When it comes to hiring a general asphalt paving contractor that you can trust, one of the biggest challenges that you may face is in narrowing down your list of options. This is especially true if you are a commercial business that is located in a densely populated urban center, where the choice of contractors is in the dozens. With asphalt paving being a large investment, it is critical to run thorough research on who your potential hires are so that you get the right company for the job. In this blog post, we will go over 5 key areas that you should look at when reviewing a general asphalt paving contractor for hire.
1. Look At Their Reviews: How Are They Rated?
It is important that during this step, you aggregate from several review websites. Take a look at Google’s Customer Reviews, Yelp, The Yellow Pages, Foursquare, and the Better Business Bureau to see what the ratings look like. When looking at their reviews, it is critical to look at the average review rating and not just the 5-star and 1-2 star reviews. Why? Some clients may have misunderstood the service and given a bad review, others may have had a bad day and left a nasty review as a result. Some 5-star reviews may be fake, so keep this in mind, as a company that pays for fake reviews is not a company you want to hire.
What are the vast majority of the reviews saying?
Maybe they have fantastic customer support or are extremely prompt in their responses or scheduling. Look for reviews that mention, and show the quality of the work being done. If the overwhelming majority of the reviews are positive, it’s likely that the contractor is a good bet. For instance, an 80+% with 4-5 star ratings is a solid choice.
Finally, make note of the review dates. It’s a good idea to look at reviews within the last 2-weeks up to 6-months. These are going to be the most accurate of the company in its present-day state. It is important to remember that companies can change management or ownership over time, so reviews from 1-2 years may not paint the full picture
2. What Licensing Types Do They Have?
Take a look at the company’s website and see if they mention their licensing. If you don’t see anything, it’s essential to send an email or give them a phone call to ask. Sometimes, asphalt paving contractors will skip out on required insurance, so that they can pass on a lower price to the end consumer and make more sales. Unfortunately, this means that if any accidents occur while on the job, your business insurance is what will cover the damages. Not only does this lead to higher premiums for you, but potential legal fallout as well.
When hiring a general asphalt paving contractor, you want one with an umbrella licensing policy, general liability, workers’ compensation, and insurance on all commercial vehicles and paving equipment, as these will cover both material and personal damages if there is an accident. You also want one with a professional license (business or contractor license), as this ensures that all workers are trained and that the business is legitimate.
3. Are They Running In-Excellent-Condition Equipment?
If possible, rather than booking the contractor online, head into their place of business and check on the condition of their equipment. Ask about the makes and models of their vehicles, what year they were built, and what the brand of their equipment is. A general asphalt paving contractor with up-to-date and in-excellent-condition equipment is a lot more trustworthy than someone with old, run-down equipment that needs replacing.
If you want to go a step further, run some minor research on the given makes and models of their equipment to find out the average lifespan, and the quality of the brand. You can also go back to the reviews to see if anyone cited issues regarding their equipment.
4. Are Their Employees Reliable & Well Trained?
There are a few ways that you can check to see if the asphalt paving contractor you’re looking to hire, has reliable employees that know their job well.
- Go back through the online reviews and look for comments on employee friendliness, work completion quality and timeliness, and overall satisfaction with employee to client interaction.
- Consider looking up the contractor on websites like Glassdoor and Indeed that rate employers. On these sites you can see what current and former workers have to say about their working environment, their managers, and co-workers. If a lot of employees have complaints about the company or facets of the company, you can expect the workers to have low morale, or low drive to do a good job.
- Ask the contractor about employee turnover rate. If employees are staying for years at the company, it means that they invest in their workers, and that the employees are thriving in the work environment. A high retention rate points towards a professional company that takes good care of their employees.
5. Look at Their Previous Work & Company Experience.
The final step in the hiring process should be to look at the contractor’s previous work (portfolio), and what their overall company experience is. Perhaps they have worked on large commercial spaces like stadiums or entertainment venues, that you can go and see in person to evaluate the quality of. Knowing how long they’ve been in business is a good indicator of the contractor’s success and expertise.