Can’t Find Any Good Employees? Maybe This Is Why

Everyone I speak with indicates that finding good employees is a challenge. It is a continuing struggle that no one seems to have an answer for. While social media is a win for some business owners, others resort to posting a “help wanted” sign with great success.

I found an article by Marcus Sheridan, “Eight Reasons Why Your Company Can’t Find Great Employees.” I would like to review his points and personalize them to our industry.

You won’t let go of existing employees. He states,” 99% of business owners right now have someone on their staff they know needs to be let go.” Think about it. This is so true. When I owned my cleaners, I hired an employee that was a shining star. She went above and beyond in everything she did. Call her Employee A. However, I had another employee that she worked with that was settled in, only did the minimum and at times had a bad attitude (Employee X). Well after a month with Employee X, Employee A took on many of the traits of Employee X. As a manager, I should have let Employee X go long before. Look around, if your gut is telling you an employee is not right, let him/her go. Cut your losses now.

“Your network stinks,” Marcus says. If you are used to putting an ad in the newspaper, now is the time to review and evaluate your success. When we talk about networks, it does not only mean social media but also talk to people you know as well. Speak with people you know socially – they may have some great leads. One business owner I know always puts the ad under customer service rep. In reviewing this procedure, he and his manager decided to try advertising under the general help wanted banner. Some people don’t feel they are qualified for a customer service position. By advertising under a general help wanted, he attracted many qualified candidates that would not have applied previously.

You over-value your skills. Everyone always thinks no one can do it better than I can. “Because we don’t want to work below our standard, we continue as business owners to work IN the business versus ON the business,” Sheridan states. I believe this is one of the biggest mistakes an owner can make. You must take the time to step outside and work ON the business. That is why it is important to hire the person who can do the job as well as you can. You just need to show them the way!
You’re grumpy. Are you burnt out? Do you walk around with a cloud over your head? Employees certainly pick up on this. How about when you are interviewing? Do you put on a happy face? It has been said that people attract into their lives a reflection of who they are. I have a personal story that relates to this. I had the best employees but I found as time went on, I was resenting simple things they did. I tried to change, but could not. That was when I started thinking of selling the business. It was time for me. I did, and now realize if I continued, I probably would have run the business down. No one wants to do business with a bunch of “Debbie Downers”.

You only hire “experienced” people. Look for great people rather than experienced. I know many of the experts in our industry insist you can’t teach someone to be a special customer service representative. They either have it or they don’t. I disagree. If you hire someone who is teachable and willing to work hard, it is the skill they can learn. Now I am not saying everyone is cut out to be a customer service rep but keep an open mind and look for that undiscovered talent.
You keep saying there aren’t good people out there. “You have got to stop saying this because it’s a lie. There are good people out there that can help your business now. Expect to find them and stay positive about finding them,” says Mark Sheridan, the believer. I believe him. Sometimes you need to kiss some frogs before you find the Prince. That is part of the process.

We all know that your employees are the greatest asset of your business. It is our job to make the right selections and trim the weeds when they crop up. Make it a point today to say something special to each of them. You will be rewarded!

About Jackie Smith

Jackie Smith has been in the dry-cleaning industry for over 40 years. Her experience spans from owning a drycleaning business to working for Henderson Insurance Agency who specializes in the fabricare industry. She currently serves on the CCA Board as well as the board for So Cal Cleaners Association. She can be reached at

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