Hiring is the single, most common challenge I hear from other house cleaning companies. After all, finding the right people is everything in the cleaning industry along with most industries. They are the ones that can determine if you have happy or unsatisfied customers, if you have 5-star or 1-star ratings online, if you succeed or fail. Therefore, hiring is one of the most important aspects of running a successful maid service. Finding the right professional home cleaners is one of the reasons why I have been able to grow Dallas Maids to a million-dollar company.
I’ve previously shared briefly how we hire cleaners. However, I thought to go more in-depth and share with you some more of our secrets on finding top talent.
When hiring cleaners there are few things you should consider when seeking house cleaner applicants. At Dallas Maids we look for candidates that have 1) stable work history, 2) a good work ethic, and 3) a good heart.
We want workers that will be with Dallas Maids for years to come. Therefore, we look at their job stability; we want people that have stayed at their job for years, not weeks. So, if there is any sign they are job hoppers, then they are out.
Having your cleaners with you for years is important for several reasons. First, your clients form relationships with your workers. They become part of their family. Second, they learn how to clean the home. Every home has a cleaning learning curve. Surmounting that curve allows your cleaners to maintain, even increase quality. Third, turnover is expensive. It is much cheaper to pay your performers above average pay and treat them with respect than to have a revolving door. Finally, low turnover equals less headache because you have long term employees providing superior service for their clients while you not wasting time on constantly hiring.
Good Work Ethic
Good work ethic goes without saying. You need your people to go above and beyond to make their customers happy. On a side note, I highly recommend for you to base your cleaner’s pay on their performance. We use feedback from our customers along with other factors to determine bonuses per pay period, raises, and choice of jobs. So this pay by performance in conjunctions with hiring the right people will make you the most award winning maid service in your city.
In addition to looking for a good work ethic, you must look for a good heart. You can’t hire one without the other! Especially in the house cleaning industry where your customers are entrusting you with their biggest investment; their home. At Dallas Maids, we take great pride in our people who all are good souls. Not only does it uplift the energy among the co-workers and in the office, our customers do not need to worry about things missing – theft is not an issue at Dallas Maids!
Job stability, good work ethic, and a good heart; these are the factors we prize. On the flip side there are things we try to avoid when hiring. First, never hire under pressure. It’s best to lose business then gain the wrong worker. Second, never hire a person that has cleaned for themselves because they will be more likely to poach your customers. Third, never hire “down and out” folks. It’s a sign they have an inability to keep their life together, much less their job. Finally, and I repeat, never hire job hoppers!
WHERE TO LOOK
Where you choose to place your job classifieds will be determined by your locations as each city has various mediums unique to the city. The trick is to place classified ads in every medium you can find and determine which medium is most effective. Once you find the most effective medium that produces the best candidates then throw most of your money into advertising there. For example, in Dallas after trying a plethora of mediums we found Univision, the local Spanish TV station, ads they place during the news hour on TV brought in ton of calls from solid, cleaning applicants. So, this has been our go to for years. Though once you find the optimal medium to place job classifieds, don’t stop testing other sources. Things change, new mediums appear or other mediums gain in popularity. Test. Test. Test. Keep testing for the best mediums.
Good people tend to know other good people. So, take advantage of that! Offer a referral fee for your current employees if they refer a job candidate. At Dallas Maids we offer our cleaners a $300.00 referral fee if someone they recommend was hired and had been at our cleaning service for 6 months. Not only is this a great way to find great cleaners, it’s a way to reward your people and avoid the headache of trying to find quality people yourself.
Wherever we find the candidates, we ensure to indicate in the job ad the salary along with a few requirements such as owning a car, having a driver license and auto insurance. We also include a phone number where they can call for a quick phone interview. Knowing we will have hundreds of candidates calling in, we choose a phone number other than our main line because that line needs to be clear for clients. Otherwise its total chaos. You may want to consider hiring a virtual worker to field the calls (along with many of your other routine tasks).
The purpose of Dallas Maids’ phone call is to find ANY reason NOT to hire. The short, 5 minute interview consists with all our deal breaker questions. The most common deal breaker questions are at the top because we want to end the call as soon as possible if this is not a good match for the job candidate. Why waster their (and your) time?
Approximately 4% make it through the phone interview and receive an invitation for an in-office interview. If they make the cut, make sure you tell them why… they need to know why they are a great candidate and why you would love to have a chance to work with them.
An office interview is a chance to get to know the candidate on a more personal level. From Dallas Maids’ hiring procedures: “The personal interview should have a more relax style; more conversational. You want the candidate to be more relaxed so they can open up and tell you more about themselves. The starter questions you will use to help the applicant talk about themselves are called “behavioral based” questions. You will pose questions or situations and ask the applicant to describe how they would act or react in that situation. During the response, you are listening for how the applicant has “behaved” in the past and making some judgments about how this past behavioral pattern will probably play out in a future job with Dallas Maids.”
You have what seems to be the perfect job applicant. But one crucial factor is not knowing how will they actually perform on the job until you hire them… so before you hire them as an employee, have them go out with one of your teams on what we at Dallas Maids call an “Audition”. We pay them for the day as an independent contractor so one of our top cleaning teams can evaluate their performance. This is incredibly insightful into their potential. It also has lessened our training period from 1 to 2 weeks to 1 to 3 days while increasing retention (because we won’t have to let them go if they turn out not talented for the job).
Some candidates won’t make the cut. If they have made it to the Office Interview or the In-Field Interview and don’t make it, they deserve a letter notifying them. Being denied a job is incredibly hard. So, ensure the letter should include positives. Here is a sample of what we use:
[Dallas Maids’ letterhead]
Dear [Applicant’s name],
Thank you for interviewing with me [Day of interview] for the Professional House Cleaner position. I’m sorry to inform you that another candidate was chosen.
Selecting a final candidate was especially difficult because of the number of well qualified candidates that applied. Our choice in no way reflects upon your excellent skills and abilities. Indeed, you had [Insert genuine compliments about the applicant here]. Unfortunately, there was only one position available.
Again, thank you again for your interest in Dallas Maids. Best wishes for a successful job search.
[Interviewer’s printed name]
It’s a given to check professional references and criminal background. But also evaluate their personality by having them complete a DISC assessment. As mentioned earlier, you want cleaners with a good heart, not only a good work ethic. At our cleaning company we use the Orion Survey by The Steering Group. These surveys provides insights such as how the candidate will get along with their peers, management, how hard they will work and – very important – the chance they may steal from your clients.
This is the general overview Dallas Maids finds award-winning cleaners. Hope this helps you with your hiring process and finding qualified candidates for your home cleaning business. Though the process does not stop here. You will need to develop a robust training program and periodical performance evaluations. Ensure the pay and rewards are based upon performance because you want to keep your best people.
Finally, if I could sum up our entire hiring process, we look for two things: a good work ethic and a good heart. You can’t have one without the other!