Hiring success is business success

For Waste Solutions, a defined process to attract, retain and develop top talent, and to do so at scale, is instrumental to success

Photo: Jason Wilcox (file photo)

FOUNDED MORE THAN a decade ago by Jason Wilcox and Shane Curtis, Waste Solutions has been redefining waste management, recycling practices and garbage disposal to help organizations achieve their environmental goals and reduce costs. By leveraging buying power, innovative technologies and wide-reaching resources, Waste Solutions has helped thousands of companies across North America lower waste costs, improve landfill diversion and better their environmental stewardship.

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Recognized on the Globe and Mail’s list of Top Growing Companies in Canada for five years running, Wilcox firmly believes the company’s employees and its workplace culture has paved the path to its successes. Growing from a team of 18 to 90 employees over the past five years (with a ­retention rate of 118 per cent in the past year and 160 per cent the year before), Waste Solutions recognized the importance of strong hiring practices early in their journey.

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“We concentrated on hiring the leadership team first and then moved on to the recruitment of management-led teams to ensure constant support and effective onboarding,” shares Wilcox, adding that the strategy was particularly helpful in bringing in individuals with years of expertise, knowledge and varying perspectives.

Wilcox says another strategy that aided growth was the decision to switch to internal hiring instead of relying on recruitment firms. “When we are hiring, we look for ­positivity and personality,” he says. “Having an in-house hiring team ensures that we find more culturally fit people and create more consistency across departments and teams.”

“We have a 90-day process to onboard a new employee, and this involves cross-departmental training and shadowing, a buddy system and a multi-week training module” —Jason Wilcox

But the hiring of a new employee is just the very start of a defined process that ensures smooth onboarding for both the new hire and existing employees. “We have a 90-day process to onboard a new employee, and this involves cross-departmental training and shadowing, a buddy system and a multi-week training module,” says Wilcox.

An interesting aspect of the three-month training process is the insight it provides for new hires into their role and how it fits into the bigger picture. Often, when companies try to integrate a new hire, it comes at the cost of added workload and shifting priorities for the existing employees, but that’s not the case at Waste Solutions. “We walk before we run with our new team members,” explains Wilcox. “This is why the onboarding process might also look like a 90-plus day process for some to be fully engaged in their positions. Regular check-ins for comprehension, mental health and determining how they are developing in their roles also helps in managing expectations both for the new hires and existing employees.”

Hiring success is business success success TechAllianceAbove: The Waste Solutions team

Building a strong work culture with a remote-first policy, commitments to equity and inclusion (50 per cent of its workforce is comprised of women), open communication lines, company retreats and anonymous feedback systems, Waste Solutions has seen a year-over-year employee growth of 18 per cent and an overall growth rate of 400 per cent over the last five years.

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“Open communication is a big one for us. From our leadership team having an open-door policy to considering and potentially implementing suggested feedback from our team, we believe that our employees are the happiest when they feel seen and heard,” shares Wilcox.

“We truly believe that if you care for your people, they will care for your customers. The more experience that an employee gains contributing to a workplace helps them get better at their roles and responsibilities, which ultimately leads to a better client experience and satisfaction level.” Hiring success is business success success TechAlliance

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