Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

The art of hiring great employees

September 19, 2010

I can never find good people.” Does that sound like something you have heard from almost everyone in any industry, but mostly in our labor-intensive, professional cleaning industry?

It seems like good people are not only hard to find, but darn-near impossible.

Perhaps it is our approach to this dilemma that is the cause of our problem. We seem to approach this issue with a negative attitude.

As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right,” cleaning professionals need to have an action plan when it comes to hiring new staff.

The action plan needs to include some positive approaches to the problem. If your turnover rate is exceedingly high, you may need to look at your management systems.

Employee retention, done correctly, may eliminate your constant need for new staff. This would be a most welcome development to the problem.

The line starts at the front

How are frontline managers treating employees? Is supervisory staff carrying out the wishes of the company? How are the frontline managers being supervised? Do you have a certain manager who has a higher turnover rate than other managers?

Stop kidding yourself about a manager’s ability to supervise the team.

Many times when turnover is high, it is a conflict between staff and their treatment by their direct supervisor — the frontline supervisors are the key to morale of the team. Ask the military: They know the key to happy soldiers is visionary sergeants.

The right ones for the job

Perhaps the reason you can’t find good help is that all the good people are already working. Many people who answer the traditional help wanted ad do not qualify to work for your company.

They may not have the skills necessary to complete the tasks needed — perhaps not the tasks of cleaning, but the tasks necessary for good customer service.

One way to make sure you only get the right people is to look for people who are already working. If you receive good service where you get coffee, give that person a card and tell him about your company and the fact that you only hire good people.

Keep this practice up, and soon you will have plenty of staff. It will also help you brush up on your interviewing skills. This is an important practice to ensure good hires and right attitudes.

Give your receptionist the “green light” to discard any applications that are from less than stellar applicants.

If your staff is uncomfortable with the applicant, do not waste your time interviewing the individual. This will empower staff, giving them a sense of control among workmates.

Keep the faith and a positive attitude about the persons in your trade area, and you will have a great staff in no time.

Dane Gregory is president and CEO, 3D Corporation, Stevens Point, WI.