A guide to hiring good cleaning for your company
One of the biggest challenges that cleaning companies face is hiring the right people and motivating them to stay. Whether you’re starting a new cleaning company or you’ve gone through the hiring process before, you know that it can be an overwhelming and often frustrating process. The challenges can become even more daunting and complex with no-shows or new hires who decide to leave after a week. Restarting the hiring process then becomes costly, time-consuming, and can be the reason a cleaning company doesn’t grow.
Out of our years in the cleaning industry and as janitors ourselves, we’ve come to know what retains team members and how to spot a good employee during the interview process. Below is a guide to help you recruit the right candidate.
Schedule a phone interview
No-shows for an in-person interview are time-consuming, especially if it happens often. To help prevent this, we recommend scheduling a phone interview to narrow down your choices and shave off some time. This allows you to ask the first set of questions and get a feel of how serious the candidate is about the job. Some preliminary questions we recommend include:
- What are some of your previous cleaning experiences?
- What types and uses of cleaning equipment are you familiar with?
- Are you comfortable working as a team with other cleaners?
- What motivates you to stay in the cleaning industry?
Look for certain ‘soft’ qualities
Any person with previous cleaning experience can answer: ‘What tools do janitors use?” and list common cleaning equipment in Calgary, but the right person will have a set of what’s considered ‘soft’ skills that sets them apart from other applicants. Cleaners need to be self-motivated, independent, committed to the job and have a sense of loyalty to their clients. Some of the questions that can draw out these answers are:
- What do you feel is the most important part of your job?
- Can you walk me through a typical cleaning shift?
- What do you do if you need to clean when customers are around?
- Can you give me an example of a time an issue came up and how you handled it?
Create a strategy to retain team members
There’s a saying that goes, ‘Employees don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.’ If finding and retaining good employees were simply the case of good interview questions and screening process, then every employee would be happy and motivated to stay from the get-go. However, that’s not the case. The difference between successful cleaning companies and those that have trouble holding on to their employees is often the strategy that’s in place to keep team members happy and productive.
Besides getting the right cleaning equipment and tools that janitors need to get the job done well, some of the most successful cleaning companies:
- Provide health benefits or good work/life balance – A surprising statistic amongst cleaning staff is that money is not the biggest motivator for them to stay, but rather a benefits package or a good work/life balance approach. When employees feel that the company they work for takes care of them and their family with benefits, they are more likely to stay. Additionally, consider flexible hours for solo employees (as long as the employee gets the job done and done properly) to allow for greater work/life balance.
- Empower their employees – Team members who feel trusted and empowered to make the right decisions are often happier, more invested in the company, and have a sense of pride in their job. Autonomy is one of the most powerful aspects of keeping employees engaged and committed. An example of this is providing the cleaning staff with a budget where they can make the important decisions of ordering the cleaning supplies they need or trusting them with the hiring process of other staff members.
- Establishing a connection between cleaners and the clients – Some cleaning companies choose to keep interactions between their cleaning staff and clients separate. However, the more staff gets to know the client, the more they will feel a sense of loyalty to them and care about keeping their facilities clean. Establishing a connection with the client should be a part of your customer service philosophy, as it’s beneficial for everyone.
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