Q: Trust…it starts with a handshake? A: I often get asked, “What do you look for when hiring a subcontractor or vendor?” Before you are knee deep in problems, maybe I can help with a few proactive tips I have learned over the years. Any kind of relationship is about EARNED TRUST. It starts with a HANDSHAKE. I really believe this has eroded over the last 30 years. It once was generationally taught. A grandfather, father, uncle or even an elderly friend would pass on the wisdom of a HANDSHAKE. “Look ‘em in the eye, give ‘em a firm handshake and remember, once you SHAKE ON IT– YOUR WORD IS GOOD.” This was and I believe still is the basis of a successful relationship. It is important that once you “SHAKE ON IT”, you must have clarity of what is to be done. Then it is a matter of living up to your word. Prior to the HANDSHAKE, I see people do all kinds of tactics to find a trusted choice. The best is by using the internet and asking trusted people for a reference. Try to find somebody in the know that could give you a reference. A good question to consider when interviewing is “How do you handle adversity?” All jobs will have its ups and downs. Some by no one’s fault may have some crazy stuff going on. I think it is extremely important to hire someone that has an even keel type of personality. At the end of the day jobs will require problem solving. People who can keep their egos and tempers in check are the ones I want on my team. I can guarantee you that my spouse, kids, employees, subcontractors, vendors and our clients know about what the HANDSHAKE represents. I hope this helps and thank you for reading Ask The Builder and making The Columbian of Vancouver, WA a part of your day. Please submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am and 860 am Saturdays at 1 pm. SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!