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

Don Zerevitz, owner of Pro Clean Building Maintenance, in Altamonte Springs, Florida, is skeptical of such a low industry average for turnover. Although he adds that his company’s turnover rates dropped during the recession, creating an opportunity to take some time to focus on how screening and hiring processes can be improved and to address other issues related to turnover.

“The biggest thing we realized was, with the right hire, the amount of turnover significantly decreased,” says Zerevitz.

Murch maintains that his company’s turnover percentage has fluctuated between the high 20s and low 30s for the past six or seven years.

“It depends on the local unemployment rate as well as the type of account (industrial vs. corporate), the location of the account (hard to get to), how many shifts (first, second, third), and part-time vs. full-time positions,” says Murch.

Not all BSCs have been so fortunate. Brad Klein, president of Building Professionals of Texas Janitorial Service in Houston, says his team has committed to a renewed focus on reducing turnover in the face of changing economic conditions. For example, at times the shale oil and gas industries are hiring from Klein’s same workforce at $15-$20 an hour — a wage janitorial firms simply cannot compete with.

“Turnover has been one of our biggest ongoing issues — the turnover of employees, the turnover of accounts. Are we turning over accounts because we’re turning over employees? It’s a challenge on a daily basis,” he says.

Losing accounts is the ultimate price to pay for employee turnover, and it gets to the heart of why every BSC should be invested in preventing turnover. Front-line workers who are capable and happy play a huge role in customer relations, says Jill Frey, president of Cummins Building Maintenance, Prospect, Ohio.

“We try really hard to keep the good employees we have, because the clients get so attached to them,” says Frey. “It helps that our employees like going to work every day and seeing the same people and building those relationships, because then they become an extension of that company.”

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Reducing Employee Turnover In A Competitive Job Market
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Hiring Janitors Who Will Stay