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10 Secrets to Hiring in Self-Storage: Learn the Keys to Success

By Susan Haviland Comments

Do you want to hire employees for your self-storage business who can contribute to your success and profitability while adding value to your culture? Those of us who’ve been hiring—and firing—facility managers for a while can admit we’ve sometimes hired in a rush, hoping the candidate will be our “savior behind the counter.” But sometimes even a great employee can be wrong for this unique job.

Following are 10 secrets to successful hiring to help you choose the right person for your self-storage operation.

1. Write a Great Job Description

The best job descriptions don’t just outline duties, responsibilities and necessary skills. They also articulate how you want the work to be done, and the moral climate in which the company operates. If you’re a fiercely competitive company that likes to pit stores against each other, say so. If customer care is critical, ensure your candidate is empathetic.

Most self-storage businesses don’t have job descriptions in place for their various positions, but you need to set the expectations at the start. Recruitment planning identifies the specifications for the position so you know the skills and experience you’re seeking. It also addresses how you’ll publicize the position, who’ll review applications, and who’ll participate in first and second interviews.

You also must decide who’ll participate in the selection of the employee and who’ll provide input. This is a key step in a successful hiring process. You need to be clear about how interviewers’ input will be used by the hiring manager.

2. Know Your Talent

An important step in the posting process is to notify current employees when there’s a job opening. Are you sure there isn't internal talent who might seize the opportunity? Inside hires tend to do well, so if you promote from within, you’re likely to reduce your risk.

You want to encourage the employees who already work for you, so know what talent you have before you go looking for fresh faces. Whether you’re a small or large self-storage operator, offering career growth is key to showing employees you value them. Don’t overlook a golden candidate who’s already on your team because you want to avoid opening another position.

If you don’t believe you have any qualified candidates already on your payroll, you can post the position externally at the same time. However, your in-house applicants may surprise you with their talent and skills. If you do post the position outside, let your inside candidates know so you can avoid any misunderstandings.

3. Align Your Values

Make sure your hiring process is consistent with your company’s core culture and values. For example, there’s no point in saying teamwork is important and then letting one person make the hiring decision. If you say you value instinct, then doing a wide array of personal and professional assessments probably isn’t the way to go. If you value creativity and risk-taking, don’t ask ridiculously hard questions that humiliate those who can’t answer them.

What are the characteristics of a successful employee? Consider the following:

  • Stable work record
  • Well-groomed appearance
  • Willingness to accept the conditions of work (hours, pay, duties, etc.)
  • Ability to communicate (answer questions intelligently, converse easily)
  • Pleasant personality (sincere, positive attitude)
  • Intelligence
  • Common sense
  • Optimism
  • Tact
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