At a time when many Portland Metro area employers are finding it harder to recruit motivated employees, Patrick O’Donnell Jr. of Myles O’Donnell, a Janitorial Services Company applied some creative thinking to the problem.

“We found many people showing up for interviews didn’t match our need for independent workers. Janitors most often work under their own steam. We need to be able to train and manage people who are able to perform their jobs without on-site supervision. Of these individuals, potential employees must pass a background check, since our clients trust our employees with their assets.

Also, we found fewer people were even showing up to interviews that were scheduled. To “no show” is incredibly disrespectful to potential employers; and there’s a good likelihood a no show may no show on a client job, so generally if someone no shows, we don’t consider them a potential employee even if they try to reschedule. So hiring became a problem.”

We thought about the problem and reviewed the skills needed for our work. Eventually we came upon the idea of looking to support those with certain disabilities and partnered with a vocational rehabilitation agency to help find new employees. To date, we have made a our first hire through this program and it’s turning out great. The hire we made through this program¬†is deaf, which doesn’t impact his ability to clean offices at all. We worked around some issues with his training, but he learns quickly and is performing well. We have a new employee; and he has a job, which he is really appreciative of. That’s how creative thinking can help a business overcome an issue AND give opportunities to those in it’s community.