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UW Facilities Blog

Custodian Job Fair


FS Units

UW Building Services Custodians cleaning the W sculpture.
Campus partners collaborate with BSD to improve hiring efforts

In a proactive response to hiring challenges that impact its current custodian staff members and the campus community, Building Services Department (BSD) will host its first custodian job fair in collaboration with both University of Washington Facilities Services (FS) and Human Resources (HR) on Saturday, September 30, 2017.

As one of nine departments within FS, BSD oversees 283 custodians that take care of over 11 million square footage across campus. “Our team members want to be able to spend more time cleaning within their own assignments, versus having to cover vacant or absent custodial assignments—known as open runs—two or more times a week,” said Gene Woodard, director of BSD. “While the campus community thinks highly of BSD custodians and understands that workloads are high, not having enough staff greatly impacts cleaning quality—which was reflected in some of the responses we received from the latest Transforming Administration Program (TAP) survey,” said Woodard.

Planning Process

BSD leadership began organizing planning efforts in March 2017 with FS departmental staff (FS human resources and Transportation Services) and UW HR. “The planning experience has been great because we’re able to connect with so many talented individuals from all across campus,” said Page Russell, FS manager of training, apprenticeship and recruitment. “So much detail goes into the planning of an event like this, and BSD has been fortunate to have wonderful guidance along the way,” said Woodard.

“The Seattle economy is very strong, making this an ideal market for job seekers and a tough one for employers,” said Russell. “There is upward pressure on wages, which is good news, but that’s challenging for government and nonprofit organizations that have limited funding. So, we have to differentiate ourselves by our values, culture and benefits,” said Russell. The typical starting pay for regular, full-time custodians within BSD is $2,706 a month—which equals $15.61 per hour, plus benefits.

The event will offer a unique opportunity for job seekers to not only apply, but also interview on-site with BSD managers and supervisors. Current custodian staff members will be in attendance to answer questions and demonstrate the latest in nontoxic cleaning equipment and machinery that the department utilizes. HR representatives from both divisions will be on hand to assist individuals with online applications, so candidates are advised to bring a copy of their résumé and references if possible. Interested candidates may also save time by applying through UW Hires before the event.

The fair will take place at the UW Tower, with free parking and a family waiting area available for candidates during the event. “We have spent a lot of time focusing on our interview process and logistics. While it’s difficult to predict the turnout, we’re hoping to ultimately welcome 20 or more full-time candidates to our team.”

The Greater Good

“UW is a quality employer and we are marketing the job fair as such to also highlight educational and advancement opportunities for employees,” said Woodard. BSD prides itself on its efforts to keep its staff healthy through its award-winning green cleaning program, and supporting professional development through the following programs:

  • English in the Workplace: weekly classes provide language and computer training
  • Ergonomic Program: departmental effort lead by EH&S to collectively research and develop safer work methods
  • Lean Process Improvement: encourages staff engagement and idea generation
  • Stepping Stones for Success: supervisor training for motivated staff members

The planning committee looks forward to meeting new custodian candidates during the fair. Although BSD will continue to experience competition from the private sector, the committee knows there are key features that help set UW apart.

“We’re mission-oriented and part of something bigger,” said Russell. “Our work supports world class education and cutting edge research. As Facilities Services team members, we take pride in preserving this incredible place. As members of Building Services Department, we get the opportunity to interact with and provide service to amazing people every day.”


UW BSD Custodian Job Fair
Saturday, September 30, 2017
9 a.m. — noon
UW Tower, Mezzanine Level
4333 Brooklyn Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98195

​​​​​​​For parking, please enter the A-garage at 12th Avenue NE (between NE 45th and 43rd Streets)