Building a Good Crew from the Ground Up

Managing junk removal employees is easy when you’ve got a crew of one. If there’s anyone you can count on, it’s yourself, right? Don’t get stuck in this “no one can do it better than me” mindset!  Even if it’s true, it’s unscalable and unsustainable. There’s only one of you to go around, and if you want your junk removal business to grow, you’re going to need a full crew. 

So, how can you turn your junk removal employees into a dependable crew that you can trust as well as yourself? Junk Removal Authority is here to help you find out exactly what it takes to manage junk removal employees.

Finding Employees

When your junk removal business is new, you are busy! Even though you’re the business owner, you don’t exactly have a cushy life. Chances are, you’re working on the truck, hauling junk, and spending money to make money. Let’s be honest—junk removal is tough work. You don’t want to do it alone. You’re going to need some extra hands on deck.

When you’re starting out, we recommend you find some part-time employees who can help you haul all that junk. For example, part-time students or people with other part-time jobs are excellent candidates to help you on the truck. When looking for employees, advertise a position that offers—more or less—twenty to thirty hours per week. 

How many people should you hire? That depends on how much work you personally plan to do on the truck. Want to be on the truck often? You could maybe get away with just two employees. Hate the truck? You’ll minimize the time you spend there by hiring up to six.

Making the Work Worthwhile

A job is just like any other product. There’s going to be a supply and demand curve. You can supply the job, but is there going to be demand for it? In today’s job market it’s important that you create a position at your junk removal business worth an employee’s time. So how can you make the work worthwhile for your employees so it’s a win-win scenario?

First and foremost, when your employees come in to work, give them four hours of work and nothing less. Think about it from their perspective. They’ve gotten dressed, they’ve driven over, and they’ve taken time out of their day to come work for you. If you do a quick furniture removal job that takes an hour, then find you’re out of appointments for the day, don’t send your employees home with only an hour’s worth of work and pay. Doing so tells your employees that you can’t commit to them, and if you can’t commit to them, they won’t commit to you.

There are plenty of ways to keep your employees busy for four hours of work even if you’re not booked up on a particular day. Have them do some truck-based marketing for you by passing out flyers for your business or posting signs. Or, have them clean the truck so that it’s ready for the next job and makes a good impression for your business. 

Accidents Happen

A good junk removal crew is hard to come by, and to build one for yourself, you’ll need to find the right people. Unfortunately, you’re not going to find the right people without finding some of the wrong people, too. That’s why we recommend that you hire often. That way, you can keep bringing fresh faces into your business, determine if they’re a good fit, and let them go if they’re not. Unmotivated people who show up late and get tired fast aren’t going to make it. Driven team players who are on time and ready to work, on the other hand, are the bread and butter that your business needs. Find these people—and part ways with the rest.  

However, you’ll need to learn the difference between an employee that makes a single mistake and an employee that repeatedly fails you. Once or twice, one of your good eggs might lose the truck keys, accidentally sleep in, or slip up in some other way. That’s no reason to throw the book at them. When mistakes happen, you—as the business owner—need to know about it. So don’t make your employees afraid to let you know when something goes wrong. Be understanding, and tell them, “Thank you for letting me know about it.” A good employee will be on guard to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

You’ll know a bad egg when you see them, though. Got an employee that’s late all the time, or damages your truck seemingly on purpose, or doesn’t want to treat your customers with the courtesy they expect? Then maybe it’s time to tactfully cut them off and find someone new.

Becoming Bigger and Better

As your business grows, you’ll need more people to help you out. At some point, you may even need full-time employees to handle all the junk removal jobs you’re booking! Eventually, you’ll even get to stop working on the truck and instead leave it to your staff.

As you expand, just remember to keep practicing the good management skills outlined above. The recipe that works for a small crew will work for a big crew, too. When managing junk removal employees, it’s a back-and-forth relationship. Serve your employees, and they’ll serve you right back. But don’t forget to nix the employees that don’t make a good fit, or it’ll come back to bite you, too.

Want help onboarding and training your employees? The JRA Video Training Series can help! Learn more by visiting