We had the opportunity to hear from him about leadership, safety, recycling, building a team and more.
Waste360: Can you talk to us about your recruiting efforts and managing the lack of workers?
Bill Caesar: About a year ago, we put together a group of people to look at where the drivers were in our recruitment process and how did those affect our retention metrics. What could we be doing better in how we attract people? What do our benefits need to be? What does our comp need to be? We found we were lacking in the first impression we made to employees and that we probably hadn’t trained our frontline supervisors enough. We hadn’t thought through our training for new employees coming from outside the industry. We’re now much better than we were.
Waste360: How is WCA recovering from the recycling markets issues?
Bill Caesar: Recycling accounts for a small part of our revenue, yet it has a meaningful impact on my ability to deliver the financial performance my board is looking for. Sometimes, however, you just have to say, “We’re doing the best we can.” If there was a secret to recycling, it would have gotten out by now. You improve your operations and try hard to find somebody to buy the stuff you’re making. It’s not that complicated at the end of the day.
Waste360: You’re in Houston, which a couple of years ago experienced Hurricane Harvey. Do you have any lessons learned from emergency management you could share?
Bill Caesar: We previously had two floods within a few months, and it crushed us. So, we had figured out what to do the next time, and then we had Hurricane Harvey. Our ability to survive and thrive in that environment—with a cleanup lasting at least six months—I couldn’t be prouder of how we learned from our past mistakes, communicated with and served our customers and brought in additional resources.
Listen to the full interview with Caesar here. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear additional insights on leadership, safety and more.