Staffing Challenges Continue for BSCs

Staffing challenges

Recruiting and retaining staff continues to be an uphill battle for building service contractors (BSCs), according to results of the 2019 CMM BSC/Contract Cleaning Benchmarking Survey sponsored by Sunbelt Rentals.

When asked how much the particular challenge of recruiting and retaining staff pertained to their business, more than half of survey respondents (53%) chose “to a large extent.” Staffing challenges ranked well above maintaining profitable margins (36% to a large extent) and winning new bids and customer retention (both 25% to a large extent). 

Staffing challenges of BSCs are in line with current U.S. labor market trends, which have been tightening over the last two years. The unemployment rate in August was 3.7%, the lowest rate of unemployed Americans recorded since December 1969. In April, more than 3.5 million workers quit their jobs, more than had ever been recorded in a single month, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. This quit rate suggests that people are finding better-paying jobs, perhaps with better benefits, or are confident they will.  

As you head into the new year, how are you planning to keep and retain the best and brightest employees in the most difficult of times? That’s the question Scott Tackett, a business development advisor for Violand Management Associates, asks in his article “Employee Benefits for 2020: Let’s Get Them Right.”

From Tackett’s perspective, employees in today’s competitive labor market are as much concerned with benefits as they are with compensation. Tackett looks at the types of benefits and services small businesses are considering to keep employees engaged, noting that engaged employees equals well-performing employees.

Another way of keeping good workers with you is to help create a path of opportunity for your career-minded employees. “Organizations should offer stepping-stones that allow individuals to improve themselves and expand their careers,” says Paul Pleshek, president of Floor Claim Solutions Inc., in his article from IICRC. That path may include professional development and education programs to develop their careers whether they are an entry-level technician or a supervisor.

Many of you know the path to business success lies in continuing education—that’s why you read CMM and perhaps attended the ISSA Show North America 2019 in Las Vegas, November 18–21, to learn about new technologies to help your business perform better now and into the future. ISSA offers many great educational and training opportunities throughout the year.

As we look to the future, I wish all of you a healthy and prosperous 2020. Thanks for reading!


Amy W. Richardson

Amy W. Richardson

Managing Editor, Cleaning & Maintenance Management

Amy W. Richardson is managing editor of Cleaning & Maintenance Management. She has more than 15 years of experience editing and writing for trade and consumer publications, community newspapers, nonprofit associations and websites. Richardson holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies with an emphasis in journalism from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.


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