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  • Writer's pictureMark Cukro

How to Find, Hire, and Keep and Excellent Service Team

Having an excellent service team with great retention is what every company in the industry wants, but it doesn’t happen by chance or luck. It takes a significant investment in time, and resources to find, hire, and maintain an excellent service team.

When you effectively invest your time and resources into how to find, hire and keep excellent service techs it will result in a much better team that generates a higher return on investment, higher occupancy, satisfied residents, and a positive flow of income from the property or asset.

Finding technicians

When is the last time you analyzed your method and process of finding and hiring technicians with a fresh new perspective? Take a look at all of the advertisements and see how similar what you post is to all of the other postings. If they are similar, it may be time to make a change, so your advertisements can stand out and get a better response.

Last month I did extensive job searches in 6 cities around the US. for maintenance technicians and almost every single posting followed the same format. How big the company is, how great the company is, a long description of the requirements and finally, but not always, the benefits of working for the company which in many instances included only the pay and benefits. I was genuinely surprised at how many ads looked the same.

In sales and leasing it is common to present the features and benefits of why living at a certain community is a good decision, yet it is rare for an advertisement for a maintenance technician to explain the benefits of why working at a certain company is a good decision. Too, often the job posting is presented in a way that is bland, wordy and overly general.

You must know why it is a great opportunity to work at your company and explain why it is an excellent choice. If you don’t know why then how can that be communicated?

Post differently and you will get different results, post differently and highlight why working at your company is a great decision and you’ll get better results.

When posting an ad for a technician, the ads that had the benefits listed at the top, so they could be seen while scrolling through the list of ads received higher responses than those that had the pay and benefits at the bottom.

Use a description of what the company culture is, how the company takes care of the technicians and everyone on the team, and how much opportunity there is for associates.

Employees want to work in a healthy environment where people are treated with respect and dignity. They want to work where they feel important and are treated as such. They do not want bureaucracy, or to be hired through a painfully slow or repetitive interview and hiring process.

So, explain why it is a great place to work, be as clear and concise as possible in what is expected of the position and describe the work environment. Keep in mind, most ads are opened based on the first few sentences that can be read while scrolling. Nobody cares about your company until they know the company cares for them and provides proof.

Hiring Here are a few considerations when trying to fil a position. You must know exactly what skill sets are needed and what type of attitude you are looking for to be part of your team. Everyone is on their best behavior in an interview and you have to get through the rehearsed answers and get down to whether or not this person is a great fit for your team. Technically and behaviorally.

Not every technician is a good fit for your team and your team may not be a good fit for them. That doesn’t mean they can be a super star somewhere else but there is more to hiring a technician that their qualifications.

An interview should go in two directions. You should interview the technician as much as they should be interviewing the company to make sure it is a good fit for them too. It is not uncommon for a company to have a perspective of “they should be glad to have a job”. You have to know before you start interviewing whether you are trying to simply fill a vacancy in a position or find a great match for your team.

The experiences a person has within the first few days of employment will set the tone for how they will view everything about the company for a long time. Make sure their on-boarding process and orientation is as organized and positive as possible. Do not be too busy spend time with the new person and make sure the understand everything that is expected. There should be very few, if any, surprises when the new hire starts.

Avoid interview questions that do not have a purpose such as,” where you see yourself in 5 years?”, Do you know anyone that accurately predicted exactly where they would be 5 years in the future?” That is an ineffective question that gets hardly any useful information. Another one to avoid is “can you tell me about yourself?” This question is far too vague, and the person has no idea what type of information you want. Be more specific with questions and then dig deeper.

Attitude and behavior are just as important as technical skills. So many people get hired for their qualifications only to be let go for their attitude or behavior. Get to now the person but do not drag out the hiring process. It should be fairly streamlined.

Keeping an excellent team

If there is one thing you must do on a daily basis, it is being good to your people. You can be firm, have standards and maintain a great team all at the same time. Everyone wants to work where they are respected, and their contributions are genuinely appreciated. The top two reasons companies lose employees is poor leadership and communication. Some of the most common reasons for people leaving are how they were treated, talked down to, and micro-managed.

Employees typically don’t leave a company because of the company itself they more often leave due to the way they are treated or the culture that is at their location. Avoid using phrases such as “what did you get done today?”, “does it really take that long?”, the last person that worked here did it in less time”, Why is it so hard?”, “because I am the boss, that’s why”. Ask yourself how you wake react to those questions when you have been working all day.

You must also train your employees. It is rare that anyone shows up with the perfect skills set and perspective of how things are at your property or company. Even the most experienced technicians need training and many times, they need to be nudged to go. Then, after they go to a class, they are always grateful that you sent them.

The bottom line is that everyone wants to be able to look forward to going to work. They want to feel like they are making a difference and are being compensated well for their skill and time.

Finding employees is always easier than keeping them, and if you take care of your team, they are much more likely to stay on your team.

Below is list based on my personal interaction with technicians and on-site employees. When I asked, “what do you wish management would do differently that would make where you work more enjoyable?” This came right from the field and I hope you’ll find it useful.

  • They want you to take their success as seriously as yours and the company

  • Be treated with respect and dignity

  • "Do not always seek bad behavior to punish, also seek good behavior to reward."

  • Be a boss people want to follow

  • Provide a work environment that is conducive to success." Encouraging learning environment!

The formula is simple but not always easy.

People that take care of their associates and treat them fairly and with respect will keep the team together longer than those that don’t and people that train always do better than people than don’t.

When you become the person that can find excellent technicians with a great skill set and attitude and keep them while maintaining standards you will be in higher demand than you can imagine. Make time to develop the skills needed to do so and you and everyone around you will appreciate it and benefit from it.

Mark Cukro

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