Hire the Right Employees Every Time

Use these tips when you’re weeding through that string of applicants to find the best workers
Hire the Right Employees Every Time

Carlos Perez and John Ploof restock A Royal Flush unit with toilet paper. (Photo by Maggie Andresen)

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Tis the season! Not the holiday season, but the season for hiring. A new year is underway and hopefully your business will be ramping up soon. Now is the time to bring on new staff so that you have plenty of time to find and train the right person for your company.

When it comes to drivers, you have to be so careful. They are using your most expensive asset and their actions can affect everyone around them. Our company doesn’t ever take chances with drivers. We expect years of experience and a clean driving record.

I really appreciate a driver who applies for a job with a resume. That means he or she takes pride in their work and wants to tell you about it. This is a great opportunity to see the types of companies an applicant has come from and how long he or she stayed at each job.

A job hopper should be avoided. They are the ones who have a new job every year. It isn’t worth the training time to have them leave you a couple of months later. Applicants with experience at one of the uniform or the water companies tend to be great employees. They are trained to upsell to all of their customers, which is a bonus in any technician.

Once you find a solid applicant, the first step is always to drug test and road test. Is this person under the influence? Can they drive a truck safely? The road test gives you a glimpse into the driver’s ability and skill level. If the applicant is unable to pass both of these steps, you do not want them on your staff. 

If the chosen applicants pass the drug and the road test, then we take the time to train them. During the training process, we rely on other seasoned drivers to give us feedback about the new drivers. We want drivers that work hard but also drivers who give us feedback about our customers. Are there too many workers on a site? Does a customer need more toilets? If a driver comes to you with that information, they are a keeper.

The final step is for the new technician to be given his or her own route. Then we carefully monitor that route for the first couple of months. If you see complaints increasing in that area, then the employee isn’t a good fit. There are only so many customers out there and you can’t let a bad driver destroy all your hard sales efforts.

No matter what, you generally know right away if someone is a good fit or not. You also know if they can do the job or not. For example, when my customer service representative told me last summer that she was sending an email, but she was in an Excel spreadsheet, I was 100 percent sure she had no computer experience and that just wouldn’t work for me.

I believe in cutting my losses early and searching for someone new. The disappointment of spending the entire winter training someone and finding out in May that they can’t handle the job has happened too many times. Now I firmly believe in starting early in the year and going through multiple people, if necessary, to find the right person.

About the Author: Alexandra Townsend is co-owner of A Royal Flush, based in Philadelphia.



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