How To Immediately Improve Hiring: Practical Strategies To Get The Right People In The Right Seats With Matt DiBara

COGE Matt DiBara | Hiring Process


Finding the right people to join your team can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. In this episode, Matt DiBara of The Contractor Consultants explores practical strategies to make your hiring process much easier and smoother to execute. He joins Eric Anderton to explain how to foster the right workplace culture to attract the appropriate candidates to your team. He offers tips on making the hiring process, especially in the construction industry, as efficient and streamlined as possible. Tune in and learn the best approach in revamping your recruitment, from automating certain tasks, establishing a clear timeline, to creating transparent communication channels.

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How To Immediately Improve Hiring: Practical Strategies To Get The Right People In The Right Seats With Matt DiBara

My guest is Matt DiBara. He comes from four generations of proud masons. He is the President of DiBara Masonry. He has also launched another company called The Contractor Consultants, which specializes in helping construction companies identify and recruit the right people for the right positions in their organization.

In our discussion, we are going to take a deep dive into strategies and tactics that you can use in a practical way to improve your hiring, both of people in the field and people in the office. This problem is never going away. This problem is only going to get more intense, bringing on the right people and putting them in the right positions in your organization. We are going to discuss this here on the show. Enjoy my conversation with Matt.

Matt, welcome to the show.

Thanks for having me.

It is my pleasure to have you on. The reason I wanted to have you on is that you have a great deal of expertise in terms of hiring. I know that is a struggle that a lot of contractors have, bringing in the right people and putting them in the right seats. Tell us why you think contractors struggle so much with hiring the right people for their companies.

The shifts in the marketplace. My family has been in construction for many years. A lot has changed in hiring in many years, specifically in the last few years. The hiring landscape has changed. In 2008, it pushed out a lot of contractors. They were like, “I’m selling. I’m done. I have been through this before. I’m good.” We had COVID and some health events there that also shifted the landscape.

In the back purview of all this, you have certain technological apps like TaskRabbit and Uber. The competition for entry-level workers is big. It was like, “Do I want to invest in my career where I might make a little less now and go into construction only to have a great retirement and great growth, or should I make a few dollars an hour on something easy that I can do?” There is so much shifting in the landscape, but there are two lines to know at the end of the day. The amount of people entering the workforce is going down. The amount of people that are retiring and leaving the workforce is going up. That is the ultimate graph that we need to keep in mind.

I’m listening to this, and you are talking about macroeconomic and demographic changes that me, as one contractor, no matter how large my company is, I don’t necessarily have a tremendous amount of influence on those macro trends. Give me a little insight into what I should be doing to respond to those trends, both on an immediate and long-term basis, in terms of how I interact with my local business community or the larger national business community in terms of improving hiring.

The best analogy is it is not that we are building weaker houses. It is that the storms are getting stronger. It is an external climate. Two million middle-skilled unfilled jobs. According to the American Society of General Contractors, “80% of contractors are struggling right now to fill work.” If you are not feeling it bad, chances are you will in the future. What can you do about it on a local scale? We built the first-ever contractor hiring course. We broke it up into five steps. Here is what they are.

First, you got to start with a clear understanding. I need to look at my company and optimize before I maximize. If my project manager is running around and they are picking up blueprints, doing silly errands, like dropping off samples, or my office manager goes to staples and picks up ink, we are in a climate where we need to reduce that waste. We need to get crystal clear on what we need. I had this expression, “I used to look to hire unicorns.

In my company, masonry concrete, like my family business, I used to say, “An estimator needed to know masonry, concrete, brick block, stone, stucco, tile. If they didn’t, they would never be hired.” We have changed our thinking now to break up more departments and laser-focused skillsets. We could access more of the marketplace.

Once you start with that clear understanding and are sure there is no waste in your hiring process, meaning you are not hiring unicorns, you are looking and saying, “Is this a want or a need?” I wanted people to know all those skillsets because it was easier. I’m like, “Can you bid the stucco on this job? Can you throw in the waterproofing?” It was a convenience, but it wasn’t a necessity to keep my organization growing.

You have to move into the finding phase. There is a lot here. We have over 37 different ways to find candidates. The most important takeaway I found when we built out this model, endorsed by ZipRecruiter and Indeed, are our partners with this, but to give you an idea of how well received it was. The fact that there is no magic bullet where you live. It is about figuring out how to leverage all the things that work. When you put them in place in your marketplace, you will get feedback.

I will give you a specific example that ties us together. I was speaking on a stage at RoofCON. It was a hiring panel. There were seven of us in hiring and retention. To my left is this gentleman that reminds me of the guys that I worked with in the field and grew up with. He is boots on the ground and a contractor. He was saying, “You got to go to church, kiss babies, shake hands, and meet people.” It was more or less his exact words.

To my right was this woman, and she was smart and analytical, big corporate. She is saying, “No, you need to use technology. You need to leverage job postings and keyword data.” I interjected and said, “In my experience, you need to do both of them more.” Because the climate is difficult, it is a widespread approach of all the different methods, and you optimize based on how your local market is receiving the feedback.

You’ve got those two angles there, the kiss babies and the technology angle. You mentioned earlier the 37 different ways to find candidates. As you think of that list of 37, what are the most powerful ones that contractors often overlook?

It depends on what you are looking to hire for. I will break it up. Let’s say, “Office versus the field.” I will give a grassroots strategy. If you are taking notes, you can use this right away. There is a funny way I came about, but that will be for another time. What you can do is you can go to your suppliers. If you are a plumbing contractor, electrical, masonry, or concrete, you go to your suppliers and say, “I want to sponsor free coffee and donuts Monday through Saturday from your 2 or 3 busiest hours from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM, whatever it is. I’m going to put up a booth. It is going to have great donuts and warm coffee for free. It will help your business. In exchange for that, I want to do one thing. I want to put these little cards, they are called recruiting cards, and I want to put them on that table.”

What this does is it gets you in front of those people that are gainfully employed, people that are trusted with a company truck, and are actively working. We will get into what that card has to have and what it needs to have on it. That is one strategy. Let’s call him, in this case, Joe. He shows up to work. He is two minutes late. His boss yells at him and says, “You are two minutes late. What are you doing? You are dumb.” Construction is not a perfect industry. Joe drives to the suppliers. He is waiting for the forklift to load up all the material. He looks and sees the coffee and donuts. He sees his card, “Hiring top pay starting at X.” He goes, “That is $3 an hour more than what I make.” It is these strategies. That is one tactic that you can use.

Tell me what is on the recruiting card.

On the recruiting card, if you want to maximize efficiency, there are a couple of things you need to do. Number one, you want the card to have a QR scanner. A lot of people in construction were getting more tech-savvy.

You can go on your phone. They can take a photograph. It takes them out to a website.

It is a barcode. They will use their phone to scan that. It will pull them up to the hiring website or the job description. On the card, you want to have, and in the course, we call this leveraging the gaps. I will explain where it comes from and how it ends up on the card. One of the most important things we found is that you need incentives that make you stand out in the marketplace and make somebody go, “I want to work for this company.”

What are some of those examples? Four ten-hour days, local travel, and guaranteed per diems. You want to find things in your company that are exciting and unique. If you can’t think of any, pull your team in, interview your best people, and say, “Why do you love working here?” If you still can’t think of anything, research some of the biggest cities around you, 60, 80, to 100 miles away, and look at what they offer because they have endless budgets. We have seen great. We have a demolition contractor and union. He offers professional massages every two weeks because it is backbreaking work. Little things that they go, “That is interesting.” Once you find them, you put them on the recruiting card. It gets that excitement.

You got the QR code on the recruiting card so people can contact you. You got some incentives on there or highlights about working with your company that would give people a reason to contact you and look into working with you.

You need one other big piece. The biggest thing you want is you want a career video. You need a video that is a minute and a half to two and a half minutes long where while they are drinking their coffee or using the restroom, they can watch this video and fall in love with you as a company.

COGE Matt DiBara | Hiring Process
Hiring Process: A short career video can help make people fall in love with your business. They can watch it while they drink coffee or use the restroom.


After they have scanned the QR code, that is what they are going to see the first thing on the webpage.

You want your career video front and center, and you want that video to do a couple of things. Number one, be authentic to who you are. If you are a big company and corporate, lean into that. Number two, you want it to showcase your office, trucks, and team. Number three, you want testimonials of your team working there. This is Joanna. She has been working here for several years. She comes on for a ten-second cut. She was like, “I love this company. They hired me straight out of high school or college. We connect visually as humans. Think of your favorite movie versus your favorite book. There is an emotional connection. You want that to occur.

We have hit the field side. That was helpful and practical. Let’s now go to the office side. Let’s say I want to recruit project engineers and project managers into my organization. Give us some hidden or underused tips that you think could be helpful.

Two of them that I have to start with right away. Number one, I would leverage geofencing. It is a technology where I can put an invisible fence around a location. If I access a digital device, iPad, phone, or computer, I can target you on that device so you can see my ads. You want to hire a company that knows how to do this full disclosure, a company that knows how to do it and also does it specifically for hiring. There are a lot of companies that geofence for book promotions or movies, but if they don’t know this niche, in the end, I will give you my info. We will give you some companies if you are reading and want additional support.

If you find a company that knows how to do this, they will handle the technical side of it, where your geofence is important, project engineers and estimators, number one, your competitors. You can geofence your competitors. When they walk in, they can see an ad that says, “Commercial estimator starting pay blank.” In the three benefits in the headline, they click it, and it is your ad.

I’m going to feed it back to you from my perspective. What you are saying is that you are advertising for these positions for project engineer, estimator, and project manager. You are doing the ad around the area where your competition’s office is. You are using that geofencing strategy. You are more likely to target the people you are going after and improve your hiring that way.

COGE Matt DiBara | Hiring Process
Hiring Process: With the geofencing strategy, you are more likely to target the people you are going after and improve your hiring process.


You can do this with your suppliers and other locations where they might be, like, trade schools or universities. I would go one step further. We have another section in the course called Partner Lists. What I would do is I would reach out to the best trade schools and the best universities that have good construction management programs because they keep in touch with their alumni lists. They want them to do well. I would send an email saying, “We are hiring.” Build a relationship you can. That 9s the power of one to many. One contact with many potential candidates.

I know a lot of contractors have done this. They will become adjunct faculty at a local university. They will teach construction management courses. They will do it over a period of years. They recruit as a result of doing that. We got specific recruiting tactics for the field and the office. You talked about if you are corporate, you got to lean into it in order to be authentic in the way that you present yourself. What is your experience in terms of the missteps that contractors make when they are hiring in terms of aligning their culture with their hiring process?

The culture needs to show up in that video. With contractors, the biggest thing we do is define their culture. We want to define what it is that makes the company unique. Culture is about the unspoken rules or the unspoken lay of the land. We see good culture when I am working with a client, and if I happen to be in person or my team is there filming the career video for them, you will see somebody say, “No, we don’t do that here.”

It is this unspoken standard that is met. It s not through brute force of saying, “You do this.” It is everyone who buys into that centralized mission and thesis. It is transmitted throughout the entire organization. Getting clear on what your culture is important and amplifying that in that career video. There are different examples if you want to get into what that culture could look like.

Let’s talk about that. You are saying, “There is a sense of the way things are done in the company, but yet in order to be more proactive in leveraging that culture, I need to be able to articulate it clearly” what are the best companies do to articulate it in such a way that people can say, “Yes, that is it.”

I’m a simple guy. I’m a field guy. I started laying bricks at eleven. I was working at nine. Everything with me is practical. I start by looking at what is the end goal. The end goal of good culture is two things. I want to keep my team for a long time. I want to hire somebody, and I want them to retire here. That is goal number one. Goal number two is while they are here, I want the most output. I want productivity. I want you to be motivated and have a good attitude. If you put productivity as the main goal, everything stems from that because if I’m not motivated, my productivity is down. If I don’t feel rewarded or valued, I don’t have good productivity.

If you put productivity as the main goal, everything stems from that. If your employee is not motivated or don’t feel valued, their productivity is down. Click To Tweet

Culture is, in essence, if you were to boil it down to its most simplified things, it is, “I want you to be here from when I hire you to retirement, and while you are here, I want max productivity.” I have this very simple way of looking at things in life. I do what is called the Matt Venn diagram. What I do, and you can do this yourself if you are in a company, depending on the position, is I go on a paper and draw the two circles. I have them overlap slightly in the middle. It is a Venn diagram.

What I do is I put on my selfish hat, “I’m a business owner, and I only want what is best for me.” I write down all the things that I selfishly want in my business if I’m the owner. I take that hat off and put on my employee hat, “I’m a selfish employee, and I only want what I want.” I write that in the other circle. What I do is I look to find in the middle what are the things that work and align, or how can I align those two goals? That is what we are trying to do. There are give and take on both sides.

That exercise is simple. It is almost laughable when you can be like, “This is all the dream list of me. I don’t care about the employee for a moment, me.” The employee was like, “I don’t care about the company.” You merge. That is how you come up with what good culture. We can talk about some examples. We see that work well.

Give some practical examples.

One of the things we found is that pay is important, but it is by far not the most important thing. Team members want to feel valued. They want to feel like their work is appreciated. One of the most important is that if you want A players, you must give autonomy and have a scorecard. If you want to keep A players, they need to know how to make an A. You have to be crystal clear. They don’t do well with ambiguity. They want to know this is the target. When they can see it, they want to exceed it. A lot of companies don’t have clearly defined KPIs, outcomes, and goals. Sometimes there is unsaid friction.

There was a mentor of mine years ago. He told me, “Matt, nothing changes until the unsaid is spoken.” In a company where you can have good open communication that channels up, and we see this with multibillion-dollar corporations, the CEO of a megacorp is down at the factory level listening to the people who are assembling the boxes saying, “What would be easier for you? What do you enjoy? What is making this harder?” When you have that level of channel and communication, it is huge.

I want to explore that a little bit. What are some examples of unsaid things that need to be spoken in a construction company?

For example, I need more support on this job. I can’t hit this timeline. This new person you hired isn’t going to work out.

The CEO writes the checks or does the promotions. People are less likely to want to tell the CEO the truth if they think that truth-telling is going to get them in trouble. How do CEOs make sure that they don’t have a bunch of yes men and women shaking their heads and saying, “You are awesome.” They are willing to tell the truth.

We created a technology for this. It is called Honest Employee Audit. It is the first step. There are two of them. One is to frequently audit your team anonymously. It is a 1 to 10 scale. We have 12 or 14 questions. It gives you a good look at how people feel across all the key areas. The results are mind-blowing.

What are the key areas I should focus on?

You want to get into, “Do I feel valued?” We are working backward from that end goal of what establishes good culture. It is like, “Do I feel valued? Do I have the right resources? Do I feel like I can communicate?” It is drilling those down into a 1 to 10 scale to see, “Do I feel like my pay is fair?” Those are some examples you can start to see what it is. Is it probing the typical areas that most companies don’t feel comfortable talking about? Does my manager listen to my feedback? Do I feel like I’m giving the right resources? Are my timelines realistic?

How useful is anonymous feedback in terms of the CEO being able to address specific issues?

It is useful because it is compartmentalized. When you aggregate this data, you can see patterns and trends in departments. If you have a bigger company and you got 50 or 100 employees plus you can do these per department. You don’t want less than 5 or 10 people, but this is a big blob when you get over 50 or 100. The management has their gripes. It is messing up the averages. You want to do it department-focused if your company has that org structure. You will be able to see, “I have a communication issue from management to my team. I have an expectation issue, or the page is, for whatever reason, isn’t being communicated well because I’m scoring 30% on a 1 to 10 scale on this average.”

If I’m doing that anonymous survey, which I get the logic of that and I appreciate, I still may be in a meeting with my executive team. For whatever reason, they are not willing to tell me the truth. What I find in that situation and the reason why is the way that the CEO has behaved in the past when the truth is told, it makes their team unwilling to tell them the truth because they know the consequences of doing that. Let’s say I’m a CEO. I built this great company because I kick a**, and I am great at what I do, but I know I’m a little hard to approach. What can I do right away to make myself more approachable so that people are more willing to tell me the truth?

The executive team might not want to disappoint you. They were like, “Are we going to meet all these deadlines?” They were like, “Yes, we will be fine.” If you get the anonymous survey, it was like, “Timelines are unrealistic. I’m scoring a 10%.” There is a disconnect. My executive team is going, “Everything is fine and good.” I was like, “Is the team happy and motivated?” They were like, “Yes, Matt. They are all good. You have nothing to worry about, Matt. They are happy with their pay.” I was like, “Are you sure?” They were like, “Yes.” I’m like, “What does the anonymous survey say?” They were like, “I’m scoring a 20 out of 10, 20% average.” I’m like, “No, they are not.”

It does surpass. The whole point is you are getting it directly from the team. That is one particular point I wanted to drive home. When it comes to specific CEO and executive team, that comes down to team building, trust, and communication, you have to, as a leader, allow for that communication and not react. We give a lot of examples of this. Pulling people aside one-on-one versus in the group, like, “What do you mean you forgot to do this? What do you mean five people quit?” It is in front of the whole executive team. There is a lot of communication there.

Let’s go to the hiring process itself because I know a lot of folks struggle with this. I got a resume in front of me. I did a good job creating that video, and I got the right person in terms of technical skills. How do I structure the interview process to filter out the B players and increase my likelihood of hiring A players?

You have to be able to sift, sort, and screen quickly. The reason I say that is because you are going to need exponentially more front-end candidates than you think. You are going to need a lot more resumes to find what you want. It is different now. Knowing that we built a model. It depends field versus office. We built the whole course on this, but I will give you some actionable ones. You need a quick 3 to 5-minute informal interview that nails down a few quick, easy questions. How do you present on the phone? Are you swearing? Is there background noise? Are you taking it seriously? How do you present communication-wise?

This is a 3 to 5-minute phone call.

There are automation and text. There are a lot of things you can do, but imagine you have the resume and you are going to talk to them. You would do a short call with 3 to 5 quick screener questions. It would be, let’s use electrical, “How many years have you been in the business?” I usually like one technical qualifier. You might say, “Great, awesome.”

I will give a mason example. If you were going to build 6 foot long or 100-foot-long wall, how many blocks a day might you lay? One question that gives you a tangible technical expectation. That is it. You move them to the next round. We see as the biggest struggle is not having a skills assessment. Every single company needs a skills assessment before they move on. Usually, we do a final interview, or you could do it after the final interview, depending on the quality of the candidate and timeline.

COGE Matt DiBara | Hiring Process
Hiring Process: One of the biggest struggles of running a business is not having a skills’ assessment. Every single company needs this before they can move on.


We are talking about a field person. You got that 3 to 5-minute conversation out of the way. The next step is the skills assessment.

For the field or office, it is some front-end qualifier. For the office, you could have some screening questions on your submission. If you use Indeed or some of those platforms, you can put questions, but you want something on the front end that is quickly sifting through a lot of people. It is superficial, like, “Do they have anything listed on the resumé that is relevant? How do I screen it quickly?” It is either answer these three questions.

With office roles, do you tend to have more potential candidates? With field roles, it is usually better to get them on the phone and not try and do something digitally, is what we found. The next step can be a little bit more of an in-depth interview which would be a 20 to 30-minute interview where you are diving in on those things, or it could be a skills assessment depending on the quality of the candidate. You are having them demonstrate their skillset if you feel like they are good.

Does that mean you would say, “Come out to the job site on Thursday at 7:30 and let me give you a couple of minutes?”

If it is for the field, for example, in my actual construction company, we have them come to my yard. I have a worksheet that is like, “This is how many bricks you have. Here is a photo of what it should look like when it is done. Here are the materials.” I have them build a composite wall. I have them block and brick if they can do stucco.”

We have an intake process. We are like, “Based on your assessment, you have block, brick, and stone skills. No stucco. We will leave that one out. No concrete, great.” We pay them. They have eight hours. They get to build it. We get to see what they do. You will kill culture if you bring Joe in. You are like, “Joe is great. He is going to do the best thing ever.” A week later, Joe isn’t worth it. Every time you do that, they were like, “Here comes another Joe.”

You are almost doing what construction companies do, where they hire a dude to fill on the job site and sink or swim, but you are doing it in a little more intentional way. You are doing it in such a way that it doesn’t damage the attitude of the folks in the field. It costs you a little bit of time and money, but it is worth it in exchange for not screwing up the culture of your company.

Also, workers comp, you put them on your payroll. Three days later, they get injured. There are all kinds of intrinsic benefits for why you wouldn’t want to do this.

You got the skills assessment. Is there a third step after that?

There is also a skills assessment for office roles. For example, if you are hiring an operations manager or an estimator, like, “Commercial estimator is great. Here is a bid. We have already done it. The average time is two hours. We are going to pay you $100.” We have them fill out a sheet. It is all documented. It is legitimate. They sign for expectations. You need to make sure the documentation is there. Every single role should have a demonstrable skillset set to it.

The biggest mistake a lot of contractors make is they bring on a guy or a gal. They do have a skillset, but they are not a culture fit. How does that come into the interview process that you are describing here?

The skills assessment helps define culture. For example, I will use my company and some of the clients. People show up late. They don’t bring tools. They don’t dress in proper clothes. You can define culture. On the office side, we have seen clients. They were like, “This person was great, but their email was all lowercase and had no commas.” They couldn’t believe it. They were like, “How in the world? They interview well. They have a great resume, but that is not how we do emails here at my company.” You get to vet the culture and how they interact. For example, they come to your office. Do they say hi to other people? How do they react? You get to judge the culture.

The skills' assessment helps define workplace culture. Click To Tweet

We have a whole behind-the-scenes. We evaluate culture. Where do they park? Do they ask to park? Some people will park in a designated spot for management. They will pull in and park. It will be like a manager. They were like, “Get out.” The ones we usually end up keeping ask, “Can I park here?” There are all these ways to validate culture while you are doing the skills assessment.

Let’s say I’m listening to this, and I’m like, “Matt, it is all well and good, but I got projects to build. I need to bring in warm bodies. I’m going to filter through them and keep banging my head up against the wall until I get the guys or the gals in place that can do the work that needs to be done.” If I’m consistently getting the wrong people in the door, what do I need to do immediately to fix that?

We do all this for them. We have an entire done-for-you model with this. We vet it because there is a lot of screening stuff on the front end. The biggest thing is, at every single interval, you have to be analyzing the data and figuring out what am I letting through and why? I call it the law of reversibility. If I’m letting through people that I don’t want, there is a good chance that I’m also polarizing, meaning pushing out people I do want. I want to try and understand that. I need to try and figure out, like, “Am I going to the wrong place where I’m doing the targeting? Am I asking too many questions up front?” Conceptually, it is great, but you have to put the time into tweaking this model.

Recruiting now has become a lot like marketing in the sense that you have to dive into the data points. It is like, “Am I attracting the right type of lead? Why are they dropping? I’m communicating too much or not enough.” It requires a lot of analytics for you to figure it out. There is no magic bullet of, “If you are not getting the right people, it is because of X.” We have seen breakpoints in all different areas throughout the process.

Who in a construction company should be responsible for this data analysis that you are describing here?

I will be honest with you, Eric. Here is what happened. We made the contractor hiring course. We found out that in most companies, and if you are doing $1 million or over, you need it done because it requires the HR function of a role. There is much to do already with culture, paperwork, workers’ comp issues, and the internal nuts and bolts of the company. When you add all this in, it is difficult. It takes time. Ideally, your HR person is in your company, guy or gal. It is a commitment. You are building a model here. It is constant work. There is no one size fits all. There is no guaranteed approach. It is testing, tweaking, figuring out what works, and optimizing it.

You said you do have to test and tweak. If you are doing the same things over again and not getting the results you want, that might show you that you need to change your approach a little bit here. We have discussed some strategies, tactics, and overall philosophies here. As we are wrapping up the interview, if I wanted to immediately improve my hiring for 2023, it is going to take some time, but I’m having this conversation in February of 2024. My hiring has improved dramatically. What have I focused on in that several months to improve my hiring?

Honestly, this is going to sound simple. There is a couple. The biggest one is making sure you are dedicating more time. I have an example, and I will describe it because I don’t have visuals when I speak. The first slide is the hill we think we are climbing. It is a guy, and you see his feet. He is stepping over a little sandcastle at the beach. He is walking over it.

The next slide is somebody climbing Mount Everest. They are on the edge of a peak. They are looking up the mountain, and it is straight up. The biggest issue is a lot of construction companies, as was myself in 2018, are completely underestimating how big of an issue this is and how much bigger it is going to become. Big problems, big time allocation and resources. It is calendaring the time to be meeting about this and diving into some of the strategies and tactics that we discussed.

This is a question we have asked a lot of companies, and it will glean some perspective. We ask companies, “If you were to keep every single person you have ever hired since you have been in business, would you have a hiring problem?” Most companies laugh and say, “No.” Focusing on retention. Make sure that you are keeping your people.

What we see with some clients is if they don’t fill the retention gaps, we help them bring somebody in. We do all the work for them. They show up on final vetted interviews. They get successful and do well. If they are not doubling down on retention, it is one in, two out. It is hard and costly to replace somebody. We can talk about some retention strategies, but retention is a big one.

That might be some good stuff for a future interview there, Matt. Tell us a little bit more about your company and what you do.

I own a masonry concrete company here in Los Angeles. I hit the wall in 2018 with hiring. I’m doing government and commercial work, and I couldn’t hire. I lost nearly $700,000 worth of overruns and jobs. It took me three years. I spent nearly $1 million of my own money trying to figure out what worked. I couldn’t find a system. We put it together. I was helping contractors I knew. I never meant to build out a course, what is called the contractor hiring course, because I had a baby on the way. My other half, Marjorie, was like, “You can’t be out all the time talking about this hiring stuff.” We made a course.

What happened was contractors took it, but we found bigger ones needed. They were like, “We don’t have the time. What my company now primarily does is all that front-end legwork. We do it all for you, The Contractor Consultant. It is outsourced hiring. We do all of the resume postings. We build out all the assets, the hiring cards, the recruiting cards, and everything you need. All the business owner does is show up on pre-approved, vetted, screened, and qualified interviews. That is it.

This is for the field and office.


How can people get in touch with you if they like to learn more about your company?

The website is, or send me an email. I love to see if we can help. We can even send you some good resources from the course. Our mission is to help a million contractors. I love it. If anybody is reading, if we can help, we will send you resources. We will refer some geofencing companies. My email is [email protected].

Matt, I appreciate your time. I got one more question for you. Let’s say I’m flying into LA and need to hit a restaurant. What is the one restaurant in LA I’m going to?

What food do you like?

It is up to you. I’m easy. I’m not a fussy eater.

I would get a good steak. I would go to Mastro’s. There is a good steak restaurant out there. It would be a celebratory meal.

Matt says, “If you want a steak, you’ve got to go there.” Matt, I appreciate you joining us. Thank you for the tactics, strategies, and perspective. I do wish you all the best.

Thank you for reading my discussion with Matt. I hope you found it useful. I certainly did. There are a number of strategies and tactics that you can use right away to improve your hiring. If you are interested in contacting Matt, go out to his website,, and learn more about the work that he does.

One quick ask, I have a view before you jet away. Feel free to share this interview with other contractors you think would benefit from reading it. Give Construction Genius a rating and a review that helps the show to get seen across the interwebs. We are in the Top 50 management show on the Apple Podcasts. We want to get higher. Let’s get us into the top 20 or top 10. That is what we want to do here. Feel free to share the show with other people.


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About Matt DiBara

COGE Matt DiBara | Hiring ProcessI come from four generations of proud Masons. My father supported our family as a Mason, and I brought the family tradition out here to LA when I started my first company, DiBara Masonry, several years ago. I learned a lot as I grew that business. I started to understand why it seemed like my dad could never get away from work. There’s too much to do! Everything’s important and urgent. And even if you can afford to hire all the help you need, good luck finding qualified, reliable people for every role.

So I started researching, studying, testing and learning. I developed a lot of strategies and processes and skills that really helped me manage my business and my time a lot better. And I found some great partners who have extensive knowledge in the areas where I needed it most, and started working with them.

As I became more successful, people started asking me how I was pulling it off and if I could help them with their business. And that’s how my new company, The Contractor Consultants, was born.