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Finding and Choosing a Self-Storage Manager: Strategic Steps to Hire Right

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Conduct Phone Interviews

Once you’ve thoroughly reviewed all the applications and résumés to narrow down the list, you’re ready to conduct phone interviews. This is the step in the hiring process that will help you save time and energy. Be prepared with a standard set of questions to ask each candidate. The goal is to be fair to each person you interview and make sure you’re not discriminating from one to another.

Ask questions that are high-gain and behavioral-based, and avoid those that could be answered with a simple yes or no. Focus on questions that will tell you about the person’s work pattern, customer-service skills, sales abilities, education, ambitions, attendance/punctuality, problem solving/analytical skills, ability to learn, flexibility, organization and attention to detail, interpersonal communication skills, cooperation and management skills. Take notes about his answers to each question and use a “correct” or “incorrect” methodology or a number scale when reviewing the answers. If candidates aren’t capable of answering questions in a manner you deem acceptable, eliminate them from the next step in the interview process.

Typically, it’s better to end the call, review each candidate’s answers and take a few minutes to determine if this is the type of person you want managing your facility. Once you’ve completed the phone interviews, schedule face-to-face interviews with the top candidates.

Meet Them in Person

At this point, you’ve reduced the original 80 or so applicants to a handful of candidates to meet in person. It’s good to set up the interviews verbally, but also follow up via e-mail to confirm the date, time, location and any items you’d like them to bring.

For the in-person interview, be prepared with another set of behavioral-based questions and inquiries that ask for more detail about job history and skills and personality traits. Take note of the level of preparation for the interview including questions the candidate has for you. In general, stick to the 80/20 rule, allowing the candidate to speak 80 percent of the time and the interviewer speaking 20 percent of the time.

Once you’ve completed your interviews, determine which candidates you’d like to consider hiring. You will then need to check references, speak with former employers, conduct a background and credit check, and perform any other pre-employment tasks you require.

It’s important to have standard forms for checking all references including prior employers. Each candidate should be evaluated on the same platform so the entire hiring process is equitable.

The hiring process can be detailed and time-consuming, but can be well worth your time and effort to ensure you hire the right person for your facility. The right hire can become a partner in the success of your business. Follow these steps to make the right decision—the first time—when hiring your next self-storage manager.

Kevin Bledsoe is a district manager of York, Pa.-based Storage Asset Management Inc., which provides full-service management, consulting and website-development services to self-storage owners on the East Coast. For more information, call 717.779.0044; visit .

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