How to Hire Cleaning Staff That Work
In today’s podcast/ blog, Mike coaches owner of Eco Green Cleaning Services, Andres Higuera. Andres has been getting a lot of applicants and wants to know how to streamline the hiring process. More specifically, he wants to know how to hire cleaning staff using group interviews.
RESOURCE ALERT: Want more? Click HERE for a free podcast on how to hire cleaning staff
Before we talk about how to hire cleaning staff using group interviews, lets talk about how to look at hiring. Owners of cleaning companies typically fall into two categories:
- All staffed up- we’re good!
- Alert the press- it’s an emergency and we need somebody NOW!
Any of you who have been hiring cleaning staff for any amount of time know that we are going to lose people on a regular basis. The problem is, we act surprised when we do lose someone and are typically totally unprepared.
We need someone now, but hiring a good cleaner can take days if not weeks. So we settle. We hire the first person that says yes and set ourselves up for another hiring emergency.
KEY POINT: We know that people quit. Have a plan to hire cleaning staff- don’t get taken by surprise
Shift from the two modes above (all staffed up and emergency) to implementing systems that bring a constant flow of qualified cleaning prospects. But what if I get more good prospects than I can actually hire? That is a good problem to have my friend.
Even if you are “fully stocked “and don’t need to hire cleaning staff, what happens if your dream employee prospect walks through the door? Might it make sense to replace your worst cleaner with new and improved? No? Even if you have nothing but “A” players, wouldn’t it make sense to have a list of potential “A” players to call when you need someone instead of starting from scratch in emergency mode?
KEY POINT- Having too much good talent wanting to work with you is NOT a problem
Once the mindset is right, group interviews can stream line the process of hiring cleaning staff. The group interview actually starts with an effective ad. So many help wanted ads are totally vanilla. They all read the same.
When you advertise for cleaning staff, start with your Core Values. This allows your ad to attract the ideal prospects that share your most important beliefs and repel those who don’t. Make sure you have a single, clear call to action.
RESOURCE ALERT: Learn more about attracting the right employees to you with your Core Values in THIS podcast
Once you have a strong ad, you need to have a plan in place to handle the inquires. Most owners that don’t know how to hire cleaning staff have calls and emails go to them directly. They get overwhelmed and the process breaks down. Often they don’t even respond to everyone.
Ideally, the owner would not be dealing with prospective employees at this stage. Create 2 or 3 quick questions that eliminate people who are obviously not a fit. Provide these questions along with acceptable and unacceptable answers to a supervisor or cleaner that you pay a little extra to handle the first wave of inquires.
KEY POINT: Have a process to handle applications from your hiring ad
These conversations should be 3-5 minutes long and are there to eliminate people who don’t meet your minimum standards. Those who aren’t disqualified immediately are invited to a group interview.
The group interview should be weekly or every other week depending on how many inquires you are getting. It should be at the same time and day so everyone knows when it is happening. Good employees have a simple process to follow if they want to refer friends or family. Send them to the group interview.
In addition to streamlining the process for initial contact for applicants and giving employees a way to refer candidates, group interviews save time. You may be familiar with setting up four or five interviews over a couple day span only to manage reschedules, no shows and people showing up who you immediately recognize as not a fit. Group interviews collapses all of this into 90 minutes/ week. No fuss, no muss.
You can gather valuable information, before, during and after the interview. Before the interview, pay attention to:
- Do they show up early? On time? Late
- Are they dressed indicating this is an important interview to them?
- How do they interact with the other candidates? Do they seem like good team members?
During the interview you will ask each candidate 1-3 questions from a master list of 10-12 questions. Base these questions on your Core Values. Focus on if they will be good team members and Core Values matches not on cleaning experience.
KEY POINT: Hire for attitude, train for skill
For example, you wouldn’t ask “How do you feel about teamwork?” because everyone is going to say “Teamwork is the best, I am a huge fan!”. Ask a question that will give you insight into their true feelings about teamwork. Perhaps something like “What do you do if you show up to a job and your partner isn’t there?”
In addition to having prepared questions, you want to have an answer key. What you are looking for as well as what kinds of answers you aren’t looking for. This will allow you to outsource the group interviews to a supervisor and still maintain consistency.
Once you have identified the best prospects in the group interview setting, you can invite them to a 1 on 1 interview. The key is to get good at communicating your Core Values and identifying candidates that share them.
Before we end the blog, we give Andres the opportunity to share his wisdom in the…
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Never give up
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the cleaning business?
Being to slow to fire.
What one thing Cleaning Nation can do today to improve their lives or their business?
Have better communication with your clients.
We know that Cleaning Nation is full of successful cleaning business owners and we LOVE hearing from you. Ask a question in the comment box below- Mike answers every one of them…