What it Takes to be a Rope Access Tech in Demand!
Aspect3Sixty like most UK rope access companies find that we rely heavily on self-employed or limited company sub-contractor services, it’s the way the industry works here in the UK. So, what puts one tech above another on our spreadsheet? What triggers us to pick up the phone and call our favoured technicians rather than someone who’s further down the list? For us an in-demand tech is one who has carved a reputation for being many things, from skilled to reliable. But just what do I think are the ingredients of being a tech in demand?
Let’s start with the obvious – when someone arrives on site and they deliver the service needed to a consistently high standard, they will be asked back, not just once or twice, but time and time again.
The relationship between a company and self-employed staff is a mutually beneficial one – or it can be! As a tech you gain valuable experience and the employing company get what they want.
We all know someone who ‘does the bare minimum’, doing what they are asked but rarely delivering anything more. They are on site just about on time and they leave bang on time (or even earlier if they can get away with it). They deliver, but without any great gusto.
They may feel like they’re not being watched, that no one cares or that no one is taking any notice, but believe me when I say that ‘’negative trends and patterns of behaviour don’t go unnoticed’’. Any supervisor, team member or manager that notices negative attitudes or behaviours will make a mental note of it, they may not comment on it (or even acknowledge it’s happened) but it is there, filed away for future refence and from Aspect3Sixty’s point of view negative behaviours definitely affects a techs position on our spreadsheet.
So, by being diligent and conscientious, you set the foundations for a reputation that puts you in the hot seat as an in-demand tech.
3 Showing initiative
There are parameters within which we must all operate but that doesn’t mean you can’t use your initiative. In fact, technicians who take the initiative are the ones that Aspect3Sixty will often ask back.
Initiative means you not only identify the problem but take action to rectify, minimise or make the most of it within the boundaries of operation you have been given and the RAMS you are following. When was the last time you did something that someone could count as ‘above and beyond’? Has there been a time when you have taken action that has made a positive difference? Or do you ‘just do as you are told’…?
4 Driving forward
For many technicians, working on an ad-hoc or temporary basis for a company is a fantastic opportunity to drive themselves forward. And companies like that too because when a tech invests in themselves, they will often have a positive outlook on the industry, what they can deliver, the changes that are coming and what new opportunities maybe on the horizon.
Could you say you are a forward-thinking technician? Are you investing in yourself or are you always moaning about why some techs are on a higher rate or are always in work? Think about what courses you could take, what qualifications you can gain, it’s all about making yourself as qualified and as experienced as you can be. Its quite simple really, I want the best value from the hourly rate that Aspect3Sixty pay and if you don’t value yourself enough to invest in you, then why should I spend my time and efforts getting you up to standard?
5 Are the basics in place?
If you are late, impressions are not good. If you are untidy, don’t look after equipment and have a lackadaisical approach in general, then you’ll find that you are not going to be in as much demand as someone who has the basics in order. Profits on a job aren’t as great as the tea shack talk may have you believe, simple things like losing a gas monitor because it wasn’t clipped on properly, dropping clinkers on 25 metres of un-coiled rope or failing to clean paint off your harness hardware all have an impact on the profits, competition for contracts is fierce out there and £300 for a new gas monitor or £130 for a replacement ASAP can soon reduce a company’s profit margins to charitable levels.
6 To sum it up
So, would you class yourself as someone who is reliable, on-time, able to use your initiative and look after equipment? If the answer is yes then you’re probably a Tech in Demand. If the answer is no then you may be lucky enough to currently be keeping busy due to the current sheer demand for rope techs, but you may find your struggling once the economy takes a dip or the weather starts restricting what workscopes can and can’t go ahead.
So, if you’re thinking about getting into the industry my advice to you would be, get a reputation for being a hard worker, for being on time and for being reliable and committed to the job in hand, invest in yourself and constantly try and get ahead of the competition. If you do those things then you have an excellent chance of maintaining a decent steady income and gaining an industry wide reputation as a tech in demand.
“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
— Vidal Sassoon