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Old 06-10-2013, 04:41 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,426,572 times
Reputation: 10248

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No, I'm not offering a career or "real job" but this is a really economically depressed area and I am looking for 1-2 experienced housepainters. I do mostly very high-end custom work, including decorative paint and plaster and (although I didn't put it in the ad) will pay $15-20 per hour which is darn good blue-collar pay for this area. I have one guy who has worked for me for almost seven years and I pay him the upper limit. This is actually quite a bit more than what most experienced painters around here make; $12-15 is about the norm.

Here's the ad:

Painter - experienced for custom repaints

I didn't include my phone number because I didn't want to be bothered at work with a bunch of calls and texts. After outlining the type of work and my expectations, I ended with:

Quote:
Please email with your experience and what you think you are worth per hour.
Thank you.
Ad was posted this morning and I have had 13 emails in the last 12 hours or so.
Only two people actually *followed directions* and elaborated on experience and desired hourly wage.
One of them is coming to the current job tomorrow and we will see how it goes, the other sounded so good (but not that experienced) that I will probably try him out on an upcoming job.

Ten of the other 11 respondents sent me one-sentence emails along the lines of "Hi I'm Joe and I have 5 years experience, my number is XXXXXX."
The last respondent wanted me to refer work I couldn't take on to him, and he's not insured or licensed or anything so, no.

Make that 14 responses, another just came in. He at least followed directions!

I just posted this because I see threads on here about how scammy CL is (and indeed it can be) but from my limited experience in looking for people to work, respondents, at least in my field and based on one day's worth of responses, are not necessarily putting forth much effort.

It could be of course that folks looking for work/gigs on CL are so cautious about potential scams they're not willing to divulge much, and I'm not a big-name employer offering a career with benefits, so I do get that.

But in an area as economically depressed as this (biggest city in the county is Flint, MI) it does seem that if one is going to go to the trouble of responding to a CL ad, at least putting forth a little effort and doing what was asked in the ad would make sense, right?

If I'm off-base or my ad was poorly-worded, I'll take criticism too.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:00 PM
 
241 posts, read 515,272 times
Reputation: 251
Default I have found this to be true

I advertised on Craigslist for someone to come house sit for me and take care of my two healthy, very easy cats. I offered $50 a day compensation and asked that people just provide a few simple pieces of information.

I got over 300 responses and there were only 5 or 6 that I would even consider letting in my house! Many of them would be great to read on some sort of comedy show. Maybe only 10% of these responses actually provided the info that I had requested.

People complain a lot about Craigslist but so few actually follow directions and take pains to present themselves well. I think that the vast majority of posts on there are legit.

One thing I might recommend in your position is listing the compensation. Whenever I have listed above average compensation in employment ads I've gotten much better responses.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:15 PM
 
7,422 posts, read 13,759,653 times
Reputation: 4944
Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysflyin View Post
People complain a lot about Craigslist but so few actually follow directions and take pains to present themselves well. I think that the vast majority of posts on there are legit.
this really depends on the city.

in some cities, the scammers outnumber the real job posts, for sure. the cities where they don't either craigslist charges to post job ads (the larger metro areas), or there are enough vigilant people flagging the scam posts that they don't stick around for long. any craigslist where it's free to post ads gets flooded with this stuff and it's solely up to the users to control it.

i'm not talking about "hey, i applied and no one got back to me". i'm talking about "hey, i applied and some guy wrote back saying he lives out of the country and needs a personal assistant and he will wire me some money and then i just have to send him a check for part of it, etc.

ie textbook nigerian scam.

i've accidentally applied to a couple of these fake posts and now i periodically get spam texts.

and yes, as the scammers get better and better at posting realistic ads, it scares a lot of the smarter people away, which is kind of a vicious circle because then a lot of employers don't bother posting on craigslist because the quality of the applicants is so low.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:36 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,343 posts, read 17,494,039 times
Reputation: 19655
I'm surprised your ad hasn't been flagged off. Here are my critiques of your job posting:

- This blurb: "Please email with your experience and what you think you are worth per hour" can be seen as taking bids which is a CL no-no. You should state your pay range upfront otherwise you're wasting everyone's time.

- State the level of experience you're looking for -- 5 years? 10 years?

- State how much work you have and how many the job seeker can expect -- 5 hours? 10 hours? days? how many projects?
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:42 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,426,572 times
Reputation: 10248
alwaysflyin, I dithered about listing compensation but after searching other similar ads I realised I was prepared to pay more than what people were typically advertising! So I didn't want to put that out there and get a ton of responses from flakey people expecting $20 an hour. If I run another ad I may well heed your advice, though. I am really not trying to be evasive but I am trying to weed out the scammers and incompetents. I've been straight up with the few people I emailed or called back.


groar, I know that CL is rife with scams and BS. This isn't a huge market and there was no charge. Each person I responded to I included my business name, real name and business phone number so they could look me up and know I am legit.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:47 PM
 
7,422 posts, read 13,759,653 times
Reputation: 4944
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
groar, I know that CL is rife with scams and BS. This isn't a huge market and there was no charge. Each person I responded to I included my business name, real name and business phone number so they could look me up and know I am legit.
i'm just saying, both of you guys implied that there aren't as many scams on craigslist as people say. there totally are, and the fact that you can't find quality applicants isn't really related (well it sort of is, but not in the way you seem to think).
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:57 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,426,572 times
Reputation: 10248
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaypee View Post
I'm surprised your ad hasn't been flagged off. Here are my critiques of your job posting:

- This blurb: "Please email with your experience and what you think you are worth per hour" can be seen as taking bids which is a CL no-no. You should state your pay range upfront otherwise you're wasting everyone's time.

- State the level of experience you're looking for -- 5 years? 10 years?

- State how much work you have and how many the job seeker can expect -- 5 hours? 10 hours? days? how many projects?
Good points, jaypee!

Well as to the first point, I addressed that already...and I was specific about "per hour" and not "I am taking bids for projects." As I said, the one person who wanted me to simply refer him for jobs is not getting that. I am looking at this point to hire someone for a more-than-fair hourly compensation, nothing more and nothing less.

As far as years of experience...in this trade that's subjective. Someone who has 30 years experience doing commercial and new builds is probably no more good to me than someone who has 3 years doing custom interiors. That is why I asked for "level of experience", hoping that folks would elaborate.

Third point - YES. Well, I wish I could be more specific but given the nature of this trade I can't and I am not going to make promises I cannot keep. I think that anyone who is experienced in the trades understands this dynamic. Also this is highly seasonal work; also something anyone in the skilled trades realises. And why I stated in my ad that I would hope to keep someone busy "through the summer" because once winter hits here things tend to screech to a halt.

I just took on a new client - a design and architectural services company - who at this point loves me and is scheduling all sorts of future work for me. This is on top of a couple of builders and many private clients that I do work for. So I would LOVE to be able to guarantee full-time work for a couple more people but the nature of the trades...it's capricious and unstable. So I am trying to be honest and not blow smoke up anyone's ash.

That is one reason I am looking for someone GOOD and competent; someone who can work independently. That way I can keep both my current and future clients happy with high-quality work and if I keep all my clients happy, then: more work for everyone.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:01 PM
 
4,072 posts, read 9,096,998 times
Reputation: 3290
"what you think you are worth per hour" is not a good way to put it...

If you are paying above market rates, I wouldn't even get into it over Craigslist/email
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:06 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,426,572 times
Reputation: 10248
Quote:
Originally Posted by groar View Post
i'm just saying, both of you guys implied that there aren't as many scams on craigslist as people say. there totally are, and the fact that you can't find quality applicants isn't really related (well it sort of is, but not in the way you seem to think).

In what way?

I'm not arguing your point, BTW! I've bought and sold stuff on CL for years and realise it's sort of a cesspool; that's another reason I didn't put my phone number or name out there.

I really hesitated to post the ad in the first place but I've now had three people respond who seem legit and sincere.

And so far none who appear to be scammers or are sending me stupid links....trust me I have run into that too!
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:12 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,426,572 times
Reputation: 10248
Quote:
Originally Posted by GiantRutgersfan View Post
"what you think you are worth per hour" is not a good way to put it...

If you are paying above market rates, I wouldn't even get into it over Craigslist/email
How would you put it, then? Because it's something that is going to come up at the start, before someone shows up on the job (the person who is starting tomorrow will be driving about 100 miles round trip to this particular job site)...


I sort of struggled with that...I want to be fair and the person who is (hopefully) showing up on the job tomorrow and I came to a good starting hourly pay during our conversation.
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