I am involved with several cleaning businesses spread across the country. In every case hiring is getting harder and harder over the last couple of years. While it is a challenging market, I find a large part of the problem is most owners do not spend nearly as much time on thinking about their hiring process as they do advertising for clients. Because our service is our people this really is a big mistake. Owners need to take a step back and think through each step of the hiring process.
- Your pay and benefits package - Is it competitive and attractive versus the other options? Many shop the competition for their prices but what about their pay and benefits?
- Your message - How do you sell yourself to future employees?
- Your means - How do you get in front of your target market?
- The application - How do they apply? How hard is it?
- The interview - What questions do you ask? What do you look for? How do you screen it?
- The sale - How do you sell them that you are place to work for during the interview? This is not a one way process. You are screening them but they are screening you too.
- The offer - How and when do you make the offer?
The Overlooked Step
Obviously there are a lot of parts to this process so I am not going to be able to cover them all in one article. However, one of the least discussed parts is part 7, the offer. I see several mistakes made here, first many people want to delay making an offer until a later date and time. They either want to make sure they have time to run background checks or they want to interview everyone then make a choice later. The problem is this is a competitive market. If you wait they are not going to wait to find out if they got the job, they are going to keep looking and they very well could get another offer. Second, if you have a good process you should be able to make a decision on each candidate on their own. In our company we score their answers to each interview question. Once they score enough points, they are going to get an offer. If we have 1 person all day we make one offer. If none of the candidates get enough points we make 0 offers. If 5 people qualify we make 5 offers. We are not willing to accept the best of bad choices. We have a set of criteria which we know nets a good employee and we are screening each person versus that criteria and making that judgment on the spot and making an offer at the end of the interview so we can lock them up so they stop looking for another job.
What about background checks and drug screenings?
I am sure some of you are wondering about the background check and drug screening. Yes, we do those and they are built into our process. At this point we pull out an offer letter and fill out the form. This letter includes them agreeing to a background check and drug screening as a contingency on the offer. However we get them a formal letter offering them a job and we agree on the day they are going to start, the starting pay, and more and we both sign it. I also think this offer letter is a selling point on our business. It makes them take this job more seriously. When I was hired by Procter & Gamble I was given an offer letter, I think our cleaners deserve the same thing. I believe it helps set the stage that we are something different.
Do you want a copy of an offer letter?
Now I was only able to touch on one point in this article. At our Spring Growth 2017
event we are going to devote an entire hour to all the steps in this process, and yes, we will also be giving you a copy of the offer letter we use.
Derek Christian is founder and owner of My Maid Service, Cincinnati’s largest, independent professional cleaning company. Prior to that, he spent twelve years at P&G working on household cleaning products. Derek is Co-publisher and Director of Business Development & Sales for Cleaning Business Today, and a partner in Cleaning Business Builders.