Tradie Tips: Managing Subcontractors

9 May 2019

The performance of your subcontractors can reflect directly on your business, and as they aren’t full-time employees, it can sometimes be a tough job managing their responsibilities and keeping up motivation. If your subbies are underperforming, it can directly affect the profitability and productivity of your business, as well as your reputation and client satisfaction, which is why it’s crucial that you have steps put in place that help you to effectively manage them from the get-go.

 

Do Your Research

It’s important that you know who you’re hiring before adding a subcontractor to your team, even if it’s just short term. Make sure to call their references, and if they’re not convincing, don’t use the subbie. If they can’t provide you with references then that’s an even bigger reason not to hire them. A quick Google or Facebook search may also help you to make your decision if there are some less than favourable results.

 

Use a Written Contract

When it comes to hiring a subcontractor, verbal communication isn’t enough. Make sure you have a contract in place that helps them to understand their role and responsibilities during their time spent working for your business. Other details that are important to include are job requirements, terms of termination, payment – which can be determined based on their ability to meet expectations, and insurance.

You can find a good sample subcontractor agreement here, which can be downloaded and customised for your business.

 

Maintain Communication

This might seem as though it goes without saying, but communication is key when dealing with subcontractors. If they aren’t meeting your expectations, let them know before it’s too late. However, this should always be a two-way street. If your subbie is having any problems, it’s important that they are able to get in contact with you to let you know.

If your subcontractors are on a different site to you, communication is a lot easier when you’re using trade management apps like Trade Trak. Rather than wasting time telephone chasing, have your subcontractors write notes on the jobs daily detailing what was achieved or any other updates that are worth noting down.

 

Set Deadlines

A great way of ensuring the job will be done on time is by breaking it up into smaller tasks and then setting deadlines. Set the time frame for all tasks out in writing and check that it’s understood. Make sure that you’re following up regularly (even if it’s just by monitoring the daily updates) so that you know the deadlines will be met. Don’t leave it until the last day to see how they’re tracking. If your subcontractor has fallen behind on the job, it will reflect poorly on your business and could cost you money.

A simple way to break up the workload is by using tasks on Trade Trak. Tasks can be assigned to users and you can even assign due dates. The user will receive notifications when they’re added and when the due date is impending, so they won’t be missed!

Using subcontractors should help to reduce your own workload, not increase it. Trade Trak is here to help with this and is one of the most comprehensive trade management apps on the market for managing subcontractors. Your subbies can be assigned to jobs, access the details they need such as contacts, addresses and notes, scheduled for jobs, and complete quality reports and SWMS.

If you’d like to find out more about how Trade Trak can help you to manage your subcontractors, feel free to reach out to us here.