Hiring the Right Workers
Most snow related production workers who are attracted to our industry like to work outdoors, or are doing snow removal as part of a year round activity that includes landscape or property management. Normally they do not object to physically demanding work. However, we must provide them with the proper tools to do their job as snow related tasks are (by nature) much more physically demanding than landscape maintenance related duties. They may need a pay differential for winter type work which often means working in conditions that are intolerable to others in the workforce.
What specific traits should we look for when hiring a production person to work under an experienced crew leader? After the basic requirements have been met, look for the person that needs to be active at all times and who appears to be bursting with energy. The production worker we look for usually has little regard for detail and is difficult to train in the classroom. They learn by doing and are good candidates for on-the-job training, provided the objective is getting them to take action, not improving their knowledge. The sad reality is most true production people, on sidewalk snow removal crews, leave our industry because we do not see ourselves as managing a production operation. This is true even in landscape management operations as well as snow removal operations.