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Tips For Hiring And Retaining Employees At Your Waste Business

Staffing can be a struggle in the portable sanitation and dumpster rental industry. We constantly see pleas for how to hire and keep reliable employees across different platforms. Without further ado, here’s our handy guide to building the best workforce for your company: 

Phase 1: Job posting and interviewing 

Step 1: Create a strong job description by writing out the physical duties of the job. This is important so you have candidates that understand what the job entails. Don’t be afraid to include relevant personality characteristics as preferred traits based on previous successful hires.

Step 2: If you don’t have an interview process, create one! See below for interview process ideas:

  • Start with a phone interview. First impressions are important and this will save you time in the long run 
  • Do they have a clean driving record so they can be insured on the company’s policy?
  • Are they willing to work weekends?
  • What do they know about you?
  • Run their driver’s license!
  • Call their references
  • Are they reliable? 
  • Are they safety conscious?
  • Do they get along with others?
  • Are they self-motivated? 
  • Have the candidate come into the office for an in-person interview 

**TIP: Hire based on the person’s character and not their skill level. You can’t teach attitude, but you can train someone!

  • Give the person a tour of the yard while they are there for the interview
  • Schedule a ride along with the route supervisor. For the ride-along, pay them by the hour for their time
  • The candidate can determine if they can deal with the “sites and smells” of the industry before time is invested in hiring and training
  • Talk with them about how the ride-along went and what they like about the job opportunity

**TIP: If you interview more than one person, talk with everyone involved in the interviewing process about how the candidates will fit into the business. 

Step 3: Find applicants 

  • Best online places to post jobs:
    • Indeed and ZipRecruiter
    • Craigslist (this seems to work the best)
    • Facebook
    • Job boards
  • Set up a referral program for your employees
    • Cash payout when the person they referred gets hired and is with the company for 90 days
  • Contact a local temp agency that will keep an eye out for your company and send over candidates

Phase 2: Onboarding your new hire

Establish a training process that you use each time you hire a new employee. Spend the time training the person right the first time. This will save you time and money in the long run.

Basic training layout example:

  • Week 1: In-office training and introductions to the team!
    • Safety training: truck safety, road safety, job site safety, DOT responsibility, etc
    • Have the new hire work the phones and cross-train so they know what is going on in the office
  • Week 2: The new hire rides with a lead driver to be trained on the correct way to get each job done
    • This should include software training so they can use the software in the field
  • Weeks 3 & 4: The new hire drives and the lead driver rides with them
    • This is also to ensure the new hire knows how to use his own truck as not every truck is built the same.
  • The new driver is on their own after this!

**TIP: Keep the training schedule between 2-4 weeks

Phase 3: Retaining your employees

We’ve all heard that acquiring a new customer is way more expensive than retaining an existing one. Well, the same can be said for employees. Here are some tips to keep your employees satisfied and on your team for years to come.

  1. Purchase the right equipment. Working with outdated or unreliable equipment increases frustration and decreases productivity
  2. Offer reasonable and competitive compensation
  3. Eliminate headaches and repetitive tasks with an all-in-one solution (hint hint; ServiceCore)
  4. Benefits
    • Health insurance or reimbursement for healthcare, 401k, and PTO. You want your employees to know you value their health and future
  5. Reviews
    • Provide honest and supportive feedback
    • Without reviews, an employee doesn’t get consistent feedback
    • Provide the opportunity for the employee to share ideas. Reviews shouldn’t be a one-sided conversation and receiving upward feedback can be a great way to show employees that you value their input
  6. A positive culture is KEY! Keep an eye on you and your leaders attitudes to help make sure you’re setting the tone
  7. Consider implementing incentive programs
    • Team lunches
      • Take the team out to lunch, order food into the office or even grill in the yard
    • Gift cards 
      • For new leads, cleanest truck, best attitude, etc.
  8. Show appreciation
    • When you see someone doing a good job
    • When you get a positive review
    • During team meetings, highlight someone that is going above and beyond
  9. End-of-the-year extras
    • Drivers get new boots
    • Holiday pay
    • Bonuses 
  10. Raises
    • Give your drivers raises based on their performance
    • Give them goals in training or CE’s they can take to get a raise in pay
  11. Be available
    • People respect a boss that is available if they have a problem. Give your drivers your cell phone number. They are in charge of very expensive equipment and need to know you are available for emergencies

ServiceCore helps Portable Sanitation & Dumpster Rental Businesses get more done and stress less by cutting wasted time, managing jobs, optimizing routes, tracking inventory, and automating billing. All with one tool which can make your staff happier and more productive. Get a free demo today

About the Author: Karsen

Karsen is a Marketing Specialist at ServiceCore. When she's not creating & sharing content for our community of Portable Sanitation & Dumpster Rental Operators, she loves hiking, snowboarding, concerts, & adventuring with her dog!
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