Hiring for a Commercial Construction Team is Like Playing in the NFL : Part 1

How we Hire for our Construction Company in Portland, Maine

At Optimum Construction, we’re always looking to hire more team members for our commercial and residential construction projects here in Maine.

But what does it take to be part of our team, and what do we look for when hiring? And what is it like to work for us? This post will answer all your burning questions (and if it doesn’t, send us an email! We’d love to hear from you). When we’re hiring team members, no matter their role, we look for 2 things:

  1. Does this person fit in with our unique company culture?

  2. Is this person skilled and able at their work?

It’s simple, really. But, we’ll get into the details of what that means to us.

Investment in the Company Culture:

Optimum Construction Company Maine Culture of Relationship.jpg

Our company is built on the foundation of relationships. We value strong relationships at every level, whether that’s with our team members, clients, or anyone else we might come in contact with.

So when we’re hiring, we’re asking ourselves a few questions:

  1. Does this person have a positive, collaborative attitude?

  2. Does she/he align with our company values of relationships first?

  3. Is she/he communicative?

  4. Do we (and our team) get a good feeling from him/her?

  5. Does the person care about their job?

You see, when we’re hiring, we’re well aware that it’s our team that will be interacting with someone daily. So when new people are asked to join the team, the current core team vets these new hires, to preserve the atmosphere that we’ve so carefully crafted. Team members are ultimately concerned about the company as a whole, and it creates a scenario where they weed out people who might disrupt the positivity we’ve built. Those team members will be the first to speak when someone isn’t a good fit.

Of course, we also look for someone who presents well, is clean cut, well spoken, positive, has good references, and is skilled. At Optimum Construction in Maine we’re growing like crazy, so we’re looking for someone with a desire to grow their business too. We’re looking for people with an authentic approach and personality who are going to be excited to show up to the job site and will approach a client with confidence, shake their hand, and introduce themselves.

We believe that truly caring about each other as a team is how we improve as a team. Sincerely caring about each other at work creates a pleasant working environment with camaraderie, and good morale, and that’s exactly what we want on all of our job sites.

In short, we have a no jerks policy on our team, and we hold everyone to it.

Commercial and Residential Construction Takes a Team

In construction, whether it’s commercial or residential, the goal can only be accomplished if the entire team cooperates well together and is focused on the common goal.

Optimum Commercial Contractor in Maine.jpg

So, we look for people who are team players. People who want to be part of the group, and aren’t there solely for individual benefit. Critical to this team atmosphere that we’re building is how someone reacts to feedback. Do they take feedback well and implement it into their work? Or do they react negatively?

Optimum Construction President Kendrick Ballantyne has spent a lifetime playing sports, culminating in the NFL as a receiving tight end for the Baltimore Ravens. So he’s become adept at working together and implementing these team-oriented lessons into our leadership style.

When we’re solving a dilemma on a jobsite, we don’t yell. We don’t get angry, and we don’t make a scene. That’s all too common in residential and commercial construction, and we’ve been there at other companies and simply don’t like it.

So what we do is sit down and talk with someone about what was going through their mind and how they made the decision in question. And when we do this, it’s because we care. We’ve found that an honest conversation is the best way to improve, together.

And everyone on our team has an important role, no matter what it is. We view it as our job to help our team members succeed. We look for people who are interested in joining an environment of growth, and who are actively invested in the team’s success.

When a team is working well together, enjoys the work they are doing, and synchronizes to achieve their common goal, there’s a certain kind of magic that happens.

And that magic is what we want to cultivate in our team everyday.

It’s quite rare in the construction industry, both commercial and residential, to have the time/opportunity to sit down and talk through issues, rather than simply be angry and leave the problem unsolved. So we deliberately created a team that facilitates that magic. Some of our current team members have even left their own businesses to come work for us because our culture is so unique.

Retention Matters:

Optimum Commercial Construction Company Builder of Culture.jpg

Many of our contractors have been with us since the founding of the company. And as we’ve grown our commercial construction business in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, we’ve continued to search for new people who fit in well with what we’ve built.

We’re focusing on building long term relationships, and we love hearing the  excitement in someone’s voice when we call them and invite them to work on a project with us. Hearing things like  “you’re so easy to work with”, and  “your clients are great”, tell us what we’re succeeding in building the kind of company we’ve always wanted to have.