How to Hire and Retain Great Part-Time Workers

Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services’ franchise owners have made improved employee recruiting and retention a priority. Todd Hopkins, founder and CEO of Office Pride, says treating people the right way is the first step.

Hard-working front-line employees, many of them part-time workers, can make or break companies in the service industry. Franchises like those in the building services contracting (BSC) industry report that as tough as it is to find great part-time workers, it’s even tougher to keep them.

Industry statistics show:

  • 150 percent average turnover rate in the building services contracting (BSC) industry.
  • 35 percent of new hires in the BSC industry are Millennials, but the turnover rate among those younger workers is even higher.
  • 58 percent of new hires in the BSC industry quit within 30 days.

Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services’ franchise owners have made improved employee recruiting and retention a priority. Todd Hopkins, founder and CEO of Office Pride, says treating people the right way is the first step. “When our franchisees hire people to work for them, those new employees are asking themselves, ‘Is this the job for me?’ If they like their supervisor and co-workers, they’ll go on social media and tell their friends, which can help the franchisees in their hiring efforts. But if they don’t feel respected, you can bet they’ll post that, too.”

The Office Pride franchise system has devoted more than a dozen of its corporate training podcasts to discussing best practices for hiring and retaining quality workers. Now franchise owners are getting creative about how they find and keep part-time workers.

For example, Debbie Kowalik, the director of Administration/HR at Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services of Tyler-Jacksonville, TX, seeks part-time workers through online applications, in Facebook ads, and at job fairs. She visits food banks and other places where people who need money go, and she asks the organizers to send her people who need work. She also has been known to give her business card to a young person who exhibits good customer service at a fast-food restaurant or to a cleaning person working diligently outside a spotless mall bathroom.

Office Pride of Tyler-Jacksonville offers incentive bonuses to employees who refer their friends who are hired. “When we get really good employees, we ask whether they know of others who might be looking for part-time work,” Kowalik says. “We want to give people every opportunity to refer somebody, and we want to give people every opportunity to work.”

However, finding good people is only half the battle, says Kowalik, because then you have to keep them. Office Pride of Tyler-Jacksonville offers referral bonuses. An employee who refers a qualified worker receives a referral bonus if both the employee and the referred party remain employed after 30 days, 90 days, six months, etc. Starting with their first work anniversary, employees receive a $10 gift card for every year they’ve worked with the company.

Additionally, employees who take no time off during a two-week pay period make an extra $1 per hour worked. So if they work 25 hours and take no time off, they earn an extra $25. Employees who work at least 30 hours get five incentive passes per year, which protects their incentive pay if they get sick or need time off.

“We offer orientation and training at different times throughout the day so people with other jobs don’t have to take off work to come to training,” Kowalik says. “And if people have to document hours worked to receive benefits, I let them know when I’ve filed the paperwork for them. They appreciate the fact that I communicate that.”

CEO Hopkins says getting the onboarding process right is critical. “Many companies invest so much time and money to find employees, and then they rush through onboarding them. Instead, their supervisors need to get to know their new people and try to make them comfortable. Train them well. Help them get where they want to go and make sure they understand how important the job they are doing is.”

He adds: “They can either spend time caring for and loving the folks they have, or they can spend time finding new ones.”

Bobby Halbrook is owner/general manager of Office Pride of Tyler-Jacksonville, TX.

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