Finding and sustaining a good maintenance team is one of the greatest challenges in the multifamily industry today. Between the increased need for this service among home developments and the decreased desire among younger generations to pursue this trade, finding dependable long-term maintenance staff can be frustrating. Here are some tips to help you navigate the journey of finding your ideal apartment maintenance team.
1. Determine Exactly What You Are Looking For
This element of the hiring process is one of the most important steps in hiring the right maintenance team. Taking the time to sit down and evaluate exactly how much assistance you need, along with getting a clear picture of what primary tasks they will be covering is key. What are the biggest issues you face with your building(s)? Is there any knowledge you would prefer your candidates already possess, or will a desire to learn be sufficient? Go through the history of issues you have encountered in the past; was there anything you wish your maintenance staff had known that would have made things go more smoothly? From asking yourself questions like these, you’ll be able to determine the knowledge and availability your ideal candidate would possess, and you’ll be better able to determine what salary you are willing to pay for this position.
2. Write a Descriptive Job Post
When posting a new job, do not be afraid to include exactly what you’re looking for. Be specific about which skills are mandatory, and which skills are simply preferred. Even if you are willing to offer some on-the-job training, making sure to honestly state your expectations will help you fine tune a better caliber of candidates who are willing and able to put in the hard work.
3. Pre-Screen Before An In-Person Interview
During the hiring process, thoroughly reviewing each of your applications should always be the first step. Create your short list based on the cover letters and resumes received, and from there you will proceed with your phone interviews. Conducting phone interviews is an excellent way to identify any obvious red flags, and get a good feel for whether the candidate would be a good fit for your team. It will also help by greatly reducing the time needed for conducting in-person interviews. The candidates you pre-screen should be the ones that hold your peak interest only. Here are some sample questions to help you in narrowing down your candidate list:
- What hours are you available each day? Are there any days or times during the week you know you cannot work?
- What experience do you have working in multifamily maintenance?
- Which tasks do you tend to enjoy the most?
- Do you have any experience in keeping track of maintenance records? How did you go about this?
- What are your salary expectations?
- Do you know anything about our community or company?
4. In-Person Interview
At this point, you will have narrowed your choices down to a much more refined list of potential maintenance candidates. Be sure to make notes of everything that happens during this phase in the hiring process: Was the candidate late? How did they present themselves? Do they have clear and concise communication skills? Are they friendly? Are they fidgety? Meeting them in person will give you some quick insights on how they might interact with residents. Here are some sample questions for the in-person interview portion of the hiring process:
- Describe a previous issue you encountered while performing work in an apartment maintenance or similar position. How did you resolve it?
- You realize a mistake was made early on in a project you’re working on, and it will put you behind your deadline. What do you do?
- How do you typically deal with conflict? Do you have an example of this?
- What is the most important quality a supervisor should possess?
- How would you rate your customer service skills?
5. Send the Job Offer and Begin Probationary Period
Congratulations! You have finally found the ideal candidate to join your team. When sending your job offer, make sure to include a full job description, a salary outline, and a full narrative of company values and standards. You will always want to make sure you are clear about employment including a probationary period, because sometimes it just doesn’t end up working out (we’ve all been there). Remember to be specific regarding the time frame and expectations during the probationary period so there’s no confusion going forward. While we understand that finding the right maintenance fit for your community can be tricky, know that it’s not impossible. Being prepared with the right process and questions, and by following the proper steps, you can ensure you are creating a maintenance team that is both efficient and dependable. At Hire Priority, we specialize in multifamily staffing services. We can help by providing you with insight regarding your processes, and assist you in accessing pre-screened maintenance professionals in the Central Texas area. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we can assist with all of your hiring needs.