If your parking operation has been struggling to fill a staffing vacancy, know that you’re not alone. For many garages, successfully searching for the best candidates can sometimes feel like a lost cause, especially when you need the role filled urgently. Although you may consider hiring the next person who shows even the slightest bit of interest in the role just so you can get a body working, we strongly caution you to hold out for the right person. And, thankfully, finding the right candidate for your parking operation doesn’t need to be so challenging.
How to Find the Right Candidates
One of the best methods we have found to recruit high-performing staff members is through word-of-mouth recommendations from existing employees. Doing so is simple: ask your best employees if they know anyone who might be interested in an open position at your facility. If they recommend someone, it will be someone they trust to do the job as well as (or even better than) they do; for the most part, your employees won’t recommend someone who will fail on the job.
Of course, there are several other ways that you can collect applications from interested candidates. Perhaps the most popular, of course, is posting to an online job board. There are also many online recruiting tools that will help you sort, score, and communicate with candidates so you can reduce the amount of time you spend on the recruiting process.
If you opt to go the Internet listing route (or even the more archaic newspaper), you’ll need to create an engaging yet accurate representation of the open position. Be sure to include the job title, responsibilities, and desired qualifications. We also suggest including a company description so candidates can get a sense of your company and what your expectations will be.
Questions to Ask in the Interview
Chances are that many candidates have not worked in the parking industry before. While this might seem like a turnoff, it can actually be a positive. Keep in mind when you’re conducting the interview that you can teach someone the rules of parking, but it is more difficult to teach someone how to be a positive and empathetic ambassador.
That said, we recommend asking open-ended questions—anything to get your candidates talking. The most successful interviews are conducted in a conversational format. So while you might have a few questions written out in advance, depending on where the conversation goes (as long as it stays somewhat relevant to the role), you will most likely end up asking questions you didn’t prepare ahead of time.
You’ll also want to ask questions related to the candidate’s people skills and experience with difficult customer situations. In the end, you want the candidate to be able to answer questions and respond to tough scenarios on their toes. Because when a customer approaches them in the garage, it will likely be with a question or concern they had not actively prepared for.
During the interview, you are mainly evaluating the candidate’s demeanor. They should be pleasant to speak to, able to communicate effectively, and display positive body language. While their role might entail custodial duties around the garage or paperwork in an office, they’ll likely be interacting with customers either in person or over the phone. With this in mind, you should be searching for a candidate who can deescalate a tense customer situation by actively listening and displaying non-confrontational body language, both of which reassure the customer that the issue will be resolved.
To identify red flags, you’ll want to look for how the candidate speaks and how they portray themselves during the interview. Your organization’s definition of red flags may vary from ours, but in general, you’ll want to be wary of:
- Their body language—do they look you in the eye? Are their arms crossed? Do they appear disinterested in what you’re saying?
- The way they communicate—are they answering questions fully? Are they engaging to speak with? Do you need to spoon-feed the conversation?
If any of these red flags arise and even if they claim they will excel in the role, in our experience, if they are hard to speak with and closed off, they won’t. Chances are that better candidates are out there looking for work. Your employees are the frontline ambassadors to your company, so they need to communicate effectively, not just when they “feel like it.”
Contact us today for more information about how to find the best staff for your parking operation.