Hiring Tips From the Sanitation Pros

Here at Satellite Industries, we’re aware of the value in hiring the right people for the job. Whether you’re in sanitation or another industry altogether, putting the right people in place is vital to your success. Developing an effective interview and hiring process is hugely beneficial as this not only sets you up for success but ensures that your company and existing employees will remain productive. There are numerous hiring tips that we’ve found beneficial. Still, there are a few more pertinent than others, from reviewing candidate materials thoroughly and measuring team compatibility to executing phone screens before face-to-face interviews.

Identify and Define the Position

Beginning to hire for new or previously established positions at your company can be exciting. Bringing new perspectives onto the team can be a great benefit to your company. Before the interview process begins, it’s important to set aside a few hours to develop a strong and detailed job description. Each position you’re hiring for should not only be clearly identified, but the job description should explain the role the hired individual will be filling as well as tasks they’ll be expected to complete. A job description is the bread and butter of the hiring process. This helps you identify what audience you want the position advertised to and establishes transparency with potential candidates.

A detailed job description is a must for every position. It acts as an outline for your interview process. From the job description, hiring managers can develop interview questions, pinpoint necessary selection criteria, and provide direction for onboarding and future development. Along with these items, the job description will also help determine pay grade and performance evaluation timelines. Hiring managers are encouraged to spend ample time creating job descriptions as these materials help you plan recruiting strategies to ensure the best candidate is hired for the position.

Review Candidate Materials Thoroughly

After posting the position for potential candidates to see, it likely won’t take long before you have your first few applicants. Whether it’s the first applicant or the tenth, it’s essential to thoroughly review each candidate’s materials before scheduling a phone screen or face-to-face interview. While reviewing resumes, cover letters, and job applications can be time-consuming, this is where you’ll learn if a candidate has the right qualities, characteristics, experience, and skills for the position. Often candidates incorporate their career goals and aspirations into their cover letters. Developing a thorough understanding of these two factors will further influence your decision. It’s essential to find a new employee passionate about their work and invested in growing their career. This will establish alignment between the company’s goals and the job candidate.

Phones, Screens, and Face-to-Face Interviews

Many hiring managers know the value of scheduling a face-to-face interview is that it allows you to quickly get to know a candidate and decide whether to move forward. However, many companies choose to conduct a phone screen before bringing a candidate in for a live interview. While this may seem like it adds an extra step to your interview process, it saves you a lot of time in the big picture. A Phone screen should take no longer than 30 minutes. The purpose is to see if the candidate is motivated and if they would be a good fit for your company Phone screens are also a more comfortable way to determine the candidate’s salary requirements.

Create a list of questions for the phone call. They don’t have to be as in-depth as those that would take place in a face-to-face interview. Develop questions that outline what you’re looking for and help you understand the candidate’s personality and work style. From here, if you’re drawn to specific candidates, and their salary requirements meet what you’re looking for, you can schedule a time to bring them in for a live interview.

Measure Team Compatibility

Even though you may be completely sold on a candidate, it’s vital to make sure they’re compatible with your team and company culture before making an offer. Not only will your existing employees appreciate this, but it could save you from making the wrong decision altogether. Once you’ve narrowed your applicant pool down to a few candidates, schedule times to bring them in to meet the team. If your office usually works remotely or scheduling works better virtually, you could even set up a time for a video conference with team members and other essential employees. This will allow you to observe how they interact with others and how well they mesh with your other employees. These interactions can be as simple as a 30 to 45-minute team breakfast or, if you wanted to go more in-depth, making time for one-on-one lunches or coffee meet-ups with individuals that the candidate would be working with daily.

Don’t Forget About References

Like skimping on reviewing candidate submission materials, many hiring managers misunderstand the value of checking references. There is a lot of value in asking potential candidates for references and following through with contacting the individuals. Whether they’re personal or professional references, this is an excellent opportunity for you to understand an applicant’s interpersonal relationship skills, work ethic, and more. When contacting each reference, it’s useful to dig a little deeper than these surface-level questions and inquire about the individual’s work environment preference, significant accomplishments, and even noticeable past challenges. It’s worthwhile to get a mix of both personal and professional references to understand the candidate both in and outside a work environment.

If a reference brings anything to your attention that may seem like an issue or red flag regarding the candidate, it’s important not to write the applicant off entirely. Everyone makes mistakes, but there are also two sides to every story. If you’re genuinely interested in bringing the candidate on, bring the situation to their attention and allow them to explain – you may be surprised. Besides utilizing references to your advantage, it’s also recommended to complete a thorough background check for the candidates you’re drawn to. This will allow you to verify that their outstanding qualifications and previous experience are valid and what they’ve appeared to be.  Note: Many states have specific laws regarding Reference and Background checks.  Please make sure to check with your State’s Department of Labor to find out what the law is regarding reference and background checks. 

Cycle Time and Onboarding

The time frame it takes you to complete your hiring process is pivotal in finding perfect candidates for open positions. Before bringing applicants in for face-to-face interviews, you must complete your phone screens and establish a timeline as to when you would like a final decision to be made. Great candidates aren’t going to stick around for long, especially when numerous jobs open each day. If your hiring process takes months rather than a matter of weeks, you’re risking losing experienced candidates that could have been a perfect fit. While establishing a firm timeline for hiring, it’s also essential to take your time as you don’t want to rush a decision. Be thorough and meticulous in your selection process, but make sure you’re still timely, so you don’t miss out on an outstanding applicant.

Aside from a firm timeline, it’s also important to be upfront with potential candidates regarding the onboarding process and what they can expect by accepting an offer. Your onboarding process should be well developed, organized, and welcoming for any new hire. It’s encouraged to have a detailed plan that displays what will be expected of them for the first few weeks along with another that lays out the first few months. Additionally, make the onboarding process fun for a new candidate by providing them with company swag, decorating their desk, or scheduling a team outing or get together. New hires are drawn to positive company culture and management that appreciates their employees. Transparency regarding the onboarding process and overall expectations will also allow your candidate to determine whether your company is a good fit for them – not just the other way around.

Discover the Candidates You’ve Been Searching For

Every company operates differently, but there’s value behind creating and establishing an effective interview and hiring process. Paying attention and spending time on these processes will set you up for success and help you discover the dream candidates you’ve been hoping for. Every business thrives on employees that are dedicated to the company and their individual career goals. Whether you’re in the sanitation industry or another field altogether, we encourage you to fine-tune and enhance your existing hiring model, so you can gleam the results you’ve been dreaming of.

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