On a job site, you’re going to have people of varying levels of experience and expertise. A stone mason, for instance, is an artist, a scientist and a builder all in one. That’s not a job that you can hand over to just anybody. Then again, how experienced does someone need to be to help carry lumber across the site and hold a wall up while you piece a frame together?
Not every job demands an expert, but, that’s not to say that “any idiot can do it.” There are a few basic requirements you’re looking for when hiring your crew, even if they’re only going to be handling the most basic tasks.
A basic sense of how to stay safe on a job site is a must. If there’s one thing that “any idiot” can do on a jobsite, it’s injure themselves. Make sure your new guys know all about basic on-site safety, from hard hats and safety goggles to on-the-job common sense. A great thing about construction work is that almost anybody can take on an entry level position and learn a trade, but you don’t want people who simply have no sense for the job, people who got kicked out of shop class so the school wouldn’t wind up getting sued.
Show your new hires around the place, let them know where the first-aid kits are and what to do in an emergency. Keep an eye on them on their first day, make sure that they know what they’re doing, and don’t assign them to any tasks that you’re not sure they can safely handle.
Take time to teach your gofers. If it’s a small crew, you can get hands-on with them and show them the ropes. There are trade schools for HVAC pros and electricians, but there’s not much you can do to learn how to be a general handyman besides learn on the job. If you have a larger crew, you can turn a fresh hire into an expert in no time by assigning them to unofficial apprentice positions, helping your carpentry crew to build the frame one day, installing a tub with the bathroom team the next.