Personnel - the key to success

11th of November 2016
Personnel - the key to success

Russia correspondent Oleg Popov emphasises the importance of recruiting the right cleaning staff.

From the beginning, we must determine who we’re looking for. For various types of facilities, we need different types of personnel. While negotiating with a customer, we together compile an ‘employee portrait’. This allows us to select personnel quicker and in a more reliable way. The main criteria include: citizenship, education level, work experience in cleaning, aptitude for communication, and willingness to learn. The ideal candidate has work experience at similar facilities.

There are several channels available for attracting recruits. Let’s take a look at each one of them.

The publishing of ads on job seeker websites. This traditional channel is most suitable for seeking out office specialists and, less commonly, facility managers. Placing ads seeking to hire cleaners yields a less successful result. However, the situation is gradually changing. Cleaners are seeing the ads on their smartphones, reading the vacancy listings and calling us more than before. Meanwhile, the sites that yield higher conversions aren’t the most obvious. It’s interesting to observe how newspaper ads have been replaced by websites, where the same type of ads are placed.

We’ve tried working with social networks, but we didn’t strike much gold. You have to capture many users in order to select from a small pool of suitable applicants. In Russia, people use social networks to communicate and entertain themselves, but not for business contacts.

A referral programme in its classical form, when personnel recommend people they know to the company for which a small bonus is paid, is not something we use. But we do ask our good workers whether anybody they know needs a job. Experienced employees maintain relationships with former colleagues, they know about their work situations.

For a long time, we had a traditional department in operation for selecting personnel. We discovered that there exists unhealthy competition for each ‘hunter’. Several facilities in different parts of the city turned out to be urgent and an employee couldn’t efficiently close a vacancy. For that reason, we distributed PR managers into their own production divisions. It was then that they began to select applicants only for one category of facilities and were assigned tasks from the same director, who set them priorities for closing vacancies.

Essentially, PR managers became our agents. Anyone who is prepared to carry out a plan based on a certain number of selected employees can become one. The agents work in the field – they post ads near the facility, get acquainted with the people that live in the area, and establish communication with utility services. The agent decides himself where and how to seek out cleaners. This function can be performed by the facility manager as well, although it isn’t included into his direct responsibilities.

Personal communication always works best. A call or a message is something people like, as they are being addressed directly, not as some impersonal target audience. The same goes for recommendations from other employees – HR always praise its company and if the other employee tells them honestly about it there is a higher level of trust. At the same time, even personal communication won’t help if the company’s brand isn’t established. Without a strong name, no method will help, so that’s the very first thing to start with.


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