2. What aspects of the hiring process best lead to loyal employees?

The first impression is always the most important whether it’s for an employee or a customer. How are they greeted? How are they talked to? Treating them with respect by really listening to what they have to say. It is also important to let them know what is expected from them and what they can expect from us as a company. Be honest. We tell them it’s hard work. — Mary Miller, owner and CEO, JANCOA, Cincinnati

Actually interviewing them and doing a reference check, you learn a lot in the process. Also, performing a personality profile test is a great tool to see if the candidate fits in to your corporate culture. — Paul Senecal, managing partner, AffinEco, Bridgeport, Connecticut

Ideally, the most important part of the hiring process is the onboarding process immediately after hire. This is the key to setting employees up for success and long-term loyalty. It is imperative that we make them feel comfortable and welcomed not only by human resources, but their direct supervisor and co-workers via a “buddy program.” The buddy program exists at the site level, where, after onboarding at corporate, the new employee is paired with another cleaner, who has been at the site for a while, to “show them the ropes” for a day or two. — Laurie Sewell, president and CEO, Servicon Systems, Inc., Culver City, California

The more information we can give, the better. A very thorough orientation, interview and onboarding process is best. We have experienced it’s best not to sugar-coat the position. Many days in the cleaning industry are great: the cleaners’ routines go as planned, the facilities are not totally trashed from the day before, etc. However, there are days when other staff misses work, when there are large messes or something of that nature where the cleaner will have to put in some extra or difficult hours to complete their job. We try to come right out and state this as a possibility so a new hire is not surprised when one of these situations comes up. This mind-set is applicable for recruiting frontline cleaners up to our COO position.

Most importantly, though, these employees have to be a fit for our culture. We work to ask questions to ensure the employee can match our core values. We are confident that we can teach anyone the basics of cleaning, but a top-notch attitude, work ethic and cultural fit cannot be taught. — Scott Stevenson, president and CEO, KleenMark, Madison, Wisconsin

3. What is your best tip for the hiring and screening process?

My best tip from our hiring and screening process is to focus on determining whether a cultural fit exists between the company and the candidate by engaging in more of a behavioral recruitment process. Have the candidate provide actual examples of past actions, as opposed to a list of aspirational goals and accomplishments. Pay close attention to how the candidate describes how they’ve handled past situations to determine if there is a fit with company values. Of course, in the spirit of engaging in a mutual selection process, we provide a specific job description and past situations prior employees have encountered, so the candidate can decide if the position being sought is a proper fit for themselves as well. — Nathalie Doobin, owner and CEO, Harvard Services Group, Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Make sure the person doing the hiring speaks fluently the language of the person being hired. — Paul Senecal, managing partner, AffinEco, Bridgeport, Connecticut

Let them talk! They will let you know if you should hire them or not from what they say. Also, be sure to really check their prior employers. — Mary Miller, owner and CEO, JANCOA, Cincinnati

Do it early and before you have an emergency need! Otherwise, you will be stuck with the warm-body hiring syndrome so prevalent in our industry. For our company, we created a companion to our JanOPs training process called HireOps to assist hiring managers. This process focuses on creating early a pool of qualified applicants, simplifying the interviewing and screening process, and standardizing the onboarding procedures. — Eric Luke, president and CEO, Varsity Facility Services, Salt Lake City

Listen for enthusiasm about our company and if they have researched our company and know what we do. Ask about previous employment and why they left. — Laurie Sewell, president and CEO, Servicon Systems, Inc., Culver City, California

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