Although there are a multitude of things a company can do to rectify the issues that cause janitors to leave, they can also make moves that reduce the chance of having a short-term or problem hire before that person’s first day of work.

It’s not uncommon for a janitorial worker to leave the position early. Maybe it’s partially the company and partially the job that caused the discomfort, or maybe it has nothing to do with the company, its management or its other employees at all — the job simply isn’t a fit.

By disclosing all of the job duties, the hours and the benefits right away, the employer provides the interviewee with an honest, comprehensive look at the position. It’s a two-way interview where both sides need to decide if they want the other. Sure, some candidates might say “yes” to a job offer even after leaving the first interview knowing they’re forcing a fit, but one would reason some others are going to pass on a second interview or an offer based on the extra information they obtained. While that doesn’t give an employer a worker, it might have at least spared them from taking on another one-month-and-done hire.

“If you set that correct expectation in the interview process, they’re going to know the shift or type of work isn’t right for them,” says Kruse. “It’s about creating a realistic, objective match between applicant, work environment, crew and manager.”

Some companies incorporate onboarding to the interview stage through an easy-to-use software. At AffinEco, potential hires are tasked with going to a website that carries them through the entire process, which helps them to learn about the job, how it’s conducted and the company that is hiring, says Diamond. Bryco Services will play a video of the training process during the onboarding stage so applicants know what to expect, says Lazorik.

The company or its hiring manager can, of course, also discard the applications from candidates whose backgrounds suggest they might have a propensity for leaving early.

Let’s say a submitted resume shows a candidate has had five jobs as an adult. While two last more than a year, that candidate also had three stints that last only a few months. Giving that the applicant has a resume peppered with employment stretches lasting less than a typical semester of high school, it might be best to toss that application out.

Byrco Services follows this method. Lazorik says the company won’t entertain an application from an applicant who has worked less than six months at any one place of employment.

It might also be advantageous for an employer to think carefully before hiring an employee whose last job paid well above the average compensation for a janitorial worker, says Lazorik. After all, how long is someone who earned $16 an hour before being laid off at his or her previous job going to stick around if the new employer is paying just over minimum wage?

After going through the interview process — and the background check — there is the job offer, which is then followed by another important phase that can also impact how long an employee stays at a company: the training.

Janitorial workers who don’t pan out or burn out quickly often do so because they didn’t receive the right type of training or didn’t know the company well enough. Successful companies offer one of several forms of training to not only ensure the employee is ready when they begin on their own, but also that the lessons learned stick with them throughout their time of employment.

One approach that can be used is what Diamond calls the“train the trainer” method, which he summarizes in three steps: “see one, do one, teach one.” This method forces the new hire to see how the janitorial work is done by closely observing their job duties being carried out by a veteran employee. After going all eyes and ears, the new hire will do the work under the supervision of the trainer, says Diamond. Finally, the trainee will teach the trainer how to do the job. Though the trainer obviously isn’t learning anything here, this exercise works because the teaching is believed to help the new hire develop.

Training can also focus on particular subjects. For example, the process could be focused more on some of the more difficult cleaning tasks or could lean heavily on safety training.


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