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Surveying the labor landscape in the building services sector

Sponsored content from TEAM Software by Workwave

Almost every industry is trying to navigate pandemic-related staffing challenges. SmartBrief recently caught up with Jeff Davis, Group Vice President Solution Sales at WorkWave, to get his insights on recent labor statistics from the building services sector and what employers can do to attract and retain top talent.

Jeff Davis, Group Vice President Solution Sales, WorkWave
Jeff Davis, Group Vice President Solution Sales, WorkWave

What’s the single most important takeaway from the most recent labor report as it relates to the building cleaning sector?

Retention is probably the single most important takeaway from our recent labor report conducted in partnership with BSCAI. While it’s important to know who (and how many) employees are leaving the industry’s job market, it’s even more important to begin framing the question of how to encourage them to stay with their employer. Today’s labor market is extremely competitive, both with industry peers and comparable skilled work in non-competing industries. Exploring new ways to position yourself as an employer of choice is a crucial next step for any BSC.

Should the report’s numbers influence recruiting efforts for new hires in 2022?

This report shows that the industry fared relatively well as hire rates stayed ahead of termination rates (on average) this past year. However, this report also demonstrates how quickly that reality can change. Knowing that the BSC industry is, by nature, high-turnover, retention efforts will continue to be imperative, especially when considering the rest of the labor market will also remain extremely competitive and will likely be doing everything it can to attract your current employees into their own hiring funnel.

What staff retention techniques should building service contractors employ to keep new hires and the existing workforce?

In a previous question, I compared a traditional recruiting funnel to a marketing funnel. It’s important to note that the end stage of a marketing funnel is loyalty. When you’re incentivizing the reasons to stay, you’re completing the circle of your hiring process. It’s important to continually assess a number of variables to keep your employees engaged and satisfied as a part of your workforce. Stress levels, wages, access to protective equipment, the types of schedules you’re offering for work — these are all important to consider as these are the aspects of the job that help strengthen your job listings for new hires and are the reasons that often incentivize retention. Consider how you’re equipping employees, what kind of tools you’re providing to ensure quality job performance, ensuring there are established channels of communication between your distributed workforce and their managers or office team, and offering opportunities to training.

How can building service contractors compete with other sectors for the best staff, especially from the millennial age group?

One answer is flexibility. The workforce – no matter the industry – is putting a higher value in company benefits that offer flexibility. That can range from flexibility in job location (or, targeting potential job applicants based on location to lessen commute time and decrease transportation-related barriers to work) to flexibility in pay schedules (think: on-demand pay models where employees can gain access to their earned pay without waiting out a regular pay cycle).

Will the current labor market have a longer-term impact on the building service sector? 

While the impact may lessen in degree of difficulty as time goes on, we do know that the BSC industry will continue to face labor challenges. High churn will always be a factor to consider. It’s likely BSCs will continue to face new competitors in other industries, meaning you don’t only need to consider differentiating your job listings from other cleaning companies, you need to make them attractive when compared against other types of work listings as well. The good news is the work that goes into positioning yourself as an employer of choice is a worthwhile investment at any time. If you do the work now, you could see long-term benefits while those competitors (new and old) struggle to get their footing.


For the last 20 years, Jeff Davis has focused on technology, working in sales and marketing to executive leadership, with five years specializing in human resources technology. Within his leadership role at WorkWave, which acquired TEAM Software in 2021, Jeff serves as a subject matter expert delivering marketing and service solutions to service contractors worldwide.

TEAM Software by WorkWave develops market-leading financial, operations and workforce management solutions for contractors with distributed workforces, with a focus on the cleaning and security industries in the North American, Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions. TEAM provides cleaning and security contractors in North America with the only award-winning fully integrated ERP that reduces risk and costs and drives efficiency, profitability and growth. More than 750 companies and nearly 1 million end users rely on TEAM’s solutions globally, with well over 450 companies and half a million end users in North America alone. Founded in 1989, TEAM is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska and was acquired by WorkWave in 2021. For more information, visit