~Reader Feedback~ Strategies to Fill Entry-Level Positions

Jon Wood, owner of Tulsa Poop 911, has figured out what it takes to find and keep great employees who come to work every day and scoop poop. But, Jon’s employees don’t just scoop poop. Their team is dedicated to providing dog owners a safe and clean environment for outdoor enjoyment.

Jon recently shared the following feedback in response to my article, Attracting and Keeping the Best Employees for Your Entry-Level Positions.

“Thanks for the great article! Because of the nature of my industry (manual labor, outdoor, dog waste removal) I find it very difficult to find high-quality employees, which are essential because the job is 99% unsupervised (each scooper works independently).

Personally, I’ve found the best solution for MY business is to hire 2 part-timers each time a full-time job is available. Inevitably, one of the two hires will flake and fall away, and the other usually digs in and works into the FT position within 3-6 months. The bump to FT comes as a type of promotion, as does a set of incremental raises at 3 and 12 months. At 6 months, my scoopers PTO accrual doubles from 1 to 2 weeks/year.

Finally, and most importantly, I treat my team members with the utmost respect and dignity. In all interactions I imagine they are my sister (who not long ago was a single mother working an entry-level position in a coffee shop). After a few months on the job, the ones who work out, REALLY work out and the ones who don’t (usually due to immaturity that makes an unsupervised position untenable) figure it out and leave of their own accord.

All 3 of my current FT employees came that way, and one former employee who, after a few years working for me bought out my interest in my sister territory (Oklahoma City), moved there himself and now has his own franchise :-)”

Jon is utilizing a very effective hiring and retention strategy to fill entry-level positions. A deeper look inside his business reveals significant work he has done ON his company culture.

Jon’s “About” page on his website reveals a clear and inspiring Mission Statement, a dedication to quality above offering the cheapest service in his industry, and clearly articulated core values infused throughout all aspects of his business.

Not only has Jon positioned his business to attract his IDEAL Customers, this same work he has done ON his business positions his business to attract his IDEAL Employees who will serve the heck out his IDEAL Customers. Take a look at what Jon shares on his About page.

Tulsa/OKC Poop 911 has been around for 5 years and we’ll still be around in 5 more. We don’t just scoop poop – we provide dog-owners a safe and clean environment for outdoor enjoyment.

We hire reliable, trustworthy, and accountable team members and pay them what they are worth. Our starting hourly wage is well above minimum wage, 20% above the standard industry wage, and 33% above comparable services in much larger and more expensive cities. We found early on that to attract and retain team members who can be trusted to do what they say they are going to do, when they say they are going to do it, and to not need a supervisor looking over their shoulder – we have to pay, and thus charge, a premium for our services. Our team members are professionally trained and treat our customers and their pups with respect, because we treat our team members with respect.

We aren’t the cheapest service in town, nor do we offer “free first month” or “free initial visits” because we value our service and we KNOW that OUR customers value it as well.

At Tulsa/OKC Poop 911 our mission is to provide pets and their families a safe and clean environment for outdoor enjoyment. Our team provides independent employment with potential for personal growth and income. We actively support worthwhile organizations through donations of our time and resources.

We operate on 4 Core Values:

  1. Be accountable to customers and each other
  2. Learn something new every day
  3. Act responsibly toward society and the environment
  4. Follow the Golden Rule

We’re not cheap, we don’t want to be. What we want is to provide dog-owners a safe and clean environment while providing growth and income for responsible, accountable, and trustworthy people and charitable organizations. That’s who we are. That’s WHY we’re here. We are Tulsa/OKC Poop 911!

Finally, a peak at Jon’s “Meet Our Team” page (www.tulsaokcpoop911.com/tulsa-area/) tells a compelling story about each and every one of his employees. After reading this, do you think his IDEAL customers complain about paying premium prices to have their poop scooped? I doubt it!

Jon isn't just doing this for the money. Jon’s business is a vehicle to fulfilling his greater mission in life:


“To be an inspirational guiding force
to develop future leaders
in realizing THEIR potential.”

Thanks for reaching out, Jon. You are an inspiration.
I appreciate you sharing your secrets to success with us!

About The Author

Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist and international best-selling author of the How to Hire the Best series and The 4 Week Vacation™, is the founder of Tap the Potential and host of the Profit by Design podcast. At Tap the Potential, we work to free business owners from the constant demands of a growing business.

We believe work supports life, not the other way around. Clients in our Better Business, Better Life coaching program have more time for what matters most and more money in their bank account than they’ve ever had. Next, we send them off on a 4 Week Vacation™ to celebrate their hard-earned journey to take their life back!

Dr. Sabrina and her team at Tap the Potential are on a mission to change the story of entrepreneurship from one of long hours, grinding it out, to one of sustainably profitable businesses that support and enhance life. The Tap the Potential Solution™ and our Tap the Potential Family of Business Owners are disrupting small business as usual. We are on our way to making the Tap the Potential Solution™ the mainstream model for growing business.

By 2023, 150 Tap the Potential clients will have taken 4 Week Vacations. These are the trailblazers, role modeling what’s possible for entrepreneurs. In many entrepreneurial circles, it is becoming more and more common for one entrepreneur to ask another, “Have you taken a 4 Week Vacation™?” (as opposed to asking “How many employees do you have?” or “What is your annual revenue?”). Taking a fully unplugged 4 Week Vacation is rapidly becoming the recognized symbol of entrepreneurial success.

Never one to accept the status quo or back down from a challenge, Dr. Sabrina’s How to Hire the Best series grew from her desire to solve the toughest hiring challenges interfering with her clients’ growth and profitability. What sprang from her experience working with entrepreneurs in rural areas catapulted her into becoming the world’s leading expert in attracting top talent in small businesses—no matter what hiring challenges those businesses are facing—and earned Tap the Potential’s reputation as the go-to resource for entrepreneurs committed to creating Great Places to Work with thriving coaching cultures and highly engaged team members working from strengths.

As The Business Psychologist, and with her years of driving profit in small businesses, Dr. Sabrina knows what it takes to find, keep, and motivate exceptional performance out of your biggest investment—team members.