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39 operators, was from a system that reported a $9 starting wage As shown in Figure 3-10, public agencies reported greatest for sedan operators and a $10 starting wage for van operators. use and success with paid training, which on average was rated 3.5. No other type of effort rated above 3.0 on average. Providing uniforms rated second (2.5), followed by increased Efforts Made to hourly wages (2.1). Targeted advertising, use of job fairs, Improve Recruitment performance/recognition and awards/payments, and GPS Respondents were asked to indicate what types of efforts had and other technologies that assist with the job were all rated been made to improve the recruitment of ADA paratransit a 2.0 out of 4.0. operators. A list of 13 types of efforts identified in the research Private contractors also rated paid training as the type of were listed and respondents were asked to indicate if these effort that provided the greatest success, with an average efforts were "Not Used" (coded as a "1"), "Used with Little Suc- 3.0 rating. Second was providing uniforms (2.7), followed cess" (coded as a "2"), "Used with Some Success" (coded as a by targeted advertising (2.5), increased hourly wages, and "3"), or "Used with Good Success" (coded as a "4"). Figure 3-10 performance/recognition awards/payments which both shows the responses to this question. Separate responses are received a 2.3. Referral bonuses paid to other employees reported for public agencies and private contractors. and advertising in non-traditional ways were both rated a Paid Training Provide Uniforms Targeted Advertising Increased Hourly Wages Performance/Recognition Awards/Payments Advertise in Non-Traditional Ways Referral Bonuses to Other Employees GPS or Other Technologies to Assist with the Job Use of Job Fairs Improved Fringe Benefits Increased Career Advancement Opportunities Extend Shifts to Increase Take Home Pay Signing Bonuses for Recruits 0 1 2 3 4 Private Contractors Public Agencies Figure 3-10. Efforts made to improve recruitment.
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40 2.2 on average. No other type of effort rated above a 2.0 · "We have good operators and they refer good operators. with private contractors. Our referral is $100 after trainee gets out of 4 month pro- Five respondents offered "Other" comments on this ques- bation and $100 if both employees are here when person tion. These comments were the following: referred has been here one year." · "The trainees are often concerned about the $7.00 training · "All types of advertising and job fairs have been used. pay until they are informed of a $250 signing bonus if they However, when applicants are polled, these advertisements stay for three months; the amount offered offsets the $7.00 have not been the reason that individuals applied. Most training pay by adding another $3.00 an hour for training. applicants come through word of mouth, by seeing our Of course, when we increase the starting pay, we also see an vehicles on the road, and by reviewing the City's vacancy increase in trainees/applicants." listings." · "Job fairs--people are actively looking for a job. Attend fairs · "Operators really appreciate the one-on-one time (refer- that target transportation, attend fairs for people 50 and ring to training). Our classes are small and they do get a lot over. Advertising non-traditional bumper sticker on the bus of attention during those first weeks." that have phone # and says looking for operators." · "Regular safety meetings, improved vehicle reliability." · "We offer paid training. This appeals to a lot of applicants · "Overtime is available and many operators work extra shifts because many ADA paratransit providers in this area don't. or extended hours. This is more a need of the service due to We also provide uniforms to the operators and a cleaning increased demand than a perk to attract operators, but it service as well. Applicants like the fact they don't have to may have the same effect." have their uniforms cleaned themselves. We also have an · "A poor economy helps." incentive program for employees." · "Referral Bonus of $300.00 is paid to existing employees if Respondents who indicated that they had used one or more both existing employee and referred employee are still approaches with good success were also asked to expound employed after six months." on these successful efforts. The following comments were · "All vehicle operators understand that they are consistently provided: being evaluated for career advancement. The advancements will involve becoming an office staff employee. More than · "The quality of applicants has not been up to par with the 75% of our office staff are former vehicle operators." applicants who came in a decade ago. Getting a job with the · "Over the past two years, we have increased wages and ben- City was an attractive option to many people. Even with efits by over 10%. This has helped with retention efforts the benefits and retirement programs we have in place, we with some impact to recruitment efforts. Minimum wage are not attracting the quality of applicants we would like to increases have ultimately closed the gaps in wages for posi- see. Our operators require CDLs and other opportunities tions that require higher levels of responsibilities." for CDL holders in this area pay more." · "Since the work is hard, you need to provide a reward sys- · "Clothes don't get damaged--nobody's competing for best wardrobe. They save money because they don't have to buy tem to appreciate the work force. We implemented this special clothes with their money." (This comment was type of system over the past two years and have had good related to efforts to provide uniforms.) results. We target applicants and we only look for career · "We offer paid training for all employees. We advertised by oriented people." media, internet, on bus benches and traveling signs on · "Everyone wants more money. Paratransit operators have MTA vehicles. We attend all job fairs. The hourly rates are never been paid adequately for the service they provide. raised in Union negotiation. All employees that go above It's the most important transit service provided and the and beyond the call of duty are recognized! The company group providing the endless hours of service to people looks within the company when a position comes open to who REALLY need the service are not even recognized or their employees first! All uniforms are provided by the rewarded adequately. Uniforms are a minimal perk. They company!" don't have to spend money on clothes. They barely make · "We have always provided paid training so there is noth- enough to eat and feed their family. Unless of course they ing to compare it to." do overtime." · "A uniform consisting of shirts, jacket, hat and an Identi- · "Uniforms are union contract issued." fication Badge are worn by operators. This is a professional service and identification as a professional is important. Responses were also tabulated, rather than averaged, in This helps build team support and operator pride in the order to get a better sense of how many respondents had tried service they offer to people with disabilities." each recruitment effort and the relative success of each type