Elite’s Chief People & Administrative Officer, Mollie Neil, has been in the storm exterior industry for 12+ years and knows a thing or two about empowering women in roofing as well as supplementing and growing roofing companies. Mollie recently decided that helping contractors with their supplementing efforts simply isn’t enough. She has decided to lean on her experience of growing offices to further help contractors grow their businesses.
We thought it’d be fun to do a little Q&A and learn what motivates Mollie and how you can benefit from her hard work.
- How did you get your start in storm restoration?
I answered an ad on craigslist in 2009 for a part time office manager position for a newer branch office of a growing storm remodeling company, 123 Exteriors. I was finishing my degree at Ohio State and wanted a part-time job to supplement my existing income. I knew nothing about the industry but had experience in office management. During my time at school, I interned in the nonprofit space but decided to continue with 123 after graduation because the company opened so many doors for me. I was able to grow and excel in different positions. Our leadership team continued to find new avenues that I could move into, and that responsibility and exposure really drove my passion for working in the industry and with 123 specifically.
- What was your biggest accomplishment at 123?
I loved seeing the growth and development of the people I had hired and/or had a part in their training program. It is extremely rewarding to see people that you have worked closely with excel in part because of your efforts.
- Why did you decide to move to Elite?
I saw the need for our services and was excited to have the opportunity to help good contractors succeed in a fast-moving environment. That coupled with continuing to learn from and work with our owner, Mike, made the transition to Elite a very easy decision.
- What made you decide to offer general recruiting services and training specifically for office managers within the exterior remodeling industry?
The bulk of my career with 123 had centered around recruiting and training our office staff, from Office Admin to all positions within our Accounting & HR departments, to canvassing and telemarketing teams and it’s always been an area I’ve enjoyed. While the markets and individual office culture that I hired for varied, I could stick to a streamlined process that allowed me to work more effectively. I feel like I can bring this same process to help other contractors in their hiring efforts.
- What are the main benefits of Elite’s recruiting division?
During my team’s tenure with the industry and time at 123, we’ve had experience hiring in almost every condition imaginable for the storm industry. Our experience and ability to follow a streamlined process while allowing for a company’s nuances sets us apart from general recruiting firms. We’ve also spent time developing different level of packages that I feel really fit our potential clients’ needs that another recruiting company wouldn’t have as firm of a grasp on.
- Why should a busy contractor lean on your training skills?
I have been both the trainee and trainer on a day-to-day basis.
I understand exactly where new (and even veteran!) Office Manager are coming from. I had to learn the industry on the fly when I was hired while keeping an office running smoothly. Non-revenue generating, administrative tasks are crucial to keeping a company’s workflow and office moving, but that doesn’t mean owners and upper management staff should be handling the tasks. An owner’s time is much more impactful if they have a skilled and trained Office Manager in place.
Spending the time to train multiple positions year after year has enabled me to grow and develop my training skills. Many companies don’t have a formal training program in place and rely on word-of-mouth training and sitting for hours with a new office trainee. Busy contractors don’t have the time or resources to help make new hires successful. I strongly feel like this is something my team and I can handle for them.
- What is one of your most memorable recruiting moments?
I had set up a zoom interview with a candidate that their mom sat in on. This person’s resume was well put together, their phone screening had gone well but having their mom sit next to them the whole time was off-putting. She remained mostly out of the camera focus but it instantly soured my opinion of the candidate. When I asked for an explanation of why she was sitting in, the candidate’s response was, “I live at home, and I wanted my mom to be here.” Needless to say, we passed on this person and found a better candidate.
- What is one thing contractors can do to help their recruiting efforts?
Respond to your candidates! Less than 37% of candidates get feedback within one week of applying. Even if the candidate is not a good fit for the position, letting them know their status leaves them with a better feeling about your company than ghosting them. This simple, but time-consuming process will help you build a pipeline of potential candidates as you continue your hiring endeavors.
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