Productivity • Management • Operations • 35 minutes

Apprenticeship Programs: Hire by Values, Build on Experience

July 25, 2023

Episode Overview

A family medical crisis unexpectedly thrust Tasha Roberts into the top leadership role at her parents’ commercial door company.

She knew she had a lot to learn. Driven to keep the family business alive and determined to make it thrive, she jumped in head first when she became president of ASAP Commercial Doors in 2016.

There was a steep learning curve, and Roberts wanted to absorb it all. It went against her nature, but she realized that delegation and outsourcing was going to be necessary. 

“I wanted to be in control of everything,” Roberts says. “But I knew that that would only get us so far. So getting rid of certain tasks was definitely necessary to move forward in the business.”

When her parents were running the business, it was a hybrid business that served both residential and commercial customers. 

Roberts decided to just focus on commercial business. Moving away from residential meant the sales strategy had to change–but she realized it was still important to exhibit ASAP: Act with integrity. Strive for excellence. Always be learning. Positive attitude.

“We utilized that, and changed the scripts to make it work for commercial,” she says. “At the end of the day you’re talking to a person, and that’s 99 percent of it. You've just got to change the verbiage and connect with them in a different way.”

When it came to hiring new employees, Roberts discovered (through trial-and-error) that she needed to rank personal values over experience. 

“You don't hire people based on their experience,” she says. “Yes, it’s good, but you can build experience. It’s really: What type of person are you hiring? What are their values? Do they align with our company values?”

To provide experience, ASAP established its own apprenticeship program. And since its start, essentially every graduate of the program is still employed by the company.

Tasha Roberts recently joined ServiceTitan’s Jackie Aubel as part of Season 8 of the “Toolbox for the Trades” podcast, which included Roberts’ thoughts on:

  • (1:45) Being thrust into the trades after a serious life event 

  • (6:26) Female leadership in the trades

  • (8:54) Making space to learn the business by delegating

  • (17:02) A dramatic rebrand and committing to commercial services

  • (28:01) An apprenticeship program built on core values

To hear more stories from the trades, subscribe to Toolbox for the Trades on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or anywhere you get podcasts.

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Toolbox for the Trades is a podcast where top service professionals share the tips, tricks, and tactics they use to succeed in their industry. Hosted by Jackie Aubel, this podcast is brought to you by ServiceTitan—the leading home and commercial field service software.

Episodes will feature stories and strategies to help contractors grow and scale their service business.

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