how to hire an estimator

Hiring an estimator for your construction project or estimating department involves a thoughtful process to ensure you find a qualified and capable candidate. Here are the steps to help you hire an estimator:

  1. Define the Job Role:
    • Clearly define the role and responsibilities of the estimator. Determine whether you need an estimator for a specific project or a full-time estimator to join your team.
  2. Create a Job Description:
    • Draft a comprehensive job description that outlines the duties, qualifications, and expectations for the estimator position. Include details about the type of projects they will be estimating, software proficiency requirements, and any specific skills needed.
  3. Advertise the Position:
    • Post the job opening on relevant platforms, such as job boards, your company’s website, and industry-specific websites. Use concise and engaging job titles and descriptions to attract qualified candidates.
  4. Seek Recommendations:
    • Ask colleagues, industry peers, and professional networks for recommendations. Referrals from trusted sources can lead you to experienced estimators.
  5. Review Resumes and Applications:
    • Collect and review resumes and applications from interested candidates. Look for candidates with relevant experience in estimating, construction, or a related field.
  6. Conduct Interviews:
    • Schedule interviews with shortlisted candidates. During the interviews, assess their estimating skills, technical knowledge, problem-solving abilities, and communication skills.
  7. Assess Estimating Software Proficiency:
    • If your company uses specific estimating software, evaluate the candidate’s proficiency with that software. Have them demonstrate their ability to use the software to create estimates.
  8. Discuss Relevant Experience:
    • Ask candidates about their previous estimating experience, including the types of projects they’ve worked on, the size and complexity of those projects, and their success in delivering accurate estimates.
  9. Evaluate Attention to Detail:
    • Estimating requires a high level of attention to detail. Ask candidates about their approach to reviewing project plans, specifications, and conducting quantity takeoffs.
  10. Assess Cost Analysis Skills:
    • Inquire about the candidate’s ability to analyze costs, including materials, labor, equipment, and overhead. Discuss their strategies for accurately pricing projects.
  11. Check References:
    • Contact the references provided by the candidate to verify their work history, estimating skills, and overall performance. Ask about their experience working with the candidate.
  12. Evaluate Communication Skills:
    • Effective communication is essential for an estimator, as they often need to interact with project managers, clients, and subcontractors. Assess the candidate’s ability to communicate complex information clearly and professionally.
  13. Discuss Time Management:
    • Estimators must meet deadlines for submitting bids and estimates. Ask candidates about their time management skills and their ability to work under pressure.
  14. Consider Cultural Fit:
    • Assess whether the candidate’s personality and work style align with your company’s culture and values. Compatibility with your team is important for long-term success.
  15. Offer the Position:
    • Once you’ve identified the right candidate, extend a formal job offer. Clearly outline the terms of employment, including compensation, benefits, start date, and any conditions.
  16. Provide Onboarding and Training:
    • Prepare for the estimator’s onboarding process, which may include training on your company’s processes, procedures, and estimating software.
  17. Set Expectations:
    • Communicate your expectations for the estimator’s role and responsibilities. Provide them with the necessary resources and support to excel in their position.
  18. Monitor Performance:
    • Regularly review the estimator’s performance and provide feedback to help them improve and grow in their role.

Hiring an estimator is a significant decision, as their work directly impacts the profitability and success of construction projects. Take your time to find a qualified candidate who can deliver accurate and competitive estimates for your projects.

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