Talk to any business owner and ask them what their biggest challenge is. If they’re honest, many will say finding and keeping good help. It’s true, good help can be hard to come by. The hiring process is really the lifeblood of your cleaning business. It really doesn’t matter how many clients you have, if you can’t serve them and control the quality they will not be your clients for long!
I admit, in my years of providing cleaning services in Albany and other areas, I have made some hiring mistakes, I have personally hired some of the ‘wrong people’. But what makes them the wrong fit and why did I hire them?
Well for starters you really don’t know how well someone will clean until they are working with you. Yes, you can check their references, background and so on, but until they are on board in and the field you won’t know.
The truth is, that I personally am not that great at hiring people, I can admit it. I try to let others do the hiring for me, my weakness is that I believe in people. When someone says “yes I want this job, I will do it and do it well” I believe them.
Then a few weeks later when the quality of their work is poor, they are not coachable or have an attitude I’m left scratching my head. Their references were good, their background was clean. It just wasn’t the right fit. So how do you fix it?
You cannot completely eliminate hiring the cleaning professionals, it happens in ALL businesses and organizations. I was talking with my pastor once and he told me of a period in time when he went through person after person for several church positions. It happens. Here’s our approach to the cleaning business:
When we hire a new person they cannot work alone for the first few weeks, they must be paired up with a senior employee or me to ensure they are properly trained. Then they are slowly given more responsibilities including cleaning independently.
If we hire a new person, train them for one night then send them on their own, we are asking for trouble. If that person screws up it’s our fault, not theirs. It takes a long time for someone to earn trust, new employees must continually be evaluated and mentored.
Here’s another painful truth: if you’ve hired the wrong person and you know it, set them free! As in fire them. The longer you wait the harder it will be and you will be doing them a disservice keeping them on. We always try to pull from our existing staff and network for referrals when we need new employees.
Even when someone comes experienced and highly recommended we still treat them the same. The commercial cleaning business has a bad reputation for high turnover and unmotivated employees. We work hard to beat this stereotype and have employed some excellent cleaning pros over the years!