Maria Peicu

First, finding the right person then matching them to a job that requires their skills is always a primary issue. Parental changes are very key as well. Even if our employees do not have kids of their own, they watch their siblings or friends children. This causes scheduling conflicts and often more absenteeism.

Providing a living wage is very difficult. Only the most frugal can afford to live on "cleaning wages," which not only limits who we can hire but also causes corollary issues such as lack of transportation.

Finally, illegal subcontracting affects employment as well. Their low-ball bids reduce prices and thus wages, but additionally these entities do not contribute "fairly" to worker's compensation and unemployment insurance, which raises the rates for the "honest" companies.

Maria Peicu, president
HOTT Associates
Cleveland, Ohio

David Murphy

Attracting, hiring and retaining good employees has always been a struggle for many BSCs. To overcome this we offer our employees a referral bonus to recruit potential employees. Our existing employees know what it takes to be successful and are good at identifying others who may possess the same necessary traits.

We train our managers to hire based on these needed personality traits and character and not on experience and impressive resumés. We can train them to do the task necessary for the job, but we can't train them to be contentious, honest and dependable. For key personnel, we use an online profile assessment that gives us a pretty good look into the applicant's personality. We also provide new hires with a thorough orientation and classroom training before they enter the field. Recruiting from within, hiring for personality traits, and good training will go a long way in retaining good employees.

David Murphy, President
Supreme Maintenance Organization
Greensboro, N.C.

Jill Koch

In our 23 years in the business, we have seen a huge change in employment challenges. Years ago, getting good, hard-working employees to clean was the challenge. You went through quite a few applicants to find someone who took the detail work as seriously as you did.

Now in this economy, we have hundreds of applicants who are professional business people simply out of work. From contractors to office managers to business owners, there are a lot of people in the job market.

Our biggest challenge now is finding management teams, mainly supervisors, who will check jobs the way the owner does, and deal with employees the way you want them to be treated. Perfection is the goal and it's sometimes difficult to hire someone who will see perfection the same as you do, and know that they will be staying with the company for years to come.

Jill Koch, vice president
Vista Building Services Inc.
Medford, Oregon

Next month: How do you survive in a family business?

If you’d like the opportunity to share your opinion, send an e-mail to Dan Weltin