Hiring subcontractors is an essential part for a contractor of any building project. A good, trust filled relationship between contractors and subcontractors can both be long lasting and make building projects run smoothly. On the flipside, an underperforming subcontractor can seriously slow down work and cost money.
While hiring a bad or hard-to-deal-with subcontractor isn’t on anybody’s agenda, it can, and frequently does, still happen. If you are a contractor noticing that your subcontractor isn’t doing the work you agreed on, they act unprofessionally or leaves unfinished work, it is important to handle it before it becomes a hinderance to the building project.
Tips for speaking with your subcontractor
It is important to keep communication face-to-face. It is harder to irk responsibility for one’s poor performance when a meeting is had face to face rather than over text or a phone call.
When you need to talk to your subcontractor about their underperformance, keep it private. Pull them aside instead of addressing them in front of the rest of the crew, as it will only lower morale, and will likely do little to improve their performance.
If they don’t respond well, perhaps consider letting them go. While firing a subcontractor can be seen as a breach of contract and hiring a new subcontractor can hold up the project, keeping them on-site can be costlier both in time and money.
Learning from one’s mistakes
After everything is over, whether it be by the subcontractor moving on, or agreeing on their shortcomings and picking up their slack, it becomes important not to simply brush it off as a bad experience, but to actively learn from the situation and find out how similar situations can be avoided in the future.
How is it that some contractors seem to have solid, trusting business relations with their subcontractors, while others keep getting shorthanded?
Save time by researching your subcontractors before hiring
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is incredibly common for contractors and clients alike to hire subcontractors based on gut-feeling alone. Whether this is financially motivated (the subcontractor offered a much lower, or cash payment option), time motivated (you only have a limited time to find and hire your subcontractor), or motivated by friendship (perhaps you have a friend who promises they can do the job and you want to give them a break), it is important to move past gut-feeling to validate the positive first impression you experienced.
Research the maintenance management consultant, chase down their references, and vet each candidate thoroughly, you can use services such as Web FM to achieve this. It may seem like a waste of time at the start, but it can save you a lot of time, money and stress down the line.