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How to take the guesswork out of hiring for your cleaning business

September 24, 2022 in Hiring

Last Updated on November 3, 2022 by The ZenMaid Team

The following article is based on a presentation by Dominique Demond Williams at the 2021 Maid Summit, hosted and organized by ZenMaid. Dominique is the founder and CEO of HireWho, and founder and CEO of C&C Cleaning Services. 

Dominique Williams started C&C Cleaning Services straight out of high school. Like many business owners, he soon realized he would need to master hiring in order to become successful. 

In the decade since launching, Dominique has hired hundreds of people and refined a hiring process that has helped propel his company to seven figures a year. 

For many business owners, hiring is often a guessing game because decisions are based on emotions and feelings, says Dominique. His process takes the emotion out of hiring by focusing on data. Read on to learn how it works.

Step 1: Define your ideal employee

Before posting a job ad, figure out the characteristics of your ideal candidates. If you don’t know where to start, list all of your employees. Then identify the ones who stand out and outperform the others based on criteria that matters most to you. 

What makes them stand out? For instance: Do they make clients happy? Do they show up to work with the most positive attitude? Are they always punctual? Do they have the most experience?

Sometimes, your best employees have similar preferences. For instance, Dominique discovered his best employees only want to work three to four days a week. They have a break in the middle of the week or work Monday through Thursday. 

Create a list of characteristics, traits, and preferences that your best employees share, or want your job candidates to have. Then use this list to guide how you write your job ad and interview questions. 

Step 2: Create a detailed hiring process

Your hiring process should be the same each time, with as many automated steps as possible. It’s easier to hire if you can focus on the candidate, not the process. Here are the steps in Dominique’s hiring process:

  1. Post your job listing.

Manually post your listing on the various job websites or automate posting with software like HireWho.

  1. Applicant completes the application on a job website.

Although applicants will apply on an external website, they’ll eventually land on your company’s website. Design your website’s career page to appeal and attract your ideal candidate. Include information about your company culture and why they’d want to work for your company. Include videos of current employees explaining what they like about their jobs.

  1. Screen and filter applicants.

After applicants complete their applications, send additional questions such as: Do they have a valid driver’s license? Do they have access to a reliable vehicle? Add any questions you’ve developed based on your ideal candidate characteristics and preferences. 

Based on their answers, candidates will either pass or fail. There’s no in between. If they pass, they’ll move on to the next stage. If they don’t, send them an automated email, thank them for their time, and let them know you’re moving forward with other candidates.

  1. Send an assessment.

Next, you’ll send a more personalized assessment that will give you deeper insight about the applicant. 

This assessment will ask them open-ended questions about what they would do in situations they’re likely to encounter on the job. You can also ask them questions like, “What would you do if you got a flat tire on the way to work?” or “How do you define a bad day?” 

Aim for 10 to 15 questions. Avoid questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no.” Grade their answers based on a scale of 1 to 10, and decide on a minimum score for them to move on to the next stage. 

  1. Send a text and email.

Send candidates an automated text message or email that starts a conversation with the request, “Please, tell us about yourself.”

  1. Review responses.

When you review the answers to the “Tell us about yourself” request, look for keywords that match up to your ideal candidate and your job ad, and signs that they might be a good (or bad) fit for your company culture. 

  1. Send an invitation for an interview.

Send an automated text message or email to candidates you’d like to meet for an interview. Include a link to your calendar so they can select a day and time. Once they schedule an interview, send them details about where to meet and anything they should bring with them.

  1. Conduct the interview.

While many businesses conduct interviews on Zoom, Dominique prefers in-person interviews. Either way, ask questions that are based on the ideal candidate profile that you created.

  1. Conduct a background check.

Conduct background checks on candidates you’d like to hire. To keep the process moving, give candidates a deadline for completing their part of this step. Send them all information and reminders via text message and email. Ideally, you would have given the applicant notice during the interview that this would be the next step. 

  1.  Send a job offer

If the applicant passes the background check, send them a job offer and begin the onboarding process

Step 3: Review your retention rates

Your recruiting and hiring process is time wasted if you can’t keep the people you hire

To prevent employees from quitting, create an easy way for employees to give you feedback. This will help you become aware of issues that may cause employees to quit if not addressed. Don’t think of feedback as criticism but as opportunities to make improvements that will help you keep employees longer. These improvements may also help you attract new employees. 

Here are two simple ways to get employee feedback:

  • Send surveys monthly or quarterly. Let employees know the survey is coming and that you value their feedback. Automate this step with software like Survey Monkey. If you need a low-tech approach, place suggestion boxes in various locations.
  • Conduct exit interviews with employees who quit. The goal is to find out if there are issues that you can fix to prevent more employees from quitting for the same reason. These interviews can be in person or you can send them a link to an online form. 

Keep the hiring and feedback process going

Once you’ve developed a simple, automated, and repeatable process and begin to see success in your hiring and retention, don’t stop or slow down the process. It’s a good idea to always have a list of qualified and interested people you can call when openings suddenly arise. This will save you time, money, and prevent disruptions or delays for your clients. 

For more tips on how to take the guesswork out of hiring to grow your maid service business, watch Dominique’s full talk below:

Learn more:

For more resources on how to grow and perfect your cleaning business, check out the replays from the 2021 Maid Summit, hosted by ZenMaid. The summit featured more than 60 presentations from other maid service owners who shared tools and strategies to help you achieve the highest levels of success in your business. 

If you found this article helpful for your maid service, you may also like:

ZenMaid

About the author: Amar is the founder and CEO of ZenMaid Software, Inc (www.zenmaid.com). He previously started and ran Fast Friendly Spotless, a maid service in Orange County, CA. With the help of customized software to automate work he successfully operated the service in under 30 minutes per day. His goal with the maid service software at ZenMaid is to help other maid service owners do the same.

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