Top Tips for Hiring (and Keeping) Great Staff

Use the power of the internet and these tips on hiring staff to build a rockstar asphalt crew...and retain them!

Judson Burdon
Posted by Judson Burdon on February 27

The crew hiring season is coming soon and many business owners struggle to find people who have what it takes to succeed and help the company grow.

Watch this information packed video to learn from tips that Jason Scott and I have learned from years of experience (and tons of mistakes on the way). 

Do you use the digital world to help hire your staff?

You can spend a lot of time on Craigslist getting tons of applicants. But are they going to fit into your company? Jason talked about his experience — and how he can’t profile or research applicants that come from there. 

Use Social Media

One of the best ways that Jason has found is to use Facebook. He finds employees through groups related to the industry. Facebook also lets you learn about applicants, too. He’s able to check out who that person is friends with, whether they like being outside, do they enjoy sports. All of these are great indicators if a particular applicant may fit your business. 

Jason and I also talked through some interesting approaches like starting an internship from a local school or considering hiring from a work-release program. Although these may have some concerns, it’s a great way to give back and get recognition for your efforts. 

Another consideration is whether you’re looking for seasoned, experienced team members or if you prefer hiring younger, moldable crew members. There are interesting benefits and challenges on both sides. Jason and I discuss these. 

Now that you have employees, how can you keep them? 

“It’s not about incentives or salary. It’s about respect,” Jason points out.  

Tips for hiring and retaining staff

1. Recognize when employees are making progress. Pause and highlight milestones that people hit or challenges they have overcome. Ensure that people feel their contributions are rewarded by simply saying "thank you."

2. Incentivize outstanding performance. Compensating your crew with the base wage rate is well within the law, but consider incentivizing excellent work from time to time. "Have a bonus pool ready for exceptional work,” suggests Leigh Kuhn, President of RynoWorx and former sealcoater.

So what are the parameters for incentivizing your employees? Look at the quality of sealcoating and crack repair work at the end of the day and whether customers are thrilled or not. Were they able to finish the jobs on time? Does your company get positive reviews on Google and other online platforms? These are some of the questions you should ask when you are planning to incentivize employees.

3. Make employees feel like they belong. To be happy at work, it’s important to feel like “you have a friend.” This gets challenging especially when the company gets busy. People need to feel like they know each other and so time like this yields positive results.

4. Take an interest in who employees are. One of the key questions that always gets asked in employee surveys is "Do you feel like your boss cares about you and is trying to give you the tools to succeed?” This will lead to employees that are much more engaged at work.

5. Make it fun. Organizations that feel “light” where people can joke around occasionally with each other have stronger cultures. When mistakes happen, people can see the funny side and are not just focused solely on the downside. These provide additional moments of connection as discussed in point No. 2.


6. Let your employees disengage sometimes. Many employees feel like they are always working because they have "a cubicle in their pocket” that they can never turn it off. This makes employees feel tremendously harassed and stressed. Encourage times when employees are completely disengaged so they can focus on their family and set their priorities.

7. Encourage exercise and sleep. Enough of both of these does great things for employees’ focus, attention, creativity, energy, and mood. In the long run, consistently doing "all-nighters" are counterproductive.

8. Stop calculating everything. As a business owner, stop keeping score every time an action is taken. Don’t always be thinking, "If I did this for an employee, they should do that.” Do what is right and don’t calculate.

Do you have any tips or tricks for finding or keeping rockstar employees? Please share them in the comments!

Topics: Asphalt Maintenance Business, Property Management

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