Hiring from Within: How to Set Your Custodial and Maintenance Teams Up for Long-Term Success

A Couple of Men from a Facilities Maintenance Team

Custodial and maintenance teams play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation and upkeep of facilities. Having the right employees ensures seasonal, preventive, and diagnostic work can be done in-house. But where do you go when you need to fill talent gaps? Finding talent in today’s labor shortage can be a challenge, but one of the most promising pools of talent is already at your fingertips—your current employees.

Reaping the Benefits of Hiring from Within

Internal hiring can offer numerous advantages. Current employees have a track record within the organization, providing managers with first-hand knowledge of their performance, work ethic, and reliability, reducing the uncertainty associated with hiring external candidates.

Another benefit is speed. Internal candidates often integrate faster as they move into a new role, streamlining the ramp and upskilling process. Even better, they bring institutional knowledge and a strong understanding of the organization’s processes, customers, and buildings maintained, which can facilitate smoother transitions and ensure continuity.

Investing in existing employees also helps boost employee morale, increase loyalty, and improve retention. According to a LinkedIn study, 94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development. Plus, employees want to learn, and 74% of employees said they’re willing to learn new skills or retrain to remain employable.

Hiring internally can be more cost-effective than recruiting externally. The recruitment process may be expedited because managers already know the internal candidates, saving time and resources spent on sourcing, screening, and interviewing external candidates.

Identifying Potential Candidates within Your Organization 

Custodial and maintenance roles require a combination of technical skills, attention to detail, physical stamina, and interpersonal abilities. Identifying people with the talents, skills, and potential can be challenging, but the process can start by identifying high-potential, dedicated employees willing to take on additional responsibilities.

An assessment tool is one of the most effective ways to gain objective insights into employees’ starting points and training needs. Assessments help companies understand employees’ core competencies and where they may lack skills in certain areas. By getting this objective read-out and insights into a maintenance team’s skills, managers will be able to identify critical areas for training and customize learning based on each individual.

Encouraging professional development and career advancement among employees creates a working environment where employees feel empowered to take ownership of their professional development and gain confidence in their roles. They also become more productive and better equipped to handle a wider range of tasks and projects.

Developing a Succession Plan 

Succession planning—the process of identifying and developing internal employees to fill roles as they become vacant—has traditionally been associated with executive positions. However, its importance extends across all levels of the organizational hierarchy, including custodial and maintenance roles. 

Developing a succession plan for these positions is essential to ensure business continuity, maintain service standards, and retain institutional knowledge. It also increases retention and engagement of maintenance teams, and sends a powerful message to employees that the business values their contributions and their future.

Succession planning starts by identifying critical roles, career pathways to get there, and the training needed to advance. Two-thirds of employees—66%—are more likely to leave their company because there aren’t enough skill development opportunities.

Supporting Career Growth and Advancement 

To further develop future leaders, pair employees with mentors or coaches within the organization who can offer guidance, advice, and support. Mentors can help employees navigate their career paths and develop new skills while sharing their expertise. Given their first-hand experience, mentors can offer valuable insights into the role’s nuances, which can accelerate employees’ development.

Effective feedback and regular performance evaluations are also essential components of employee development and help cultivate a culture that values growth and motivates employees. A consistent feedback loop helps build an engaged workforce. Strategies include having ongoing one-on-one meetings with technicians to review outcomes and schedule next steps. Additionally, quarterly performance reviews provide a set time for techs to review accomplishments and discuss career development goals.

Investing in the Future

In the realm of custodial and maintenance operations, training is an indispensable strategy for fostering long-term success. Investing in workers and promoting employees from within benefits for employees and employers alike.

Employees gain confidence, develop new skills, and are more likely to feel valued and motivated, increasing job satisfaction and employee retention. By investing in employees, employers build a reputation as an employer of choice, reducing recruitment costs and employee turnover while improving customer satisfaction.

Prioritizing training not only improves operations today but also future-proofs the business, ensuring that the right people are in the right roles at the right time.

Your One-Stop-Shop for Facilities Maintenance Training


As the skills gap continues to widen and the demand for skilled labor grows larger, you need comprehensive solutions that address your unique training needs and provide upskilling opportunities for your in-house teams. But where do you go to find an all-in-one solution to train, develop, and manage talent? 

Interplay’s immersive career development platform helps you simplify career development, making training more efficient, effective and scalable while saving you time and effort. Our platform includes: 

  • Immersive Trades Training: Gain access to over 450 hours of video courses and 3D simulations created by industry experts, including custom learning pathways for skill development, safety and technical training, and easy-to-use management tools.
  • Comprehensive Management Tools: Manage all training in one place, understand learners’ strengths and weaknesses through skills assessments, develop skills through customized learning, and monitor progress with easy-to-use management tools.
  • Actionable Insights: Measure and take action on learning engagement and skills development to optimize training and drive continuous improvement.
  • Powerful Automation: Save time with pre-built integrations and automation for smooth implementation.

By gaining access to these powerful tools, you can grow, develop, and build your maintenance teams’ skills faster than ever before.