Integrators Speak Out: Labor and Employment
Cantara Design Group
Costa Mesa, Calif.
What is your biggest challenge in terms of dealing with your labor pool?
• It is difficult to keep the whole team moving as one unit and toward the exact same goals. Because we are a small business, most employees hold a unique position on the team. We have found one of the side effects of being streamlined in this way is that each team member also has a unique perspective and specifics that they protect. It seems we spend a lot of time coaching employees to see the bigger goal and stay on track.
How do you find the right kind of people to work for your
business? How do you recruit employees?
• The skilled labor pool is very small for trained/experienced residential integration technicians and programmers. Our philosophy has been to look for people who have the personality and attention to detail that Cantara needs. Once we narrow down to a pool of applicants who would do well, then we assess for applicable experience and aptitude to do the job. Both personality and aptitude are important, but hiring a
smart person who will not do well in the position—or with
the team—is fighting a losing battle.
Where is the biggest deficiency for your employees and how have you worked to fix it?
• Teamwork. We have a lot of willing and talented people who don’t always see the others’ perspective in the task at hand.
If your employees could do one thing to improve your business, what would it be?
• Continue to focus on the best customer service. It should guide all of the decisions.
What advice would you have for a peer who is looking to improve how they deal with their labor pool?
• Leadership and having time to help your employees understand their role and how it operates in the larger organization is key.