Working temporary positions is a great way to break into an apartment Maintenance Technician (or Service Technician) career, giving you hands-on experience and exposure to new companies. Many times, it can even land you a full-time position. There is no guarantee that a temp job will turn into a full-time career, but it is possible if you show you are a cut above the rest.
When companies are hiring, they’re looking for an impressive candidate who will transition seamlessly onto the team & be an asset to the company. Starting in a temporary role often gives you an advantage over external candidates applying for the same job because of the internal experience and connections you have gained. First impressions and details count. From your knowledge of the property to the way you handle downtime, every little thing reflects on you as a potential employee.
We surveyed our JWilliams Staffing executives, who have helped hundreds of temporary candidates get hired, to find out what it takes to stand out and land that full-time job. Based on their experienced feedback, here are some tips to turn your temporary maintenance job into a full-time career:
Communities request temporary support for a reason. It is absolutely necessary for the daily operations of the community that you show up every day you’re scheduled. Being at the community on time and ready to start your day every day will always set you apart.
“Try showing up a few minutes early so you are ready to go as soon as you are scheduled to start. Managers are always looking for someone who respects that time is important.” – Marlo Brooks, Sr. Regional Manager, Multi-Family Division
Familiarize yourself with the community grounds as soon as possible. When you are able to assist the onsite property management team by walking future residents, guests, and vendors to the leasing office and other amenities, the management team will appreciate your knowledge and reliability.
“The leasing team can’t be everywhere at once. Maybe they were already helping a prospect, finalizing some documents, or reviewing a unit. Regardless, they will greatly appreciate and notice your support." - Brandon Holland, Sr. Regional Manager, Multi-Family Division
When handling service requests, it is absolutely necessary to provide top-notch customer service. Respond to requests in a timely manner, respect the resident and their home when you enter, and efficiently troubleshoot and repair the unit’s issue. Following all of these steps will ensure you receive a great review.
“Know and remember Fair Housing Laws and how they apply to maintenance. Always provide fair and equal services to all residents.” – Juan Vasquez, Sr. Director of Maintenance & Multi-family Training
You are the eyes and ears of the properties where you work. Any areas of the community that may need attention, repair, or a touch up can be brought to the attention of the maintenance management team. They will appreciate having someone on their team looking out for the community and will be more likely to hire someone who puts the community first.
“Employers hire those who put the community first. Showing that you are observant and looking out for the betterment of the community and resident satisfaction will quickly impress the management team.” - Marlo Brooks, Sr. Regional Manager, Multi-Family Division
The most outstanding Maintenance or Service Techs are multifaceted in navigating team dynamics. Managers want to see that you are a team player, so while you need to be able to take initiative and work independently, you must also collaborate well with others.
“With so many maintenance needs often happening at the same time around an apartment community, you will need to take direction and work within a team to get everything done. You will also need to complete the tasks given to you independently and in a timely manner. Being able to work as a team as well as independently will get you very far.”– Juan Vasquez, Sr. Director of Maintenance & Multi-family Training
Knowing what’s most important to the community is an integral part to your success in maintenance. It is also a huge relief to the management team knowing that you will be able to complete projects as needed, without leaving the daily routines behind.
“Try to be flexible with your day-to-day tasks so you can adjust your focus as problems arise. Effectively prioritizing your tasks is an excellent way to show the management team that you are reliable.” - Joseph Valle, Regional Manager, Multi-Family Division
Employers are looking to hire employees who are teachable in the workplace. A maintenance or service technician willing to learn new skills (from new procedures to new equipment and new processes) will immediately impress any hiring manager.
“Your willingness to learn and try new things on the job will leave a lasting impression on the employer.” – Juan Vasquez, Sr. Director of Maintenance & Multi-family Training
First impressions are everything, and we’re not just talking about the impression you leave on the job. The first impression future residents get of the physical presentation of the community is crucial in their desire to live there. Take the first 30 minutes of your day to walk the property and help maintain the curb appeal of the parking area and entrance to the community. Keeping the front office looking spotless and ensuring amenities are clean and free of debris will go a long way.
“Coordinate with the leasing team to see when they have tours scheduled and what path they take so you can ensure the cleanliness of the future residents’ tour. The leasing team will greatly appreciate knowing their property is clean and ready for any future residents’ visit.” – Brandon Holland, Sr. Regional Manager, Multi-Family Division
The community relies on the maintenance team to keep everything running smoothly and taken care of, regardless of the situation. So, when suddenly the trash area is overfilled, a moving tenant didn’t empty out their apartment, or there’s a call from corporate that the property walk from ownership will be sooner than planned, you’ll need to be able to prioritize and solve each problem as soon as possible in order to get things back to normal.
“Quickly and effectively solving problems with a can-do attitude will greatly impress the management team onsite.” - Joseph Valle, Regional Manager, Multi-Family Division
Working temporary positions in maintenance is an excellent way to launch your full-time career while getting to find your best fit. It’s also a great opportunity for you to sell your abilities and skills to the employer. By doing these 9 things, you will have already set yourself up for success.
If you’re interested in getting your foot in the door and launching your maintenance career with JWilliams Staffing, click here to explore current job openings and apply.