This is the third part of a seven-part article on recruiting and retention strategies.

Starting off on the right foot by putting resources and effort into the hiring process can help ensure BSCs bring on the best possible candidates — and avoid the worst — to keep turnover low.

Offering a starting wage higher than minimum wage, and higher than competitors’ wages, is one of the more common ways janitorial firms attract workers. Just over half (51 percent) of survey respondents, said they start new janitors at more than the federal minimum wage, state minimum wage and a “living wage.”

“We’ve always paid above minimum wage, and that’s how you’re going to attract the best candidates,” says Frey.

With more employees than ever being attracted and incentivized by employer-provided health insurance, more BSCs are seeing the bright side of providing insurance and other perks.

“Employees these days are looking for health care. They’re looking for a good, steady, consistent job; a job they can grow with, have benefits and make a good wage so at the end of the day, they’re able to go home and take care of their families,” says Frey. “If you can present a position to them like that, instead of ‘you’re a cleaner,’ it’s a more attractive opportunity for a good candidate.”

The screening process for many BSCs involves multiple steps, including interviews, assessments, tests, trainings, background checks and drug tests.

“It normally takes us one to two weeks to hire people, which is hard for us, because if we need someone immediately, we can’t always fill that gap. So we always have people in the funnel,” says Frey. “We have background checks, which take a few days, then drug testing. Then we do some screening tests that indicate if candidates are caring and trustworthy, and then we put them through a training session as well. The process tends to deter people who just want a job right now.”

Pro Clean’s screening process has evolved in recent years to focus less on experience and more on personality and behavioral traits that indicate whether candidates are good fits for the available positions, says Zerevitz.

“We gathered a few key managers and started talking about the best people we have. Why are they the best people? What is it about them? They all have some common traits, and if they don’t have what are considered success traits in this business, they’re just turns waiting to happen,” he says.

The traits his team identified included preference to work autonomously, being detail-oriented, ability to work without direct supervision, and ability to accept responsibility.

“If they’re not a fit, it’s very difficult to keep an employee happy in their position. In cleaning, it’s pretty simple — if someone’s not detail-oriented, they’re not going to become detail-oriented once they start cleaning. And if someone doesn’t accept responsibility for their tasks in their personal life or work life, they’re not going to start accepting it once they’re hired,” says Zerevitz.

previous page of this article:
The Cost Of Turnover
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Employee Referrals Prove Most Valuable