Fewer Turnovers Wins The (Sweeping) Game

At the most recent Sweeper Summit, held in Las Vegas November 9-11, a recurring theme developed. During various roundtable discussions, as management teams from 1-800-SWEEPER partner companies discussed during the benchmarking workshop, it became apparent that employee turnover is one of the most expensive, yet controllable parts of running these service- focused companies. As any coach worth his/her salt will tell the team – “You’ve got to control turnovers!”
Reducing operating costs by limiting employee turnover is a key to developing longer-term employees, providing reliable quality services and maximizing manager’s productivity. Regardless of whether you’ve found the “right” person or not, costs involved in hiring, onboarding and training a new employee can be the same. Incorporating some new methods to focus on job candidates who meet specific criteria and utilizing a high-tech training simulator, as demonstrated at Sweeper Summit 2016, can lead to big wins. Optimizing job candidate selection and training saves your company time, money and turnover aggravation.
Key concepts presented at the Sweeper Summit included:
1. Recruiting – Getting more applicants to apply
2. Filtering – Reducing the number of candidates who will likely not fit
3. Testing – Focusing time on better candidates
4. Simulator Training – Using quality state-of-the-art technology
Recent additions to the lineup of tools available to 1-800-SWEEPER partners make the above-mentioned goals achievable: ApplicantPro job posting and candidate screening; profile-matching to allow sweeping companies to mirror top employees’ attributes; and the introduction of sweeper driver simulation software for use in training sweeper operators / drivers.
ApplicantPro allows each of the sweeping company partners to have their own hiring portal with their ads placed on dozens of the top hiring boards automatically. Applicant Pro succeeds by literally showing your job ad and being findable to far more candidates than other methods of posting.
Through ApplicantPro’s basic filtering process, a significant number of potential candidates can be easily and effortlessly screened as each company sets up a custom set of criteria or “knockout questions” such as incompatible skills, minimum age, license requirements and vehicular violations.
An additional pre-employment screen developed by 1-800-SWEEPER requires applicants to watch one of two four-minute videos explaining what a sweeper operator job really entails. You can see these videos at 1800sweeper.com
Next imagine the overall effect on your operation if you took your best three sweeper operators and could hire 10 more employees just like them! To identify the actual traits that identify these top operators and how they predictably differ from poor operators requires testing a large data pool. In 2016, 1-800-SWEEPER partner companies worked with a national assessment testing firm and did just that.
Using this information, job applicants can automatically be given the screening assessment and are scored on how they compare to the very best operators already employed in our industry. Only 1-800-SWEEPER could assemble over 1,200 operators to test and identify what traits the top 20% have in common. Then through scientific validation, create an assessment test to score an applicant to those traits.
Identifying people predisposed to success as sweeper operators reduces turnover, and ultimately is a great benefit to the potential employee. It is an even bigger benefit to identify a potential employee that has a high likelihood of failure. Helping both sides avoid this stress is a win.
Gerry Kesselring – CEO of Contract Sweepers & Equipment in Columbus, Ohio said; “Letting someone go is one of the hardest things we do as owners. Identifying applicants who are more likely to be successful in a different industry is a gift to both the employer and applicant.”
Again, the important point for job candidates and employers is for the position to be a “good fit”. By focusing quality time with candidates who are most likely to be successfully hired and trained, management saves significant time.
In a recent real-world hiring example from Jason Lucht, VP Operations at Progressive Sweeping in Detroit, Michigan, 140 applicants who viewed the help-wanted ad considered applying. This number, while initially large was selectively reduced to a group of 12 applicants following knockout questions, a requirement to view the video detailing specifics the job entails and taking the assessment test. Rather than set up individual 30 minute interviews for each of the candidates, a decision was made to do a “group interview” and a single time was scheduled for all candidates. Of the 12 candidates who had passed through the screening process, three showed up and two of them were disqualified because they actually had not watched the video as required. In this example, rather than spending several hours waiting for job applicants who would not arrive or were under-qualified, Jason successfully interviewed and selected a candidate within an hour and a half.
The next turnover reducing tool in the 1-800-SWEEPER arsenal is the groundbreaking sweeper truck Operator Training Simulator (SweeperSim), which debuted at the Sweeper Summit. This multi-function teaching tool gives visual, auditory and tactile sensation training in what it is like to operate a parking lot sweeper. The simulation was developed jointly by 1-800-SWEEPER and Digital Image Group.
As its name would imply, the simulator gives a real-world view and feel to being in the cab of a sweeper truck operating under nighttime conditions in a parking lot with realistic conditions and obstacles. The simulator assesses a driver’s ability to maneuver around obstructions, ability to pick up trash, as well as engaging and disengaging the gutter broom during the driving time. This unique simulator will premier to the world at the National Pavement Expo (NPE) February 1-4, 2017 in Nashville, TN.
To learn more about 1-800-SWEEPER and reducing your turnover rate, see us at booth #1529 at NPE. Or call and speak with Carolyn at 1-419-708-4847.

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