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Set Standards, Then Execute

Many laundry operations use a number driven process to determine production standards. Those standards are the best way to measure performance. The process of measuring performance impacts motivation and results.

Unfortunately, when hiring managers are not held accountable to standards, the organization suffers as a manager stumbles though the recruiting process.

Do you have open positions languishing for months without being filled, or confidential searches to replace poor performers becoming an on again – off again priority? Is mediocre talent getting hired after only one or two candidates are interviewed?

Admittedly, some managers keep a position open in order to save payroll expense and some stall the confidential search in hopes the poor performer will change his / her stripes. Many managers simply struggle finding candidates whereas, others take the short cut of recruiting former subordinates from a previous employer.

You may have a manager who limits telephone interviews to the daytime instead of expediting the process with evening phone work. Do you suspect you have a manager short on confidence or skill to attract good talent to the organization? Having some structure in place will confirm these potential red flags and create some coaching opportunities.

Two Standards
Limit your standards to the number of weeks the position is recruited for and the number of candidates personally interviewed. The time line starts with the commitment to the need and ends on the date when the candidate signs the offer letter.

My standard for four weeks for a first line supervisor or sales position, six weeks for second line management and eight weeks for third line management positions. My suggested standard for interviews is five candidates for first line supervisors or sales reps and three candidates for second / third line management positions.

Setting structure only makes sense if you can easily track the process. Preferably this should be in a paperless format, which can be accessed for annual reviews. Although there are HR specific programs available, consider simply using MS Outlook, assuming your direct reports have internal email capabilities.

Create an Inbox folder for each of your direct reports. You can send or receive an email confirming the “start date” of the recruiting process. Since the process concludes with the candidate signing and returning the offer letter, simply have the letter copied to you when it is received from the candidate. This will prompt you to email your direct report with a congratulatory memo in which you identify the acceptance date and number of weeks spent recruiting.

Ask for your direct report to email you with the names of all candidates receiving personal interviews. Move these emails to the designated inbox folder, and you will have a paperless record of the two measurements.

If you can keep it simple while installing some structure then hopefully execution will become routine and you can focus on other aspects of recruiting.

Craig Lloyd represents, a management search firm specializing in the industrial / institutional laundry industry.  He holds a degree in Industrial Relations from Rider University and has been a Certified Personnel Consultant since 1979.

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Hotel Guests Evacuated

ALCOA, Tenn. — A small fire in the laundry room of a Holiday Inn forced guests out of the hotel. The fire is thought to have originated in the dryer. There were no injuries.