A reader writes: “You talk about hiring the right people in your seminars. Can you elaborate on that concept? Our HR department just doesn’t get it.”

In most of my manuals I have an Introduction page that states the following: “It’s about hiring the RIGHT people performing the RIGHT tasks the RIGHT way at the RIGHT time. Bill Griffin, puts it this way: ‘Successful supervision can be defined as the ability to get an employee to do what you want done, when you want it done, the way you want it done because the worker wants to do it.’ We are in the ‘people business’ regardless of whether it is a worker, a property manager, a tenant or a visitor to one of our facilities. Our goal should be their safe and satisfying use of the facility.”

Although the quotation may seem simplistic I challenge you to come up with a better statement and I will certainly ask your permission to use it in future workshops. As to your HR department not getting it, I have to place some of the blame at your doorstep. They are generalists who process bodies and try to get people into open slots. They are more interested in background checks and other requirements to protect the company from hiring the wrong person. I doubt if most of them have ever managed a custodial crew, stripped a floor or struggled with a worker who refuses to follow directions. They may or may not have any real background in evaluating whether a particular applicant is a good fit for custodial operations unless you have given them clear guidelines as to what you are looking for.

If possible, meet with HR and express your concerns and offer to assist in developing guidelines for choosing quality custodial workers.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net