There has been a lot of discussion online and in the trades regarding hiring the right kind of employees for snow and ice removal. The green side is having a hard time too attracting and keeping talent for their lawn maintenance and landscaping company’s needs.
So, what needs to change in your hiring practices to attract the right talent for your snow removal company?
10 Tips for Hiring the Right Person for Your Snow and Ice Management Company
In late summer and early fall, you’re getting bids together to present to HOAs and commercial properties. However, this time of year is also a great time to interview potential talent for your snow and ice management company.
Just like in any relationship, it takes time to get to know a person. So, hiring experts recommend that employers take time interviewing potential employees.
Having one or two interviews in your office doesn’t show a candidate’s true colors. Instead, you need to take them out to your crews, have them meet your teams and supervisors, and watch how they interact with your employees.
Here are 10 tips to help you find employees for this winter. You can field your hires better when you take the interview out of your office and into the field.
1. Invest in time. You may want your interviewee to come in and shadow your supervisors and supervisors. You may want to ask your interviewee open-ended questions and have them fill out questionnaires. Whatever you choose to do in vetting your new hire, make sure you budget enough time.
You also want to know before you hire someone, if they have the strength, energy, and willpower to push through a long, cold, snowy night, or if your candidate wants a very rigid schedule and needs a lot of breaks.
2. Make checking references a top priority. Sure, it’s easy to meet someone, talk about their resume and their goals. To streamline your hiring process, you may skip the reference checks.
Instead, make those calls and ask about the person. Ask the reference how this candidate was as an employee, and how they got along with their co-workers.
3. Skillset is important, but finding applicants that fit in with your company’s culture is vital. If you have a person who isn’t curious and doesn’t ask many questions, but instead stays quiet and aloof, then you may need to strike that person from your list.
You can teach skills, but you can’t teach character. A person either has it or doesn’t. So, if you think this person isn’t going to get along with your existing crews, it’s time to stop the interview process now.
4. Hire hard workers. While a lot of people complain about Millennials and their lack of work ethic, it’s still important to look at each applicant as an individual rather than as a whole generation.
When you have a job seeker shadow your crews, keep an eye out to see if the person has initiative, asks relevant questions, and shows an interest in the job role.
Also, observe how that person interacts with your crews and supervisors. Do they show respect? Do they seem like someone who has the tenacity to work long hours in terrible conditions?
5. Hire teachable people. This point segues with number 4. Spend time finding applicants who have a good work ethic, can get along with others and cares about your customers.
But on a practical level, you need to invest in training, so your new hires know how to set up an earth mover to a snowplow or how to drive a truck in snow and windy conditions.
6. If you’re a snow contractor who is hiring for the first time, you need to invest in people who reflect your work ethic and values. While it’s important to get someone to push snow by wintertime, it’s also vitally important to hire people who’ll shape your company’s culture.
You want to develop that positive energy at the start of your business rather than have to get rid of people who take away from your vision for your company’s personality.
7. Do your candidate’s goals meet with the job’s evolution? Ask the job seeker where they see themselves in three to five years. As you evaluate their answers, ask yourself, “How do their goals mesh with the position’s development?”
The answer they give you is a clue if this candidate is the right one for your company.
8. While resumes are relevant, make sure you ask open-ended questions to get to know the candidate better. You can also give them personality tests and stage scenarios to test your applicants’ problem-solving skills.
9. In your mind, do a role reversal. Would you want to work for this person? Why or why not? Trust your gut on this one. You gathered your information, and now you need to make a crucial decision.
10. Go over your company’s expectations in writing and in person. So, you’re ready to hire this person. As with any job, there’s paperwork to complete. Sit down with your candidate and go over the company’s expectations.
You need to write these expectations down, and you need to take the time to go through each point to make sure the applicant understands what’s expected of them. Then, have the person sign that they read and understood the company’s rules.
Get More Done in Less Time with SnowWolf Plows
At SnowWolf, our snowplows and Autowings are easy to attach to your earthmovers to get more sidewalks and parking lots clean in less time.
Plus, our plows, especially our new ActivEdge floating cutting edge, give a clean scrape every time, so you can get more parking lots done faster as well as cut down on your salt use with each snowstorm.
Glatt, Neal, “A Shift in Thinking for Hiring Employees.”
Morgaine, Briana, “13 Ways to Ensure You Always Hire the Right Candidate.”