When people find out I own a Bio-One and that we specialize in crime and trauma scene cleaning, one question I get asked often is, “How do you find employees that want to do this?” The truth is, they usually come to me. As surprising as it sounds, many people are fascinated by this industry and want to be a part of it. I get phone calls and e-mails on a regular basis from people asking if we are hiring. That doesn't always mean that they're cut out for it, and I'm obviously not hiring all the time, but I appreciate the interest and always forward them an application to fill out and return so I can look it over once I do open up another hiring process.
The last time I put a help wanted ad on-line, I received over 110 applicants within 24 hours. Seriously. I had to take down the ad after one day because I got so many responses. It was extremely overwhelming having to sort through all of those applications and resumes, but eventually I found the perfect fit for the position.
There are no specific qualifications that will necessarily give you an edge when applying for this job, and no experience is necessary. Experience is helpful but that's understandably hard to come by. Once I think you'd be a good fit for the team, I would provide you with all the training you needed to be able to do the job safely and effectively.
The traits I look for when hiring a crime scene technician are (in no particular order):
Personality – I will not hire someone with a bad attitude or that would be incapable of communicating with a client in a professional manner. Not only will we have to work side by side for extended periods of time, but often times the clients are on the scenes with us, and I will not allow someone with a bad attitude ruin the reputation of my company.
Work Ethic – You must be dependable, punctual, motivated, and have an extraordinary attention to detail. When it comes to the crime scene clean-up business, Bio-One is the best. I am very proud of the work we do, and I insist on the best for our clients.
Physical Fitness – It may not seem like it, but the work can be very physically demanding. Just last week we cleaned up a suicide in an attic converted into a bedroom. It was very hot and there was no air conditioning. Even though we weren't doing anything necessarily physically demanding, when I took my bio-hazard suit off it looked like I had jumped in a swimming pool with my clothes on. We also complete many hoarding jobs, so we can be wearing bio-hazard suits for hours at a time while lifting refrigerators, couches, etc. If you are not in decent shape, you won't be able to do it.
Strong Stomach – This should be an obvious one. We work in blood, vomit, feces, urine, and any other body fluid you can think of. We come across spiders, roaches, mice, maggots, and other numerous insects and animals, both alive and skeletalized. It all smells as good as you can imagine. Typically, you either know if you could handle it or not. If you are applying for a job in this industry and you think you can handle it, I would have to think long and hard about hiring you.
Schedule – We are on call 24 ours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. My phone rings regularly in the middle of the night. Sometimes the job can wait until the morning, sometimes it can't. It's whatever the client needs. I understand things happen and all of my employees aren't available 100% of the time, but if you aren't available most of the time, I can't use you.
Pay – Again, this is an on-call business. The work is extremely streaky. Some weeks you will make lots of money, some weeks you will make zero. It's the nature of the business and you have to be prepared for that.
I should clarify that at the time that I am writing this blog, Bio-One is not currently looking to hire anyone. I am writing this in the hopes that I answer some questions for the curious.