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The Business Of Upholstery => The Business Of Upholstery => Topic started by: kodydog on April 26, 2014, 09:06:37 AM

Title: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: kodydog on April 26, 2014, 09:06:37 AM
Thursday I turned in my resignation. Now the folks I work for are scrambling to find a replacement. Problem is its been a long time since they have had to get out there and do what it takes to lure a new employee into there business. They've always relied on people just walking in off the street or using the local classifieds. I suggested online placement sites like Indeed.com or Workforce.com but wonder if that will be much help.

I need suggestions on how to find a skilled upholsterer.
Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: bobbin on April 26, 2014, 09:24:12 AM
I'm "lookin'" for someone to do nice work for me.  I'm not hiring.  I ask friends and customers who've hired me for referrals!

When I gave my notice to Boss (3 full mos.) there was a lot of foot draggin' with respect to locating my replacement (at least from my perspective).  There was a Craigslist ad. and "mouth to mouth" via associated businesses.  There were few responses, frankly.  And what few there were lacked many of my skills (so I was told). 

Skilled trades have been vastly underappreciated, IMO.  It's only when crunch time looms that employers begin to really consider what has walked out the door... and oftentimes for really pretty stupid reasons!
Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: chrisberry12 on April 28, 2014, 11:05:02 AM
indeed.com
Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: MinUph on April 30, 2014, 01:10:52 PM
Tried indeed.com. Any more suggestions? Looking for a seamstress.
Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: scott_san_diego on May 01, 2014, 12:43:35 PM
You might try the local newspaper.  Also try Craig's list. About 1 1/2 years ago  I placed an add on craig's list and the newspaper and got a fair response from it.  But you need to be very detailed on what type of seamstress you are looking for.  I would give applicants something to sew, to see if they really know how to do it.
Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: sofadoc on May 01, 2014, 02:46:04 PM
My local newspaper hasn't had a real live honest-to-goodness "want ad" in years. Just a lot of phony 800 # scams.

If I were hiring (which I'm not), it wouldn't take me long to find someone. I have at least 2 or 3 highly qualified upholsterers come in my shop every year asking for a job. Complete with nice resumes, and portfolios of some really beautiful work.

Of course, the salary they would expect would throw my current pricing structure WAY out of whack.
Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: MinUph on May 01, 2014, 05:54:42 PM
  Well I got a response from a woman from her indeed resume today. She sounds honest with her experience which is a plus. I will have her give me a call so we can discuss further.
  I was going to place an add on CL but they now want money to post jobs ads. I frown on that. But it might be necessary if this woman doesn't work out.

  Thanks for the help.
Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: KenB on May 02, 2014, 10:20:48 AM
Try clicking Classifieds link above
Ken
Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: bobbin on May 02, 2014, 03:50:21 PM
Boss ran a Craigslist ad. for 6 wks. for my replacement.  The prospects were pretty grim; ranged from "home sewers" looking for a first time sewing job to those with experience who reeked of cigarette smoke.  Neither was appealing, I don't know who was hired, but I've heard that there are difficulties with accurate measurements. 
Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: byhammerandhand on May 02, 2014, 05:40:32 PM
Ah, if you consider the high cost of a new hire, beware the cost of a bad new hire.  
http://www.jobscience.com/blog/real-cost-bad-hire/

I may have said this before:   One former co-worker left and went to work for another company.   That other company would never hire someone off the street.   They hired them as a sub-contractor for six months and then if they worked out would offer them a position.  I always thought that was clever -- someone can buffalo their way through an interview and even behave for a while.  But the deadbeats have a hard time keeping it up for six months.

I've had to fire people.   Some deserved it; others were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.  A number of years ago, I was set to go out of town for a vacation.   The division manager called me over to the hotel across the street from the office.  All around the room was flip-chart sized pieces of paper with the name of everyone in the division (several hundred people) listed.   Some in black, some in red, and some with question marks behind their name.  It was a hit list for about 40% "downsizing."    The next day, I had a meeting with a couple of people from an out of town group that I knew was going to be eliminated within a couple of weeks.   I had a hard time with that as they talked about coordinating plans between our groups.   My VP wished me to have a happy vacation and things will happen the week I got back.   After that time, people always got real nervous when their computer terminal quit responding (that was usually T minus 1 that you would be called into your manager's office in a few minutes.)

One of my customers is a delivery/moving company.   One day when I was there I saw a sign that they were looking for employees.   I jokingly asked the warehouse manager if I should apply.   I said I'd show up, show up clean and sober.   He said I'd be ahead of 99% of applicants if I'd do that.     Mike Rowe calls it "Show up early and stay late."  http://www.lifebuzz.com/mike-rowe/


The prospects were pretty grim...
 
Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: bobbin on May 03, 2014, 03:03:59 PM
As with anything there are skilled people, people who care, and people who bump/hack along because they have minimal skills and don't really care.  With a skilled trade a new hire either knows the work or doesn't.  The latter doesn't have to be a deal breaker if the desire to build/improve skills is present.  In that case it's important for both worker and employer to be flexible and open.  Newbies make mistakes (they have to if they're going to learn and add to their skills), employers have to understand that and do their best to make the inevitable mistakes as inexpensive as they can.  The goal is to avoid "the set up for failure".  And for an employer that requires a lot of attention to the specifics of each step in a production process! and I think that point is too often overlooked by employers, frankly.  Too often new hires are intimidated and afraid to ask for clarification (don't want to look "dumb") and just forge ahead because they don't fully understand how quickly the cost of a screw up adds up!  Plenty of blame for everyone, clearly.  

I've never understood the "hack" mentality.  I loathed working with them.  Whining, grousing, never understanding that doing something right the first time was easier... drove me nuts.  It also drove me nuts when Boss provided barely skeletal information with respect to the requirements of the project, but then felt fully justified in subjecting my work to a full post mortem (which often seemed hinged on how Boss's day had gone and was delivered in front of co-workers, sometimes customers).  I left because I was tired of asking for clear instructions and never knowing when I was going to be beaten up for a mistake that could've been avoided with the often asked for specific work order.  And also because my over 30 yrs. of experience deserved more professional consideration!

Aside from the vagaries in earnings (which are pretty easy to control), I like working for me a lot more!
Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: MinUph on May 03, 2014, 08:10:36 PM
Well to follow up as I said I would. I never heard back from the woman that showed interest in the position. She sounded good to me. Oh well ya never know.

  Anyway, I want to thank you that have responded to this post. It has been interesting reading.

  bobbin, I have experienced the type of owner you speak of. It is frustrating.

  I am planning on taking over the shop where I work the end of this year and will be better at leading than it is now. I have learned a lot over the years and found people make the company and communication is a key factor in anything produced. I will be doing the hiring from now on and I like that. I just hope I can find someone as our seamstress is moving at the end of May. I don't really want to sew all day myself.

  The hunt continues.
Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: kodydog on May 04, 2014, 09:25:48 AM
More placement sites include;
Monster.com
BusinessWorkforce.com
Jobs.com
And in Florida, as an employer, the Employ Florida Marketplace offers a multitude of resources to help you find the perfect candidate, create job listings, review job market trends and more.

When I gave my notice to Boss (3 full mos.) there was a lot of foot draggin'

I gave a little over 2 months, the bosses think this is totally unfair. They say they could never find a replacement in this short time. I told them they need to start now, be proactive, don't drag your feet and don't wait till the last minute. I know these people and I know the more time I give the longer it will take to find a replacement. They started to tell me I owe them but I had to cut them short by telling them I come in every day, on time and work hard from the time I get there till the time I leave.

There placing all there faith in Craiglist. They don't talk to me much anymore except to tell me what needs to be done next. One of the other employees told me they have someone coming in Monday (my day off) for a working interview. The last two weeks my paycheck is not handed to me. Its just left somewhere in my work area for me to find.

I really need to know, is 60 days notice unfair?
Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: bobbin on May 04, 2014, 09:50:46 AM
I don't think 60 days was unreasonable or unfair, at all, Kody.  It's two mos., 8 weeks!  Don't allow yourself to be "guilted into" thinking it was!

I gave 3mos. because overall, the job was perfect for me for several years.  I liked my schedule (for the most part), the work was occasionally dirty and really heavy, but there was a lot of interesting variety, too!  I had a generous employee discount, a savings plan, and a vacation.  I basically set up my own shop while working there.  ;)

But professional improvement was increasingly viewed with suspicion; my thoughts and ideas on how to accomplish a task was always ignored.  I learned to keep my mouth shut and artfully dodge questions involving my "opinion".  Every year made it harder to do that, so it was time "to go".     

Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: JuneC on May 04, 2014, 12:29:51 PM

I gave a little over 2 months, the bosses think this is totally unfair.

I really need to know, is 60 days notice unfair?

2 months not enough???!!!  They're VERY luck they got more than 2 weeks.  This is NOT your problem.  It's theirs.  If the shoe were on the other foot and they were cutting you loose for whatever reason, it would be absolutely no more than 2 weeks.

June
Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: sofadoc on May 04, 2014, 01:04:04 PM
Kody: I remember several months ago, you went to your boss with some ideas about increasing profits. His reply was something to the effect of "I don't need to make more money".

He had become too complacent. He was satisfied with his profit margins, which were sufficient for him as long as his employees was satisfied to work for the same pay indefinitely. What he doesn't understand is, the rest of you aren't just there to make HIM a living.

I'm with June. You don't owe him a day over 2 weeks.

Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: byhammerandhand on May 04, 2014, 05:35:47 PM
When I had to lay off or fire people, they were called into an office and told, escorted to their work station with a box, asked to pack up their stuff while someone waited with them and, "Have a nice day."    It may have been a different industry, but the risk of sabotage* was a concern.  I believe they got paid for 10 days following that.

Incidentally, the term "sabotage" came during the industrial revolution when workers felt they were being pushed to hard, they would drop a shoe (a wooden shoe called a "sabot") into the gears.

I was reminded of one guy that worked there.   He is one of the few people that I absolutely hated working with.  A real immature backstabbing a-hole.  He came in on a Sunday, cleaned out his stuff, left a note on his boss's desk that he would not be in Monday, nor any day thereafter.
Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: scott_san_diego on May 05, 2014, 08:16:25 AM
Two week notice is standard in any industry.
When I have had employees who wanted  to move on, they would give me a two week notice.  Or I would let them go right then.
Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: kodydog on May 05, 2014, 12:35:34 PM
Thanks. Looks like we all agree. January they gave me a raise and asked if I ever leave could I give them a fair notice. I said I would give them 2 months. Thus the lengthy resignation.

What really got me wondering was the in house decorator. Over the last 2 years my wife and I have become friends with her and her husband. She is educated and has a good head on her shoulders. We often bounce ideas off each other. When I explained to her about the 60 day notice and how unhappy the bosses are she agreed with them. I was surprised.

The bosses son told me 2 weeks is normal in most industries but not this one.  ???

The last upholsterer was with the company over 15 years. When he quit he gave 6 months notice. But he was 75 years old, retiring and moving to another state. I guess that makes them think everyone should give a 6 mo. notice.

Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: sofadoc on May 05, 2014, 01:42:36 PM
Sounds like the in-house decorator knows which side her bread is buttered on.
Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: bobbin on May 05, 2014, 01:53:05 PM
In-house decorator may get a dope slap when she realizes the person who was cranking out the super work had "to go". 

Water of a duck's back, Kody.! your work will speak for you wherever you go. 
Title: Re: How do you find a skilled upholsterer
Post by: chrisberry12 on May 07, 2014, 10:35:39 AM
advertise on Craig's List but advertise all states all cities not just local. I found my last job right where I wanted to live out my remaining years and jumped at the opportunity. Although it did not work out and I am self employed, that is how I got here. You never know someone might be having a hard time finding work where they are and would move there for the job. Good Luck. Also you can ask on Linked and Twitter, Facebook or the like. if you want someone with lots of experience throw an add up in Syracuse NY. Harden furniture laid a bunch of guys off last year and place ads in High Point. Good Luck!