It’s already February. The 2022 Roofing Season is just around the corner for much of the Midwest. Many of your top performing sales reps are wrapping up their much-needed R&R after a productive year. The best roofing companies are using this offseason time to analyze previous year results and retool for the spring and summer. This means polishing up new marketing and operations initiatives and, most importantly, gauging their hiring needs for the upcoming storm season.
If you haven’t started the hiring process for your roofing sales rep(s), it’s time to get on it! A national search on Indeed.com reveals there are currently 3,600 listings for “Roofing Sales Rep.” It can take some time to find the right candidates and even more time to hire multiple reps, especially in a tight labor market.
Roofing Company Hiring Checklist:
1. Identify Company Needs
A good way to determine how many sales reps you need to hire for your roofing business is to start with your sales goal for the year, take inventory of existing talent, and calculate the sales gap to be filled by new hires (using realistic sales projections). Let’s say your office sales goal is $2.5 million. Your sales team consists of the owner, a sales superstar and a young guy who moved away. Based on last year’s sales, you expect your superstar to sell $1.2 million, owner to sell $600k, leaving a $700k gap in sales that needs to be filled by new reps. A conservative estimate for a news sales rep with no experience would be $350k in sales so you would likely need 2 new sales reps to make up the $700k. On top of that, you should probably anticipate that 1 new hire will wash out so you should aim to hire 3 and keep 2 new reps.
2. Before You Post
Before you jump into the entire process, you should consider whether it makes sense to outsource this function to a professional roofing recruiter or handle it in-house. A lot of owners think they can do it all but, what they fail to realize is that recruiting might not be the best use of his/her time. Especially in small companies in which owners also sell, if the cost to outsource is less than the net gain from additional time selling – you outsource; it’s that simple. (Thinking of outsourcing your hiring process? CLICK HERE).
Also, before you post a job opening, you should always monitor your digital presence online. This includes keeping an up-to-date About Us section on your website, LinkedIn profiles, LinkedIn company pages, and job board company reviews. New hires will research your company and what you don’t want is for the only thing that shows up in a Google search is a nasty review left by a former disgruntled employee.
3. Post Roofing Jobs
For posting roofing salesman openings, Indeed, ZipRecruiter and Glassdoor are where we see the most action these days. This has evolved quite a bit over time and will likely change in the next few years. In 2008, Craigslist and Monster.com were the go-to for posting roofing jobs. Then CareerBuilder came and went. The job board of the future? Maybe LinkedIn, but probably something we haven’t even heard of yet. Posting on these big-name job board websites is effective but be prepared – it is very much pay-to-play, but a necessary cost of doing business. Another effective channel to post roofing jobs is on job boards at local colleges, community colleges, and trade schools. These organizations often have fairly sophisticated platforms and dedicated staff whose sole focus it is to find jobs for students. These schools also have job fairs and recruiting events on campus throughout the year.
The main consideration for vetting roofing sales reps is first determining what the sales rep position entails at your company. Are your salesmen generating the leads themselves and seeing the job through install and collections? If so, that type of rep needs to have sales, customer service, and project management skills. However, if the position is more of a canvasser role, there is more emphasis on sales and less on service. If the salesman’s role is more like an account rep that takes existing leads and oversees the pre-production, installation and collection, then service and project management skills are a must. Be sure to explain the role clearly to avoid confusion and additional work vetting the wrong candidates. The amount of time that goes into vetting will depend on factors such as how many roofing salesmen you intend to hire as well as the size and competitiveness of your market.
Bottom line, it can take a lot of time. In a recent engagement for Elite Talent Solutions, we were tasked with hiring 3 sales reps. We were able to solicit 80 resumes, of which 20 met the qualification requirements for our client. Of those 20, we interviewed 10, made offers to 4 and hired 3 great candidates.
You’ve got some new sales rep hires…. Now what? Roofing companies need to have policies, procedures, and training in place to give the new hires the tools they need to be successful. Otherwise, you will always be hiring. Game out what types of training resources are required to hire a sales rep with 10+ years of experience in roofing versus a kid who graduated from high school last year whose only work experience is flipping burgers at a fast-food restaurant. Both can be successful, but each requires a different amount of time and effort to get them there. Training is another great aspect of your business to consider outsourcing. Training new hires is essentially 2 main categories: internal company processes and the X’s and O’s of the roofing work. These days, there are some great options for online roofing courses that cover everything from the basics to advanced selling techniques. (Thinking of outsourcing your hiring process? CLICK HERE). Roofing sales rep training is not just for new hires with no experience. A lot has changed in the industry in the last 10 years – tons of new technology, laws, building codes, etc. And that doesn’t even include how much change has occurred in how insurance companies handle storm damage claims. If you have your own training in place, make sure it’s geared toward the industry of 2022, not 2005.
6. Ongoing Recruiting
So, you’ve got your new sales rep recruit class in the door, does that mean that you are done? Typically hiring roofing salesmen is not a one-and-done situation. Anyone who’s been in roofing knows that sales reps come and go so the group of new reps you hire in March will likely not be the same group you have in October. That’s normal but you do have to account for that in your hiring strategy. Our general recommendation is to ease up on the paid job postings once you have hired 2-5. That gives you time to work with the new reps to see what you have and determine if they will work out. The time that was spent vetting can now be allocated towards onboarding and training. Usually within 30-60 days you will have a pretty good idea where you stand and can turn the job ads back on when necessary.