Try these 6 easy steps to hire cleaners for your maid service

March 19, 2020 in Hiring & Training

Last Updated on August 24, 2023 by The ZenMaid Team

There’s a lot that goes into hiring cleaners for your maid service. When you’re starting the process from ground level, it’s overwhelming! We see a lot of business owners stressed to the point where they’ll either put off hiring altogether, or jump into hiring someone who’s not a good fit for the job. (And sometimes, a little bit of both.)

Luckily for you, finding new hires isn’t so stressful when you know the right steps to take. In this article, we’re giving you Pamela Washington’s six easy steps to hire new cleaners, stress-free!

Sound good? Let’s get started. 

What to do BEFORE you start the hiring process

To prep you for each step, consider these factors before you start the hiring process:

Systems: Take a look at the systems that you have in place. Systems aren’t fancy, complicated things that you need to add to your day. In fact, they’re quite the opposite — they’re any type of repeatable process that you can share and delegate to provide predictable results.

Systems are proven ways to save you stress, time, energy, and money. We take systems pretty seriously over here at ZenMaid. Check out our step-by-step guide to systems and automation. 

Core Values: Before you take the plunge, it’s important to do some self-reflection. 

Ask yourself – What are my core values? Do I want security, or do I want safety? Is high quality the most important thing to me? Are care and compassion how I want to serve my clients? Or, do I want to place value on how I customize my work?

Before you hire, decide what core values you want and then stick to four or less. If you choose ten core values then you’ll find yourself a little overwhelmed. 

Craft a great Help Wanted ad and post it everywhere: Use the core values that you select to craft a help wanted ad that fits with your business’s overall goal. While you obviously need to include the type of person you’re looking for, you also need to highlight what YOU bring to the table. Top-notch employees are attracted to top-notch businesses.

Show your candidates —

  • What you have to offer
  • What makes you the most attractive employer on the scene
  • Your benefits package (dental, medical, retirement, PTO, flexible schedule, etc.)
  • Your caring and respectful work culture

Need some more guidance on your company’s culture? You might like this article: How to Create a Company Culture People Want to Work For

Post those ads of yours… EVERYWHERE. This isn’t a desperate attempt of yours; it’s smart. Try Craigslist, Facebook, community groups, your local chamber of commerce, newspapers, and hiring websites. 

And even though much of our lives are run through our mobile devices these days, don’t forget that people still want face-to-face interaction. Spend a few hours at charities and job fairs to look for your future employees.  

Hire for Character: We can’t stress this one enough. If you’ve been in the cleaning business for five years or just a few months then you know that this needs to be at the top of your list!

You can train someone for skill, but you can’t change someone’s character. 

With these few preparatory steps in place, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running when you need to hire!

Step #1: Decide who to invite to an interview

After you put your help wanted ad on every platform you can think of, you’ll probably start to receive lots of applications!

Let’s say you receive 100 applications. That’s great! But you’re probably not in the market to hire that many people. So, you need to sift through the applications and determine who has something to offer.

For instance, consider, who has a car? Who can work on the days that I need them? Who speaks the language of our clients?

Go through the 100 applications and filter out the good applicants from the sub-par ones. Try to narrow it down to no more than 20 or 30 people. (Even less if you can!)

Step #2: Conduct initial interviews and score your applicants

This first part is a bit more flexible. You can set up your interviews in a number of ways that work for you. You can text them with a time, date, and place for an interview or use a scheduling app.

Scheduling apps are a great way to automate your business. They are simple to set up and don’t take a lot of time or management on your part. 

Once you have the interview scheduled, you’ll have the chance to really dig deep and get to know the person in front of you. Do this initial interview through application screening, job fairs or a quick phone call. This part is typically more informal than what you would think of as a normal interview. Here are things to look out for:

  • Does this person have the bare minimum requirements?
  • Do they have a service mentality?
  • Do they have a job history that shows that they’re a stable worker?
  • How much money do they need to make?
  • Do they have certain hours/days that they are available?

These are a few simple questions that you need to answer before you can decide if the candidate in front of you meets your basic requirements. If the candidate meets your basic requirements, then you’re ready to dive a little deeper with them.

  • What’s your goal in life, and how can we help you achieve it? 
  • Where do you want to be in five years, career-wise?
  • What’s important to you in a job?

Make sure that there are no surprises either way. They’ve told you quite a bit about themselves and deserve to know exactly what their workday would look like with your business. Give them the good, the bad, and the ugly; give them full disclosure. 

The cleaning industry may pay well, but it can come with some hard physical labor and long days. You want to weed out the applicants who can’t handle this before the first official interview. 

Record your notes: When you interview someone — whether you simply screen their application, call them, or briefly meet them at a job fair — it is imperative that you take notes to look over later.

Use a simple scoring system that makes sense to you so that you can fairly and consistently rank the candidates. For instance, do they rank excellent, good, fair, or poor? 

Step #3: Invite candidates to a follow-up interview

This is basically the first hurdle (besides the application) that you set in front of a candidate. You’ve already told the person what is required of them on the job.

Now, your applicants have a chance to sleep on it, think it over, and decide if your cleaning business is a good fit for them. 

If they want to follow through, then put the ball in their court. Tell them an exact time frame that you want to hear from them and see if they are reliable, organized, and can follow directions. 

Say something like,  If you’re still interested in the position, please email me or send me a text between 8 am and noon this Friday.

If the candidate calls you at 1 pm the following Monday then you know that they are disorganized and can’t follow directions. This is a quick elimination for you.

Step #4: The in-person interview

This is the fun part! You get to sit face-to-face with a person and get to know them on an even deeper level than the initial interview. Here, ask them a few personal questions:

  • Tell me about a time when you were in a situation, and a customer wasn’t pleased. How did you turn the situation around?
  • Tell me about a time when you had a supervisor who was unfair or unrealistic. What were the circumstances? How did you handle it? What was the outcome? What did you learn from this experience?

This in-person interview is a chance to get to know a person’s behavior, how their mind works, and how they demonstrate their character in their daily duties.

Once again, score your applicant and take notes! You’ll thank us later.

Step: #5: Invite the candidates for a second follow-up

Toward the end of the in-person interview, especially if you think that this person is a good candidate, say something like this: 

I loved our interview today and you seem like a great candidate. Go home, think about what we talked about. Review it, sleep on it, and if you want to join our team, call me tomorrow between 8 am and noon!

Sound familiar? The point is to create a vetting process that is repeatable, predictable, and structured. 

If you’re not impressed by a candidate and you know that you don’t want this person on your team, say: Thank you for your time today. If we make you an offer, we’ll be in touch with you within the next five days. 

Step #6: Rank your candidates, compare their scores, and make an offer

This is the last step where you take a final look at all of your candidates, add up their scores, and rank them. 

You’ll notice that some people are better with the initial phone call while others may excel in the in-person interview.

Next steps

Many cleaning service owners hire out of desperation and then end up wasting time on the back end dealing with complaints, disciplinary actions, firing people, retaining people —- and the list goes on. Instead, use this proven six-step method to save yourself some time and hassle!

You and your maid service deserve a little peace and quiet. Try ZenMaid for free today!

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

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. 

To hear Pam Washington’s full talk from the Maid Summit, click here.

About the presenter

Pamela Washington started her cleaning business in Las Vegas NV in 1993. After almost 20 years of award-winning success and millions of dollars in commercial and residential revenues, she opened her coaching business in 2011. In 2018, Pam moved out of the U.S. to become an international nomad, running her cleaning service (and coaching) business from her laptop as she travels the world. Pamela recently retired from commercial cleaning.


This talk first aired at the 2019 Maid Service Success Summit.

The Maid Summit is an annual online event that brings together the most successful leaders in the cleaning industry, like Debbie Sardone, Angela Brown, Courtney Wisely, Amy Caris, Chris Schwab and more. Get free access to masterclasses and workshops that will help you to grow, scale and automate your cleaning business so you can get more leads and create more profit. Make sure you’re on our email list to find out how to get free tickets to the next event.


Amar is the founder and CEO of ZenMaid Software, Inc. He 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. He created ZenMaid scheduling software to help other maid service owners do the same.

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