Employee Hiring Best Practices

The original article came from the 2013 NPE Best Practices for Sweepers Seminar, at which a number of good ideas surfaced in the various topic areas. The information on hiring practices was initially provided from the notes taken during the session by WSA’s Executive Director, Ranger Kidwell-Ross. In mid-2021 the information was updated to provide more current information. The presenter suggested that you should always want to see the applicant’s handwriting and see if they can follow directions on a map. That company also tries to streamline the early aspects of the hiring process so not too much time is spent on candidates they don’t end up hiring and/or who are not qualified. This particular company does psych testing; twice they had hired w/o good psych profiles and both employees did not work out. In the psych test you want spatial aptitude to be high and mid-range was  okay on verbal; lots of night drivers are low in personality traits; $50/test. Requiring the test is the last thing the company does before hiring. Their test is taken at their office; takes a couple hours; the McConochie Generic Battery is name of the test they use, which is created by TestMaster, Inc. If there is enough interest in using this test please notify the WSA office and we will see about getting a group rate on the test. This particular sweeping company’s initial guideline was established by having their best employee take the test and then they try to ‘clone’ him. They were strongly of the opinion that personality testing has been valuable for them. It’s about a two-hour test covering primarily verbal and spatial, the latter of which is crucial. Tolerance to working out in elements and tolerance to danger are included in the analysis. General consensus was that finding employees via word of mouth is the best. General agreement at the time was that it was not worth it to pay a finder’s fee. However, as finding qualified operators and other employees became more difficult during the COVID pandemic, that becomes more of a viable option. One of the best methods for paying a finder’s fee is to your current employees. When a new employee is ‘nominated’ by a current worker, their is implicit peer pressure for them to perform well. Do try to teach applicants that driving a sweeper is a profession; in that, emphasize the training they will be receiving so they will be impressed about the professionalism needed for the job.

Here are a variety of tips on hiring:

  • Search for employees in the Help Wanted section of your city’s Craigslist.org website.
  • Advertise on job boards like  Zip Recruiter, and Indeed (all links open in new tabs)
  • Advertise on social media, like LinkedIn.
  • Use this link to see “The best places to post jobs online.”
  • Be specific in ads so you don’t have to have too many applicants and/or the wrong types of applicants
  • Use appropriate applications; get the right info; check references; follow through on your procedure so as to not get into trouble.
  • Always wait for references/background checks or whatever you normally require to come back.
  • Always ask previous employers if they would hire them again.
  • The biggest aspect of retention is hiring the right person in the first place.
  • Training is key; people leave because they feel frustrated/lost.
  • Improve work environment; incentives; celebrate birthdays
  • Buy a coffee card ($15/person) and show appreciation at least a couple times a year.
  • Buy a dinner certificate a couple of times a year.
  • Promote the quality of your company’s supervision; people leave managers more than they leave a job.
  • Perhaps send managers to classes to learn how to manage.
  • Make employees feel valued and recognized.

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