Recruiting and onboarding new employees during these times is very challenging, but at the end of the day, it is still just as important as any necessity in our business model for proper day-to-day function.
By John Paglia III

Recruitment is a never-ending part of our industry. Always has been and always will be. Today’s challenges are higher than yester years, but at the end of the day, it is still just as important as any necessity in our business model for proper day-to-day function. If you add in the political climate of today’s world where everyone has an opinion and stance, along with the current challenges and psychological effects of the COVID-19 virus, recruiting and onboarding new employees during these times is very challenging. Even though these hiring challenges are presented in several ways, they are just wrinkles we will need figure out.

Understanding Culture and Direction
At Florida Express Environmental we have recruited in almost every form known with a recent push in print, digital, radio, magazines and networking events. The common theme to a successful landing and onboarding of a recruit always leads to the same answer—the candidate’s ability to understand the culture and direction of the company. Being family owned and operated, it is sometimes efficient to get your message out, but we are sometimes overlooked by a candidate as a landing spot due to the mass of the large public haulers.

Our recruiting never stops. We are constantly updating our employee packages. We strive to attract new hires with full career minded packages. Understanding the world we all live in right now, we do not want their work to be an added stress. I have spent a lot of time on the phone recently interviewing potential candidates to add to the future direction of our company. A common theme is that most are willing to join because our culture can be accurately assumed by them doing their homework on us. Keep in mind that as you will research and fact check, your new potential hires will do the same. What will they find? Due to the evolution and ever-changing COVID 19, the next step is the added wrinkle. Most of my interviews range in multiple talks over a two-week period with a simultaneous search of multiple candidates at positions from sales, operations and executives. In discussions with my HR team and their daily searches for frontline sanitation workers, the sentiment remains the same. Some are extremely fearful to join or even work with the fear of the outcome of this virus.

The Promise of Safety
The fact is that we are all in this current, ever-changing world, and there does not seem to be a clear solution yet. One day, hopefully sooner than later, we will all be able to gather again at an industry network event. I know I am not the only one who may be tiring of the virtual meetings. What we have found that does help attract and retain candidates is the newness and cleanliness of our equipment, offices and facilities. We also share in the hiring process what we do to prevent the spread of a virus and the extra steps we have permanently put in place to protect our work family. If you bet me in 2019 that our cleaning procedures would attract future employees, I would have lost that bet. I suggest that you remain fluid and open minded during these times. People ask me how we are faring, and I tell them, honestly, every day is a new day. It is not a complaint, it is the truth. Anyone who knows me personally understands that I am always optimistic. The virus does not seem to be real until someone you know contracts it and struggles with it. All we can do currently is respect everyone’s decisions to protect and provide for their families. At the end of the day can you blame them? Let’s all continue to work smart and safe.

John Paglia III is a 4th generation garbage man. Before he climbed the ranks to become Florida Express Environmental’s General Manager, he had a successful career in college and professional athletics. John has been around the garbage industry since his car seat days. Currently, John is focused on growing his company and offering the highest level of customer service and prolonging the world we live in today. John wakes up every day knowing the impact professional haulers have on their community is far greater than most realize. He can be reached at (352) 629-4349, e-mail John3@floridaexpress.us or visit www.floridaexpress.us.

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