought into the winning strategy. Just like a football player, if the employee feels unappreciated, held back, and not making enough money, he or she will be looking for the trade.

As we look back on this past year, let’s not just evaluate our people. Rather, let’s evaluate how they feel. Being a best-in-class dealer is an honor and I cannot express enough how grateful I am to work with the best yards in this country.

Jason Files is regional vice president for SnapDragon Associates, a leading executive search firm for the building materials industry.