Mike from Hagerstown, MD has been a Nexstar Member since 2007 and asked the following question on Nexstar’s Bulletin Board a while ago.

Q: We recently interviewed an HVAC service technician who we would like to add to our team. One of the things he asked us about is a guaranteed 40 hours. We don’t currently have any type of hour per week promise as part of our benefits/perks package but it got me thinking. I wouldn’t suggest that we offer to make each week a full 40 hours, but I think it is safe to offer a 40 hour per week average throughout the year. Are any of you doing anything like this?

As a Nexstar Network business coach, I see questions like this often. I even touched on it in a blog post a while back. Because we run into this scenario often, I thought I would expand a little bit.

You know, Frank Blau gave me these words of advice 21 years ago. I remember it like yesterday.

Your employees’ compensation package should identify you as the company of choice. Make your compensation package stand out, over and above the competition. Make it so the employees can’t afford to leave you. With that said, it doesn’t mean hold on to the folks that SUCK!

I ask myself the following question when developing a compensation plan: “Would I work for me?” If the answer is yes, then you’re on your way to a good plan.

Set clear expectations, and hold people accountable. No reason to keep the run-of-the-mill employee and pay them exceptionally well. Said differently: Cut your losers quickly. Continuously recruit. Never be satisfied with mediocrity.

Make it known to all employees working for you and not working for you, that if you want a great compensation/benefit package, your company is the place to work.

Here’s what we as owners need to understand: Your employees have a personal budget, just as you have a company budget. Your company needs to bring in X, or your will be losing money. Your employees need to bring in X or they can’t pay their bills.

So what do you do to make it work for everyone. Build it into your price, that’s right, build in 2080 paid hours into your selling price.The good news is this: If you are using the Nexstar Profit Pricer to determine your selling price, then it’s done for you. The Nexstar Profit Pricer builds in 40 hours per week in direct cost for your technicians.

So what’s the big deal? It’s done, move on and focus on improving your Call count, Conversion rate and Maximizing your closed calls.

If you stepped back and really look at the question you are asking, what you are really saying is “how can I afford to do this”? I ask this: How can you afford to hire people who SUCK! If you hired them with the intent that they won’t suck and then you find out differently that they do SUCK. REPLACE THEM with people who are worthy of your compensation plan.

Too many times, I hired someone, (who could fog a mirror) because I had a truck available and needed someone now. Stop doing that!!! Be slow to hire and quick to fire… Find the right person.

I know, you are say, but Jim, I need someone now!! I get that, that sucks, I do understand, but you should have never stopped looking for great people. Recruiting is a full time, 365 day a year, process. Always be recruiting. Build yourself a database of potential employees. Go out there and get on great employees radar. Make it known that you are the company of choice.

In closing, I want to say…….

Thanks Frank, it was a great lesson.