February 2015, on a snowed-in morning, I sat down in front of my fireplace and penned what I saw as the future of my company.
The following is my Vivid Vision for Sqrft Tradesmen. Creating a vivid vision brings the future into the present, so we can have clarity on what we are building now. It is a detailed overview of what our business will look like, feel like, and act like three years out–by December 31, 2018. I believe that sharing it with others will help it become reality!
What we do
We are construction industry recruiters–a search firm. Our clients have great employees! Not coincidentally, the people that we know have great jobs!
Broadly speaking, we service the companies that employ skilled tradespeople. These are construction, service, and certain manufacturing companies.
Most of our efforts are centered around the skilled tradesperson. However, because of the relationships we’ve cultivated, our clients also look to us to staff positions in management, administration, and sales and marketing.
We have solid and lasting relationships with 2-3 of the best places to work in every trade.
Who are our client companies?
Our clients primarily operate in Buffalo and the surrounding area. They extend as far as Rochester, and Jamestown.
Occasionally they are companies doing projects that require contingent labor. However, for the most part, they are companies looking to make permanent and lasting additions to their teams.
Every single one of them has a reputation for being a great place to work.
- They treat their vendors well. They pay them fairly and promptly. They return phone calls.
- Their customers have grown to trust them, and refer them often.
- Their employees are proud to represent them. They are always treated with respect, dignity, and compassion. What they say and do has a direct impact on how the company operates.
Our client companies are comfortable with our price. They do not continually shop us against our competition. They already know that if they find an agency that is charging much less than out 17½%, then their quality will undoubtedly be low as well.
Our client companies are able to plan for the future. Even if they have contingencies, they at least have a plan. They extend to us the courtesy of being a part of that plan.
The jobs we fill
A great job is completely subjective. For some folks, a great job equals ten years of absolute stability and a pension. For others, it may mean a quick project to put food on the table. We are not particular about the type of job, as long as it is in everybody’s best interest.
Our place in the community
Not every Tradesman in Buffalo NY works with us, but most of them know who we are. If they used to see our service as a crutch, they now consider it a luxury.
If a construction company is not doing business with us, it’s either because they cannot afford us, or we just don’t have enough capacity to service them.
Every non-profit, job readiness program in town knows what we do and always refer their best people to us.
The education community invites us in to advise, educate, and recruit their students.
The media sees us as industry insiders. If they have a question pertaining to construction or skilled trades employment in Buffalo, they ask us. We always have tracking systems and data analysis to support our opinions.
Those who have actually worked with us, admire us for having set the bar so high. They are genuinely impressed with not only the speed and efficiency that we made a high quality connection; but also that the referral was way more than they ever expected (even for themselves).
How we do what we do
In an age where a job seeker has thousands of job openings at his fingertips with a keystroke, and companies can have tens of thousands of resumes for the same effort, it has become even more impossible for a person down in the trenches to make the right decision on who to work with. There are tools that we use and methods that we employ that give us what I call “the 30,000-foot view”. Because of our ability to look at thousands of job seekers and thousands of companies at the same time, we have a distinct advantage. From our perspective, the potential connections become obvious. We make it look easy. And further, we continue to stick to our Promise that if we don’t see the perfect match, then we won’t make the recommendation. We would rather not make the sale then make a recommendation to a person (or company) that has less than excellent long-term implications. That would go against our core values.
Every day we touch hundreds of companies and hundreds of people. We’ve cultivated relationships. People trust us. We’ve earned their respect. People refer us….all the time.
We have cutting-edge technology. Our CRM/ATS holds the resumes of 40,000 tradesmen that we’ve interviewed over the last nineteen years. We have keywords, and algorithms, and searches to help our human brains to not miss a thing.
I live the core values that I have set for my company–and I ask people to call me on any deviation.
- We always put the other person’s needs first. Generally, we are talking about a person’s livelihood. We put the person before our commission.
- We practice personal accountability. In other words, in every situation, we ask, “Is there something I could have done to facilitate a better outcome?”
- We are impeccable with our word. We hold ourselves to the same standards that we hold others, and we enforce those standards unilaterally.
- We always “do the right thing.”
- We follow up. We keep our word.
We always remember these values, and that our job here is to make excellent connections.
To OUR mutual success,
EDIT: It's now 2019 and I my staff (and others) continue to remind me that our vision statement is overdue to be updated. I can assure you that I do not take this responsibility lightly. It's not something I can bang out on my lunch hour. The truth of it is.. I think I'm waiting for the next snow day 🙂