Company Spotlight

Company Spotlight: Jeld Wen Windows and Doors

JELD-WEN, founded in 1960 by Richard “Dick” Wendt, is an American company and has its headquarters in Charlotte, NC.

The company vision is to lead the international building products industry with incredible people making superior products and providing excellence in everything that the company does.

The company runs over 120 manufacturing facilities in about nineteen countries. Hence, the setup makes it one of the world’s biggest and most successful manufacturers of doors and windows. The company is known for its state-of-the-art technology and innovative products.

JELD-WEN is a public listed company and trades on the NYSE. Gary Michel is the current CEO of the company. The company has grown rapidly and currently has more than 20,000 employees.

JELD-WEN designs, manufactures and distributes exterior and interior doors, wood, aluminum and vinyl windows, shower enclosures, wall systems, closet systems as well as other components, used in the new construction. The company also repairs and remodels residential homes as well as non-residential buildings.

JELD-WEN’s founder Richard Wendt was an entrepreneur. He learned the ins and outs of managing a manufacturing entity under the guidance of his father, Lester Wendt. In early 1957, Iowa-based Lester sent Dick to Oregon to help run and manage his company’s millwork plant that was in Klamath Falls. Lester decided to dispose of the plant in an auction.

Dick along with four business partners, John Biehn, Larry Wetter, Gerry Wickersham, and Bill Taylor purchase most of the company assets on October 25, 1960. They named the newly formed company JELD-WEN.

JELD-WEN grew during the 1970s and 1980s, through acquisition and vertical integration. In 1989, JELD-WEN was officially ranked 7th among all privately held entities in Oregon with impressive revenues of over $350 million.

During the 1990s, the company continued to diversify and moved into additional service areas. Moreover, the company successfully expanded to new continents and countries.

Forbes ranked JELD-WEN 225th in 1996 among the country’s top 500 privately held companies. In addition, in 1997, the company clinched the 119th spot with revenues of about $1.39 billion.

While the company sought new and better business ventures to advance in the marketplace, they focused on investing in the local community as well. The company believes in preserving the environment as it is the ethical thing to do.  In 1969, JELD-WEN started community support initiatives. Thus, they continue to offer financial assistance via scholarships, grants, and matching JELD-WEN United Way donations.

The company makes various types of windows such as double hung, single hung, fixed, awning, sliding, bay, casement, bow, and garden. These windows are both functional and beautiful. Moreover, the company makes a diverse range of exterior doors, which include glass panel, Dutch and all panel. JELD-WEN also makes high-quality interior doors of various types which are stunning and will complement your home. These are all panel, glass panel, louver, and bi-fold doors.  Patio doors manufactured by the company include folding door, sliding door, swinging door and multi-sliding door.

The company uses a variety of materials in the construction of its products. Here are some of the materials we use:

  • EpicVue
  • Custom Wood
  • Siteline® Wood
  • W-4500 Wood
  • W-2500 Wood
  • Builders Vinyl (V-2500)
  • Premium Atlantic Vinyl
  • Premium Aluminum (A-500)
  • Builders Atlantic Aluminum
  • DF® Hybrid
  • Smooth-Pro Fiberglass
  • Design-Pro Fiberglass
  • Studio™ Collection
  • Steel
  • Molded Wood Composite
  • Flush Wood Composite
  • MODA™ Collection
  • DesignGlide™

Moreover, the company serves clients across North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Although the company products changed, the company has stayed true to its purpose which is to bring beauty and security to residential and commercial spaces.

Human Resources

Recruiting Failures: Pick-Up Artists

Recruiters Want a One Night Stand

Written By: James Aiken


Kim from Human Resources needed to outsource her recruiting process for an urgent role. She had been contacted by dozens of different recruiters promising to deliver the best talent in the market. They all operated in her niche, they all had a guarantee and they all had the best network (what a surprise). Kim handed the role off to a few different contingency recruiters she felt she could trust with the vacancy.

After receiving an initial wave of candidates, most of which were inapplicable, she requested more candidates from her recruiters. Then she waited, and she waited… She emailed, she called, she even thought about sending a carrier pigeon, but no matter how much she reached out – she began to hear less and less back!

“There aren’t any superstar candidates in this tight market”

“Are you open to paying for candidate relocation?”

“This person seems relatively qualified…”

“The qualifications are too specific!”

“Lets have another call to revisit this…”

Kim wanted an ideal recruiting partner, but nobody sticks around past the initial candidate presentation! She had all kinds of recruiting resources, why can’t they pull anything off? Before they got the search, they were knocking down her door, now all she hears are crickets!

Recruiting Failures: Hitting it and Quitting It

I’ll share a secret about many recruiting firms that are famous for “playing the numbers”. They want the quick placement. They accept jobs and sign agreements in order to boost their numbers. They partner in hopes that something will set off quick and easy without having to really target down and run a true search. Large recruiting firms justify this by arguing “well, the client has no engagement with me – what do they expect?”

Many times, recruiting teams focus on getting an initial candidate or two in to test the waters. They only plan on sticking around if someone happens to get some type of interest. When that candidate gets an interview, they polish, promote and push the candidate as hard as they can in order to make a quick placement. Not to mention, they might be sharing those same candidates with your local competitors.

If You Liked It, Then You Should’ve Put a Ring on It

Imagine if the search was run with a trusted recruiting partner. Hiring managers aren’t being left in the dark as to how the recruiting process is going. Sub-par candidates aren’t being aggressively sold to your company. You have multiple candidates to interview and choose from. You understand why certain candidates are turning down the opportunity. You see that your recruiters are targeting local competitors, where, and what the results are. You have a strong, lengthy guarantee with your candidate.

Contingency recruiters don’t have as strong of a structured process. Their entire incentive is only on making a hire, not on making the right hire. The way to avoid this is to avoid the structure altogether and partner with a true professional search firm. Partner with a firm capable of giving you the guidance and quantifiable data of what exactly is going on in the process.

Setting Objective Recruiting Standards

When working with an external recruiting firm, there should be a focus on setting objective standards within the process. Hiring managers should establish an acceptable amount of applicable candidates presented (our process guarantees at least three). They should also have a good line of communication on candidates contacted and screened, as well as data from those conversations. Time until presentation is an important metric to watch as well.

Realistic timetables should be set by your recruiter on when they will present initial candidates, as well as secondary or ancillary candidates. They should also be setting objective experiences within the candidate profile to completely avoid any inapplicable candidates. Candidates who do not make sense for the search should never be presented by any retained recruiting firm.

Strategies: Tinder versus E-Harmony

When firms are looking for a long-term recruiting partner, they need specificity. Are recruiters quickly swiping left and right on candidate profiles from job boards and internal systems? Or are they surveying you, your firm and your hiring managers to best understand your situation? Firms need a partner that will properly diagnose vacancies and related operational pains. In order to have a long lasting relationships, both parties need to commit. Hiring managers are committed to filling their vacancy, they need a committed recruiter.

Building materials firms should partner with a recruiting firm that gets their vacancy down to a science. In a sales aspect, is the search for a consultative manufacturer’s rep dealing with architects and designers, or for a distribution rep who can better communicate with general contractors and developers? Recruiting firms need to best understand every intricacy of the role, or else they will end up with a sub-par placement, and run high risks of retention problems early in candidate tenure.

Recruiting a Team with True Chemistry

Do you want to look like a team-building aficionado or is it okay for you to hire average employees? Get away from the recruiters who are treating your job orders like a one night stand. You need a partner who is going to be meticulous and dedicated, not loosely tied and uncommitted. You need someone that offers structured updates and complete transparency through the process. If you’re focused on being seen as the talent mastermind at work – you need the strong recruiters of Legacy Search.


Human Resources

Spraying, Praying, and Delaying

Recruiters are Spraying, Praying, and Delaying

Written By: James Aiken


The Spray

Joe the Human Resources Manager received an email from the General Manager. The GM was asking once again how their recruiting pipeline for a sales representative for an under-performing region was going. With the current union negotiations, safety ceremonies, scheduling, strategic planning, and middle-manning negotiations, let’s be frank – he didn’t exactly have the free time to source and recruit, let alone interview endless candidates. In this case, Joe decided to throw some meat to the wolves. Joe emailed four of his favorite contingency recruiters and gave them a shot.

Within a few days he heard the comforting ding, ding, ding from emails of candidates from his external recruiters. As he opened each email, he began noticing these candidates hardly had anything to do with the sales vacancy. They distributed hardwood flooring and most of his candidates didn’t have anything to do with flooring or distribution sales, let alone the construction industry.

The Pray

On the other side of the computer, Joe’s recruiters were praying…

They were praying that Joe wouldn’t have any other options. They were hoping that one of the stretch candidates would work. They were crossing their fingers that they could get a quick and easy placement, just this time…

While reading a hard sell from one of his recruiters on the ‘high potential’ of a candidate who only had experience selling telephone packages to local businesses, Joe started to wonder how is this possible. Joe gave the recruiters a specific outline, yet all none of the candidates so far are even considered eligible for interview! He rejects the candidates and waits it out hoping that they will bring some better candidates to the table. A few days pass, no emails. Another week passes, and he has no new candidates. “What the hell happened? Where are my recruiters?”

The Delay

Joe emails out to his recruiters asking where all of the candidates are and is lucky enough to get a response from about half of them:

“It looks like the market is pretty tight…” 
“We just aren’t seeing any applicable candidates”
“We have a couple in process… We should see a good candidate by next week!”

“Here’s a candidate, he’s a little on the green side, but he may work for this…”

Joe’s recruiters are already giving up on the role and he’s being put back into square one.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Opening Up Pandora’s Box of Candidates

The reason is: your external recruiters are “spraying and praying”! Many contingency recruiters are focused on making a ‘quick fill’ due to competition, leading to heavy selling and pressure on action. This isn’t necessarily their fault, after all, they know they’re up against other contingency recruiters so there is much more of a focus on speed versus quality. Some external recruiters keep throwing in candidates until something sticks, and quick! They aren’t as concerned with recruiting as much as they are aggregating.

Many are using less efficient tactics such as posting the job description anywhere and everywhere, then screen all of the people that apply and forward the ‘top’ candidates. This is much more popular in larger agencies where they are getting big discounts on posting jobs on LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Monster and ZipRecruiter. Heck, some of them even post professional roles on Craigslist.

Utilizing Your Town Crier and a “Help Wanted” Sign

Would you try to hire the top talent in your market by putting an ad in the local newspaper? How about staple it up on a board in city square? Would you put a sign in your window or hire the town crier to scream it at everyone downtown? You would get some type of response, but is the elite salesperson going to see it? If elite talent sees it, are they going to make the effort to make a contact when they’re already successful and satisfied in their current role?

\Although the internet has made connecting to more candidates through job portals and job boards, this still isn’t much more than putting a “Help Wanted” sign on your virtual workplace. This system worked great when it was a company-driven employee market, but nowadays it is absolutely outdated. Many, many more people were looking for work in 2008 so firms really were able to easily snatch up some of the pick of the litter through job postings that everyone was looking at.

Look at where we are today. Its 2018 and unemployment is lower than ever (especially in the construction products industry). Firms are fighting harder than ever to retain their top talent. The best players in your market aren’t applying to job ads on CareerBuilder and Monster. Top candidates aren’t posting their resume on Indeed. Heck, they may not even be on LinkedIn! If you’re outsourcing a search, you need to make sure you’re tapping into hyper-specific markets.

Don’t Run an Ad, Make a Friend

Associates in your industry and region need to be contacted directly. Yes, this does take much more time – but if it leads to a better hire, who looks like a hero? Due to the nature of a contingency search, external recruiters are much less apt to dedicate ten to twenty hours per week. They can’t isolate time on planning, searching, sourcing, interviewing and presenting when there is no commitment from the client. Think about it, would you send your taxes out to five different accountants working on a contingency basis, then use whichever one’s work looks the best?

Recruiting to Complete Your Firm’s Justice League

Do you want to look like a team-building aficionado or is it okay for you to hire average employees? Get away from the recruiters who are spraying your job descriptions everywhere and praying that a decent candidate applies. You need a partner who is going to be meticulous and dedicated, not under competitive pressure and rushed. If you’re focused on being seen as the talent mastermind at work – you need the strong recruiters of Legacy Search.



Company Spotlight

Company Spotlight: Ply Gem Windows and Doors

Ply Gem is based in Cary, NC and is North America’s top manufacturer and supplier of exterior construction materials, including windows, stone, siding, and forty other categories.

The company has more than 65 locations in the US and Canada and employs more than 8500 people. The company mission is to be the building products maker of choice in all markets it serves.

Excellent customer loyalty and relations define the success of the company. Moreover, the factors contribute to the company’s position as a leading employer as well as superior profitability and growth.

Since its humble beginning, Ply Gem has always been a unique and forward-thinking company – focused on innovation and growth. From its start way back in 1943, the company has become an industry leader. The company offers customers throughout North America a comprehensive portfolio of high-quality exterior products from its diverse group of brands. Hence, homeowners can enjoy a comfortable, beautifully customized, and low maintenance home.

Bernard Hewitt founded Ply Gem back in 1943 at the age of 27. Hewitt started this company in New York by buying plywood crates for just twenty-five cents. Next, he resold this wood for a sizable profit margin. Eventually, his determination and hard work allowed him to save sufficient money to make it big into the plywood business.

Through its extensive range of top-notch exterior building products, the company helps its customers in building style via a complete and all-inclusive solution called The Designed Exterior™. It is a combination of materials, textures, and colors — all meant to work well together to create customized curb appeal.

The company’s line of products can enhance your home’s curb appeal. The diverse product range includes:

  • Siding
  • Proofing
  • Doors and windows
  • Trim and accessories
  • Stone
  • Fence and railing
  • Gutter protection systems
  • Door surround systems
  • Shutters
  • Window mantles
  • Mounting blocks
  • Decorative corner posts

Ply Gem believes in building smart by offering eco-friendly solutions while maintaining environmentally-conscious and efficient business practices. The company is also taking other steps to help the environment. Moreover, the company is increasing its operational resourcefulness and identifying new ways to reduce carbon emissions and lower environmental impact.

Throughout its business processes, the company follows socially and ethically responsible practices while minimizing its impact on the environment.

So, whether it is the materials it uses, how it gets them to market, or the precious energy Ply Gem’s products save in the long run– it certainly all adds up to a considerable commitment and dedication to future generations.

Some eco-friendly initiatives of the company include its:

  • Recycling program
  • Energy star windows
  • Energy efficient lighting
  • Insulated siding
  • NAHB Research Center

Ply Gem incorporated Foundation Labs in 2013. Foundation Labs is a separate business division exclusively dedicated to

  • Leveraging industry research and experts
  • Furthering building science
  • Innovating around testing, products, and design aesthetics

The company promotes career advancement and professional growth through:

  • Advanced Leadership Program
  • Training
  • Tuition reimbursement

Ply Gem manufactures its products in North America. Moreover, they back each product with warranties. Hence, customers can have full confidence in their remarkable quality.


Industry News

Social Housing: Pop Up Villages

Pop Up Villages Could be the Quick Solution to High Growth Areas

Written By: James Aiken

Social housing – especially homes suitable for families – is often in short supply. It is often difficult to offer anything other than a temporary solution, and waiting lists tend to be long and over-subscribed. Additionally, affordable rentals are thin on the ground in metropolitan areas, especially where the workforce tends to be young and mobile in combination with the aspirational nature of city living.

Social Housing through Temporary Villages

However, one borough in London, England, may have hit upon a solution which could be adopted not only across the United Kingdom, but in other cities worldwide. In what is termed London’s first “pop-up village”, a structure offering not just homes but ground floor office and retail space has sprung up on the former site of a leisure centre in Lewisham, in the south east of the city. Eventually, new social housing and a new school will be built here, but for now, The Place is a colourful and longer-term solution than the bed and breakfast accommodation the families housed there were previously living in.
The 24 homes cost £4.3 million (around $5.2 million dollars) to construct, and are completely portable, meaning that when plans for the new development are finalized, the units will literally ‘move house’ elsewhere, either within the Greater London area, other boroughs across the UK, or even overseas.
The housing units aren’t technically social housing – the rent is pitched somewhere between the usual social housing charge and a private rental – but the cost of living there is covered by housing benefit, paid to families on low incomes who cannot otherwise afford to rent privately, and for whom there is no suitable social housing available.

Quick, Combine-able Modular Housing

Aside from the social benefit of having a ready-made pop up village providing a mixture of housing and business space, the housing itself is an innovation. Completely factory-built, the costs of construction onsite are dispensed with, cutting costs further. The units were created in two parts – one comprising a fully-fitted kitchen and bathroom, the other, two reasonably-sized bedrooms. Fitting on the back of a lorry, homes The Place (as the pop-up village is called) are also cheap to run costing around $12-13 to heat per month during colder weather. The entire outer area is a floor to ceiling window, giving the apartments maximum daylight. The interior walls are MDF, meaning that refurbishment between tenancies is both quick and cost-effective, and the bright outer cladding replaces in much the same way a bright phone cover might be swapped for a more businesslike look during the working week.

Cheaper and Longer Lasting Modular Homes

The brainchild of architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (who were also behind the Y:Cube – studio apartments helping the homeless to get off the streets), the units are expected to have a lifespan of around 60 years, and cost under £100,000 ($122,000) to produce.
As the cost of buying a new home is out of the reach of so many, these versatile and cost-effective modular homes could be popping up near you soon.

Industry News

Less Means More in Modern Housing

Maximizing Luxury and Minimizing Impact

Written By: James Aiken


Bigger used to be better when it came to the housing market in America. Size still matters in the housing market but the scales are tipping in favor of the smaller end. There are many reasons for the reversal of housing preferences. Younger Americans are opting for a minimalist lifestyle that offers smaller and simpler living.

Many of the homeowners that are joining this movement are opting to live in tiny houses. These houses reduce the size of the home substantially but still offer many of the same amenities.

Smaller Homes, Bigger Wallets

Americans are choosing to follow the tiny house movement for a variety of reasons. Among the top reasons are financial concerns, environmental concerns, and freedom from huge property maintenance. The typical American spends up to 50 percent of their income on normal housing costs. This cost can be reduced drastically by building a home to be just the size that you need.

A popular trend is to use the money saved on reducing the size to provide amazing amenities to the homes. There are tiny homes as small as 300 square feet that have solar power, hot tubs ad even bars. These could be purchased due to the amount of money saved by reducing square footage.

The trend of wanting smaller homes with high-quality materials and top of the line amenities is not only in the tiny house market but in the regular home market as well. Last year the typical new home that was manufactured dropped in square footage. This was the first drop in size since 2009 which shows that this trend is rapidly catching on.

Affordable Luxury

The average millennial home buyer is looking for substance instead of size. House size is becoming less important. Many homeowners are looking for things like energy star rated appliances, smart thermostats, low energy windows, and other energy-efficient amenities. New homeowners also seem to be leaning toward patios, wrap around porches and separate laundry rooms.

Most people looking for a home prefer building a new structure as opposed to buying an existing home. This means that the homeowners can add the amenities and the square footage that they want as opposed to more expensive renovations to existing structures. These homeowners are also moving out of cities with 65% of them wanting to build their houses in the suburbs.

Most of these millennial first time homeowners would prefer to build a new house. However, most are purchasing existing homes simply because it is an easier process, they can get deals on foreclosed homes, and they can move in almost immediately.

Do It Yourself: Tiny General Contracting

These homeowners are turning to the reality television craze to learn how to add amenities and features to their homes on their own. These do it yourself home improvement shows are starting a trend of homeowners making improvements to their homes on their own.

Many of these renovations tend to be outdoor spaces for entertaining company and relaxing. Decks, fences, and vegetable gardens top the list but gazebos, swimming pools, hot tubs, and BBQ pits are up there on the top of the list as well.

The biggest thing these millennials are looking for is value. They are looking to add to the equity of these homes so they can flip them for a profit and build their own homes the way they want. After these homes sell, they are tending to build homes that are smaller and have amenities such as mud rooms, separate laundry rooms, and gathering places such as outdoor kitchens with a dining area. Millennials seem to like to gather in groups and be close-knit by having parties and cookouts.

The state of the economy forced many Americans to be frugal in spending. This is the reason the trend for building smaller homes began. New Home building companies are building smaller homes to stay in business. They knew that big extravagant homes were not going to sell in the market at the time and began to market smaller more affordable homes.

Housing Market is Bigger, but Less Affordable

Over the last thirty years’ homes have more than doubled in size for the average home. Back then the average new home was 1,700 square feet. Any homeowner who has a house that was built in the previous decade has a living area that is four times larger than most of the homes built in the 1950’s. Many of these homes are being foreclosed and sold at low prices and in turn that brings down the price of other homes on the market.

Most construction companies are reporting that their clients are asking for smaller homes and 90% of these companies stated that they are either planning to build smaller homes or are already in the process of building them.

The trend to move toward smaller cost efficient homes began before or at the beginning of the recession. The housing market started to hit rock bottom and devastated homeowners began looking at these large homes as a bad investment and realized how much of a cash drain they had on their hands. These larger homes are not only more expensive because of the building materials but they cost more to heat and cool, property taxes are higher, and maintenance is harder and costs more.

Waste Not, Want Not

Therefore, homeowners are transitioning to smaller homes. Smaller homes are more cost efficient, easier to clean, and cheaper to furnish with those high-quality amenities that everyone seems to want.

This trend can be seen in divorces of all things. Divorcing couples used to fight over who was going to get the house and all the costs associated with it because neither wanted it. Now divorcing couples are fighting to try and keep the homes for themselves.

Living in a smaller home also makes homeowners think wisely about the things they want in their home because of less space. All of this has led to homeowners using the money they saved to purchase the high-quality amenities.

Taking Advantage of the Environment

These homeowners have made the decision to go with quality over quantity and everyone benefits from this trend.  Not only is this trend great for the environment but also good for the housing market and economy because fewer people are foreclosing on homes because they can afford to keep them due to the money saved by swapping square footage for nice amenities.

Company Spotlight

Company Spotlight: Prosoco

PROSOCO is a national manufacturer of products for cleaning, protecting and maintaining concrete; making building envelopes air- and water-tight; and cleaning, protecting and restoring new and existing masonry buildings.

Since its founding in 1939, the company has excelled at the innovation and development of superior products and services for the construction industry.

PROSOCO has offices and production facilities in Lawrence, Kansas with an extensive sales and technical support staff throughout the United States. PROSOCO products are available internationally with products currently sold in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and China through licensed manufacturers.



PROSOCO Products

Sure Klean

Sure Klean products first hit hardware store shelves in 1956. Ever since then, Sure Klean has been a go-to product for engineers, contractors, and architects across the country. These industry professionals quickly realized the dual purpose that Sure Klean could solve, it was great for the final cleanup of new construction and equally as great for restorative cleaning of existing masonry buildings.

When you look at the enormous price of a building, the price of masonry cleaners does not even become a thought for most people. When masonry cleaning, if done properly, not only does it look great on the contractor but makes the natural beauty and appearance of a building much better as well.

PROSOCO has created a special formula in this product that allows the user to apply it to Masonry to remove stains without damage to the surface. Professional after professional have attempted to clean masonry with a solution not intended to clean masonry and ended with disastrous results. Sure Klean ensures that this never needs to happen and PROSOCO is so confident in this product that every gallon is backed by free job site testing and support as well as a toll-free customer care line for any questions regarding Sure Klean.

R-Guard barrier systems

One of the biggest things looked at when architects design a building is controlling the leakage of air and water to maintain an energy efficient building. R-Guard is a barrier system that helps these architects achieve a building that is capable of withstanding extreme wind and wet conditions making the building more durable, resilient, and sustainable.

PROSOCO designed the R-guard air barrier system to stop air leakage in rough openings, through wall structures, sheathing seams, and material transitions to create a building that is virtually air tight. The result of an air tight building is a building that is energy efficient. Some of the buildings that receive the most extreme weather in the world rely on R-Guard by Prosoco. One of these is the Bullitt Center in Seattle that utilizes R-Guard because of the amount of wind and rain it encounters.

Blok-Guard & Graffiti Control

One of the unforeseen and costly issues for any building is graffiti cleanup. Sure Klean Weather Seal Blok-Guard and Graffiti control helps alleviate those costs while also providing protection against the elements. Blok-Guard and Graffiti Control is a solvent-based silicone elastomer that PROSOCO formulated to weatherproof custom masonry units, architectural concrete block, cast stone, wood, precast concrete, and any other porous material that could soak up the paint from graffiti or rainwater and ruin the material. Blok-Guard and graffiti control protects these surfaces from repeated graffiti attacks without altering the natural appearance, the treated surfaces resist penetration of most types of graffiti making the graffiti removal process quick, easy, and cost effective. The product also controls rainwater penetration through exterior blocked walls but the treated surface breathes so moisture does not become trapped.

Enviro Klean

Back in 1998, Prosoco developed the first environmentally safe all surface cleaner and became a pioneer in the green movement. Ever since then the cleaning company has been pushing the industry to develop safe for the environment cleansers and chemical technology. Prosoco employs a full staff of chemists whose job is to develop cleaning products for masonry buildings while staying ahead of the consistently changing chemical regulations industry.

The Enviro Klean product line effectively cleans masonry without the addition of caustics, solvents, or harsh acids. These products are a safer alternative than all the other abrasive alternatives on the market today.


The Consolideck system is a line of products from PROSOCO that comes with 100% Free training to ensure the end users have the ultimate system for finished concrete flooring. The system included water based stains, color hardeners, concrete hardener and densifiers, protective treatments, and maintenance cleaners.


Since the beginning of the company, PROSOCO has been leading initiatives for transparency in the construction industry. The company has spent millions of dollars while working alongside contractors, building scientists, architects, and more to develop sustainable options for the construction industry. All PROSOCOS products surpass the highest green standards in contemporary building design and construction and they have a plethora of awards and achievements because of this.  The LEED v4 and Living building challenge V2.2 are a blueprint to a great deal of PROSCOS’s formulations that have led to this success. PROSOCO has a broad mission to design products that maximize building energy efficiency and durability while leaving the smallest carbon footprint possible.

Living Building Challenge

The Living Building Challenge has high standards for acceptance and PROSOCO has met the all. The standards are net-zero water consumption, net-zero energy consumption and reduced construction materials, impact on people and environment. With very few exceptions, any materials used in the creation of products must not have any “Red List” materials. The Red list is a gathering of items that have been selected to be phased out because they present some health or toxicity concerns with most of these coming from the construction industry and building materials. There are hundreds of unique chemicals on this list. PROSOCO was selected as the concrete finish and air and water resistive barrier supplier for the most notable Living Building Challenge commercial project, the Bullitt Center.

The effect PROSOCO has on the environment is just one of the many reasons to buy products from this company. Not only have they been in the marketplace for a very long time but their products are also amazing. When it comes to a wide variety of products and the customer support to ensure that you use the correct product to get the job done, it is hard to beat PROSOCO.

Human Resources

Secrets of Retaining Top-Performing Millennials

Retaining the Millennials

Written By: James Aiken


Common “Solutions” to Retaining Millennials:
– Increase compensation
– Give them newer tech (cell, laptop, etc.)
– Let them work remotely
– Tuition reimbursement & training opportunities
– Increase company social events
– Avoid requiring overtime

Retaining your employees is one of the most crucial aspects of leadership. There’s a lot of different options on how to address chronic millennial turnover in a certain position. We have come to realize that all of the above solutions are actually just added bonuses. They’re often like a band-aid over the issue. A manager shouldn’t focus on implementing one of these as a solution until making some other changes first. Often times, turnover isn’t an operations problem, it’s a recruiting problem. In the building materials industry, there has never been as much need for focus on retention.

Creating Workforce Inertia – Pairing Common Goals

A manager can lower their turnover by understanding who they are recruiting past their objective skills. Dive into the DNA. Often times managers will get caught up in technicalities, which is so easy to do. The technical aspects of a candidate are certainly important. However, an employee shouldn’t just be viewed as “can this candidate do the job?” Managers should consider “how can I create workforce inertia to keep this candidate performing at their best?” There should be a focus on helping them advance their own personal career goals.

Understanding the Future to Motivate the Present

Some managers will complain that they can’t retain someone in a certain position past a year, but they never ask the candidate/employee where they want to be in a year. When a manager recruits for a position, they need to use candor – plain and simple. They need to understand a prospect’s aspirations. Hiring managers need to understand what makes the candidate tick. There’s a need to understand the candidate’s vision for their future.

Our interactions with millennial candidates has concluded that for millennials – its often a matter of them wanting to do more. They want to increase their scope – they want to develop their career. They want to build a legacy. Keep them happy up front by understanding where they want to be. Help carve the path in front of them. If managers want to retain, they need to understand their yearly outlooks (1, 2, 5). These should be kept up with as much as quarterly. Don’t have them answer by a form, ask them face-to-face. Having a candidate or employee answer on a form doesn’t help them feel like you actually care about their future. This will make candidates more apt to stretch the truth on their answers for short term solutions.

Be Frank like Sinatra

On the other hand, managers/interviewers need to be frank with the candidate on what the position entails. If the position is one of those positions where there’s no vertical opportunities, managers/interviewers need to disclose it. Is the person going to be traveling three weeks out of the month? Disclose it! Even if the company vehicle is a PT Cruiser, disclose it. Disclose to the candidate the most difficult parts about the responsibilities and environment. Disclose it up front and save Human Resources the tears, time, and money.

It’s tough to retain millennials. However, with the right level of communication, forecasting, and planning, you’ll be able to cut down on your aspirin bill.


Human Resources

Interview to Understand Aspirations

Peer into the Future to Retain Employees Better

Written By: James Aiken

Depending on the hiring manager, recruiter or human resources department – interviewers may not necessarily have as much time to interview as they wish. I’ve seen interviews that last from thirty minutes to a chain of interviews lasting eight hours. Regardless, interviewers need to make sure to take advantage of the time spent interviewing. More often than not, they ask questions that don’t necessarily give a real understanding of the candidate.

Reading the Future: Crystal Ball Questions

In a previous article, the importance of understanding a candidate’s foreground, or what they understand as their near future (aspirations etc) was put into consideration. Technical questions are absolutely critical in the process. However, time needs to be taken to interview for personality and aspirations. When a hiring manager doesn’t understand a candidate’s aspirations, it makes it much harder on the firm to retain an employee since they don’t know what would actually make them happy!

Interviewing on Past Behavior

Some do not necessarily put a huge deal of weight on the new fad of “behavioral questions” in human resources, although some firms do put a lot of confidence behind these questions. These are often more reactive questions and certainly help hiring managers understand a candidates reactions and past actions. They are also likely to hear the highlights of that candidate’s career versus everyday interactions. In this case, it may not necessarily be the most accurate representation of the candidate. If someone is interviewing to be a fisherman, they’re more likely to tell you about the time that they saved a coworker from going overboard than the time they tossed another fisherman overboard. These are good questions to ask, but the answers should certainly be taken with a grain of salt.

“I’m Best When I’m at My Weakest”

An interviewer could technically flip the questions to make them a negative as in “What are your weaknesses?” but you’re likely to get a less extreme version of Michael Scott’s answer when he said:
“…my greatest weaknesses? I work too hard. I care too much. And sometimes I can be too invested in my job.”
 All the more reason to focus on the candidate’s aspirations and what they see as their future to see if it matches up with the future an interviewer sees in the possible associate.  More importantly, down to the questions:

1. What do you see as the next big step in your career?

This is nearly always the first question a good recruiting firm will ask a prospective candidate. Before speaking about the job opening, the company or details on what the candidate does – a candidate’s aspirations must be addressed. If the opportunity doesn’t match up with what they realistically see as their future, it probably isn’t the best fit. Not to say this is a disqualifier, but you can be assured that the candidate will not be as enthusiastic about the opportunity than someone else who really matches up as far as aspirations go.
In addition, this gives the interviewer or company as a whole a clearer image of the candidate in order to emphasize the parts of the job that do line up with their aspirations

2. If you could change one thing about your current employer, what would it be?

 Associates always have some type of idea or suggestion to make their workplace better. They may be in an environment where there are already so many processes they don’t have an opportunity to implement anything. This question gives an interviewer an inside look at a candidates analytical thinking as well as how well they can put up with not being able to implement/influence a change.

3. Being from a (small/large) company, do you prefer an environment with established processes or an environment with more opportunity to implement processes?

This is an important question to ask due to polarization. Associates from small companies gripe that there aren’t processes in place, that software isn’t sophisticated or that things are inefficient. Associates from large companies gripe that they are being drowned by processes. They mention that there are many things they would like to change, but can’t. On occasion associates believe their employers strategies “can’t see the forest for the trees”.
This gives a hiring manager another opportunity to sell to strengths. Many times, an associate from a large process-oriented firm will be very excited to join a smaller firm if they have the opportunity to implement processes of their own. On the other side of the coin, associates from a smaller more liberally run firm may be excited to join a large firm where they can learn processes, techniques and strategies that they didn’t previously have the opportunity to be a part of.

4. What accomplishment in your current role makes you most proud? 

This may seem like a background-searching question as the setting is in the past, but its actually forward-looking as the interviewer is figuring out what drives pride behind an associates work. An interviewer is greatly benefited by understanding what makes an associate happy with their work, go figure!
The interviewer may also be surprised, as the answers aren’t always profit or process-driven. Occasionally there are answers focusing on healing fragmented teams, improving employee pride or team engagement.

5. If you had to train someone in one of your current work-related skills, which would you be most enthusiastic about?

Teaching is a key factor behind leadership. As Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” According to my application to Harvard’s Law Department, you can’t teach something you don’t know! In addition, this again explains the passions behind an interviewee’s background in order to more accurately predict their future.

Understand Employees to Better Motivate Them

Some of the most important information to understand about a candidate is what drives them. An interviewer should understand what their passions are, as well as where their pride and enthusiasm lies. When a company can line up the succession plan of their open role with the future aspirations of a current candidate – they will greatly increase their average employee tenure.

Human Resources

Interviewing for Red Flag Identification

Getting the Right Candidate Means Identifying the Wrong Candidate Early

Written By: James Aiken


You have a vacant position. You need to fill it. Yet, you need to fill it with the right candidate. The interviewing process, notwithstanding whether you love it or hate it, is costing you both time and lost productivity due to this gap. However, hiring can go wrong. This article will help you avoid “toxic” candidates and help you source the right talent for your business.

This article will give you a new approach. Don’t waste time on the wrong candidate. Learn to quickly recognize signs of a mismatch so you can focus on the right candidate for your urgent vacancy. The latest academic research along with industry best practice all point towards the centrality of nurturing good talent. However, the converse of this outcome is to quickly move on from talent that doesn’t align with your candidate profile.


It is all about knowing what you want. You should know what the position entails, what the duties are and the responsibilities therein. You need to understand how that role interplays with the wider business. This way you can take small steps towards getting the right candidate first, without being bogged down with candidates that do not match what you’re seeking.

According to Harvard Business Review, in a paper entitled Toxic Workers, the cost associated with hiring the wrong person can exceed $12,489 – excluding litigation and regulatory costs. Furthermore, some academics believe hiring the wrong person can also decrease organisational productivity by creating a negative influencer within the organisation who will counter the wider business goals and objectives through their negative psychology.

There is a dilemma and a conundrum here. Getting the wrong staff member can cost a business a lot of money. However, the metrics and benchmarks used to target the right member of staff can sometimes be gamed by the right ‘negative’ influencer. The research above highlight this reality and as such it is crucial that businesses plan their recruitment processes on the assumption of such negative counter-experiences.


It is crucial that your job advertisement is curated to define the full range of employment and role experiences. This way, the candidate, can be sure the role suits their skills sets and experiences. However, as a business leader, your role is to focus, with laser pointed clarity, at the wider issues.

As a business leader, when looking at candidates, you need to focus on a nuanced reality. All the candidates can do the role – they’ve curated their own resumes in order to highlight this certainty. Therefore, you need to ask yourself whether the candidate should do the role. This is not about employment history or qualifications but about a wider array of intersectional experiences from emotional intelligence markers to outside workplace interests. These diverse metrics can help identify crucial markers. As a leader, you need to be able to understand the team you lead.