5 Ways to Recruit Your Best Self Storage Staff Ever

Krista Diamond |

What is your storage facility’s hiring process like? Do you advertise the position online or do you go old fashioned by putting an ad in the newspaper? When the inevitable flood of applications comes in, how do you sift through them to find the best candidates?

Even the most successful self storage managers are faced with these dilemmas (and many, many more) when recruiting new employees. At times, the hiring process can feel like a full time job in itself.

Ask yourself this: Would you rather A) Spend a month interviewing an endless stream of lackluster candidates in hopes of finding one decent employee or B) Find the right addition to your self storage team in a week?

If you answered B, it’s time to draw up the new employee paperwork, because these five tips are going to help you find and hire the perfect self storage job candidate.

1. Be Specific

Make your job description as specific as possible. You want the candidates that apply for the position to not only know exactly what they’re getting into but to actually be excited about it.

Here’s an example of a typical job description you might see on a recruitment site:

The ideal candidate must be a problem solver, a fast learner and a team player. The ability to manage time effectively and make informed decisions is a must.

While this job description sounds nice, it doesn’t actually tell the candidate anything about the specifics of the job. Instead, think of a day in the life of an employee at your storage facility when writing your ad. Include individual tasks and skills. Here’s what a more specific ad might look like for a storage facility:

The ideal candidate should feel comfortable answering customer phone calls, giving tours of the facility, using Microsoft Office, sweeping floors and lifting up to 25 pounds.

You should also be specific about salary and hours required. Are you unable to pay more than $15 an hour? Does the position require graveyard shifts and weekends? Avoid the temptation to hide information that you might see as a deterrent. Emphasize what’s great about the position, but don’t hide the reality. If the job requires nights and weekends, you want to hire someone who actually wants those hours.

2. Social Media

By all means, advertise on Indeed, Monster and even Craigslist, but don’t forget about your built-in audience on Facebook.

If your storage facility has a social media presence (and it should), you’ve already got the perfect online setting to advertise a job. The people who like your page on Facebook or follow you on Twitter or Instagram already like self storage and more specifically already like your facility. Create a concise, image-based ad and post it on your social media. This is a simple, genius way to advertise your job opening to an audience that’s already been curated to show interest in the position.

3. Employee Referrals

Unless you’re looking to replace the entire staff at your storage facility (yikes, we hope not), you’ve probably already got some standout employees on your team. Talk to those employees about the open position and see if they know anyone who might be interested in applying.

You can even set up an employee referral program. Basically, you’d give your current employee some sort of incentive, like a cash bonus, for successfully referring a great new hire to your storage facility.

4. Don’t Focus on Industry Experience Alone

If you peruse through current self storage job openings on any staffing website, you’ll notice an emphasis on prior self storage experience.

While this is completely understandable, using language that restricts job candidates to those with self storage industry experience is ultimately going to prevent you from from meeting a lot of qualified interviewees. When writing your job advertisement, say “prior self storage experience is a plus” instead of “prior self storage experience is required.” The self storage industry is increasingly driven by customer service. Your tenants want friendly, helpful employees on-site to guide them through the leasing and self storage process. In a world where a Yelp review can make or break your business, it’s important to hire employees who understand customer service.

5. Look for Great Employees in Their Natural Habitat

That brings us to the last—and most important—point. Great self storage employees are everywhere. You just have to open your eyes and see them.

Get in the habit of carrying business cards around and be on the lookout for excellent customer service in the world outside of your storage facility.

Wowed by your waitress at dinner? Impressed by the salesman at your favorite store? Hand them your business card and let them know about the position.

You never know where you might find your next star employee.