How To Hire Employees For Your Cleaning Business

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    how to hire employees

    Is your cleaning business ready to grow? You may have been doing everything yourself up until now, but there’s a limit to how much work you can manage yourself. Focusing too much on the nuts and bolts of your business prevents you from devoting time to marketing and networking as an owner.

    If you find yourself struggling to keep up with demand, it may be time to hire your first employees. Doing this will free up the time and resources that you need to develop your cleaning business further.

     

    Why Hire Employees?

    As a business owner, your role is to develop and grow your business over time. Initially, this role requires doing most or all of the work yourself because you won’t have the money to even consider hiring employees.

    The initial stage is incredibly important, however, because it sets the personality and work ethic of your cleaning business and gives you a thorough understanding of how to interact with customers and handle the role. Without this understanding, you wouldn’t be able to manage employees let alone be able to coach them to excel in your business.

    There comes a point when you can’t handle the amount of work you’re doing or you’re being forced to refuse additional work because you don’t have the time to fit it in. Hiring employees can help to lighten the load and free up some of your time to spend on other tasks.

    Throughout the life of a successful business, the need to hire more staff won’t happen just once either. Growth is a good thing, and you will find yourself having to expand your workforce frequently when your business is doing well. But how do you go about finding the perfect employees to fill those spots?

     

    Determine Work Requirements

    The first step to hiring employees is actually determining what you need from them and what you expect them to do. You can’t look for anyone to fill the position until you have an actual position to fill, after all. If you don’t outline your work requirements properly you could find yourself getting few applicants or a high proportion of applicants who don’t understand what they’re applying for and aren’t a good match.

    Luckily, you’ve performed the applicant’s job role already. In a way, you’re hiring your own replacement so that you can spend more time managing the broader aspects of your business. You already have all the knowledge you need to create a clear and concise job description outline, and to use this outline to create job listings to find new employees.

    Think about what qualities your new employee should have to be successful. What do they need to be able to do each day? Employees with a driven and positive mindset are well suited to cleaning, and you should have a good idea of how not only to find signs of these qualities in your applicants but also drive the growth of your staff as a mentor.

    You will also need to outline the prospective work hours, pay rate, and any other conditions required for employment. Will your employees need their own transport to get to jobs? Do you require prior experience in the cleaning industry, or specialized knowledge about green cleaning or other methodologies?

    Ensure that you list all relevant information about the job role, your own requirements, and your workplace culture meticulously and you’ll be more likely to attract applicants who are a good fit for your business.

     

    How to Find Applicants

    Finding your prospective employees is almost as important as the interview process itself. How you look for employees helps to determine the type of applicants that will apply, as each method of attracting applicants yields slightly different results.

    Online advertising is typically the easiest method to find a lot of applicants quickly, because most people looking for jobs frequent online job searches. Using a service like Indeed.com can be a good way to tap into this market and find prospective employees to fill your position.

    While services like these are often free, you can choose to sponsor your job listing to give it increased visibility and improve your chances of attracting the best applicants. The cost of sponsorship is often based on how much interest your job listing receives up until a limit based on the budget you’ve set is reached.

    Take the cost as another reason to be as specific and meticulous as you can with the way that you phrase your job listing, because an ambiguous listing wastes your hard-earned money. Few methods of attracting a lot of attention are free, however, and even advertising in local newspapers can be expensive.

    Newspapers determine the cost of your advertisement based on the amount of space needed on the page, forcing you to minimize your listing if you want to reduce advertising costs. This runs contrary to what a good job listing actually requires. You shouldn’t reduce your listing’s detail down to the point that it doesn’t serve to describe the job you’re offering adequately, but you definitely need to try to be concise.

    If you have a cleaning business website, it can be a good idea to link to this for further details about your job and to save on advertising costs. Depending on how much traffic your website gets, you may also be able to use your website’s views as a way to attract potential employees too.

     

    Should You Use an Employment Agency?

    Employment agencies are another option for finding new employees for your cleaning business. Using an agency can be a costly decision though, as they are by far the costliest method of hiring.

    Employment agencies take a fee based on a percentage of the hired employee’s remuneration for a year. This fee is often anywhere from 15-30% of your new employee’s annual salary and likely won’t be an affordable way to find your first employees.

    It is an option to consider in the future as your cleaning business continues to grow, however. Agencies may be expensive, but they do tend to find higher-quality applicants and they are also better able to tap into the market of passive job seekers–talented employees who already have a job.

    It is also the least time-consuming method because the agency handles most of the hiring process for you. This can save you a lot of time, but it also gives you a little less input into the hiring procedure and less opportunity to get to know individual applicants and determine whether they mesh well with the culture you’re trying to build.

     

    Selecting Applicants for an Interview

    The next step after finding applicants is distilling that list down until you’re left with only the applicants you would like to interview and consider further. How many applicants you choose to interview is up to you and dependent on how many worthwhile applications you’ve received for the position.

    Remember though, each interview will take time to conduct, so it is important not to be too overzealous or you could waste a lot of time. While conducting more interviews helps to provide more opportunities to find the right person for the position, you should be looking for the ideal person for that position, not just the most ideal person out of everyone you interview.

    Before even interviewing anyone, you will likely already have a good idea of who is most likely to be the ideal person for the role based on their work experience, qualifications, and other criteria. The interview stage allows you to get to know their personality. Are they proactive? Are they friendly and respectful? More importantly, are they willing to be taught how to do things the way that you want?

    The ideal candidate to become your new employee is someone with the experience and dedication to providing efficient, wonderful cleaning services in the way that you expect it to be done. Interviewing simply tells you whether their experience and skillset can be molded into your work practices or whether they will be more likely to be set in their ways.

     

    Scheduling Interviews

    When you’re ready to start the interview process, you should try to conduct as many interviews as close together as possible. Conducting the bulk of your interviews together helps to keep each interview fresh in your mind and makes it easier to compare different applicants.

    If you have a lot of applicants to sort through, you may need to interview them over several days. If you can minimize the list down to just the best applicants and perform every interview on a single day it will give you the best comparison to work with. Be sure to set aside at least 30 minutes for each interview and try to coordinate times and dates with your applicants as conveniently as possible for both parties.

     

    Interview Questions

    If you’ve never conducted an interview before, you should look for a set of interview questions online and alter them to fit your needs. Question sets created by HR professionals are designed to give you the most information while also helping to create a friendly and conversational interview that will give you an accurate impression of the applicant’s personality.

    Many of these questions will be open-ended, and you should prioritize asking questions like these because they force applicants to open up and give you more information instead of a simple yes or no answer. Open questions not only tell you a lot more about the applicant’s work history, but also help to lower their guard and relax them so that they respond in a way that is natural and honest.

    You will want to ask several basic questions about their previous work history, past employers, and other general aspects of their application, but you should also tailor a good portion of the interview to your individual cleaning business. If your business mandates particular practices like green cleaning for certain clients, you need to be sure that the applicant understands these requirements and expresses an ability to conform to your needs.

     

    Contact References

    After you’ve completed the interview stage, this is the point at which you should contact the references listed by the applicants you’d like to hire for the position. You must narrow the list of applicants down to just a few now. If you can’t decide on a first choice yet, you can still use their references as a way to finish your selection process. Ideally, you should know who you want to hire at this point and the references are just the final formality.

    You should never be lax in checking the references of an applicant though, even if your intuition is telling you to hire someone. It’s important to look at who has been listed. Are they former employers or personal references? The best and most reliable references are an applicant’s former employers.

    Whoever was in charge of hiring or managing the applicant in their daily activities with the business is the ideal reference. Job applicants will often list someone of high rank but with no direct supervisory role over them if they think it will result in a better reference. You need to ask yourself why they haven’t listed their direct supervisor. It’s not always done out of malicious intent, but it is something to look into further if you notice it.

    Contact the references for your preferred applicants and ensure that you ask a few key questions about their work ethic. Most importantly, ask them whether they would hire the applicant again given the choice, as this question is best able to answer whether the reference values the applicant and considers them a great employee.

     

    Training

    Now that you’ve found the perfect new employees for your cleaning business, it’s important to give them a thorough orientation that will help them to develop into assets for your business. Employees who understand how to perform their job in the exact way that is expected of them are a joy to have, and it is up to you to foster this environment for them.

    A list of workplace and employee policies should be readily available to all employees of your business, and each employee should also have access to documentation that outlines their specific job requirements and business expectations. You should also take this opportunity to get some feedback from your clients on the first jobs that they complete for your business.

    How satisfied is the client? Are they happy to have the same employee perform their cleaning services in the future? These are questions that you need to ask to constantly evaluate the performance of your workforce and ensure that your business is being represented positively.

    While you don’t have to continue evaluating every single job once you’re satisfied, you should still be performing evaluations like this from time to time for all employees and in general as that is your role as owner and business developer. Knowing how your clients are being treated and whether they are receiving wonderful service is crucial to continuing to grow your business. It also helps you to continuously improve existing practices and services.

     

    Payroll and Tax Obligations

    Filling job positions with the correct applicants is an important part of the hiring process but also not the only thing you need to take care of when you add new employees to your cleaning business. Having employees also means that you need to have a good grasp of the payroll side of your business, and your tax obligations.

    Paying your employees incorrectly or not meeting tax obligations can easily result in your facing significant legal issues or even having the IRS crush your business in pursuit of what they’re owed. Meeting all your obligations is paramount to being an ethical business that can continue to expand in the future.

    You will likely need to hire a business accountant and buy payroll software like Mind Your Own Business (MYOB) to meet these obligations. An accountant is the best person to provide you with correct knowledge of your legal salary requirements, and how much tax you need to withhold for your employees. They can also ensure that you’re paying the right amount of unemployment tax and meeting all your other obligations.

     

    Continue to Grow

    New employees mark the beginning of a wonderful period of increased growth for your cleaning business. You can begin to take on more work and have much more leeway as an owner to focus on the broader operation and marketing of your growing business.

    It’s an exciting time and the next step is to continue improving in the future. If you work hard and ingrain that same great work ethic into all your employees, you can continue to attract new clients and turn your brand into the next household name.