A lot of time and attention is spent on how to market for clients but often the plan of how to market for employees is an afterthought and this is a huge mistake. Often the real limit to how quickly your company can grow is not finding clients to clean for but rather finding enough quality people to do the work. However most companies will post the same single generic advertisement, or post a sign at their location, and then they are surprised by the lack of good candidates. Recruiting for your employees requires a marketing plan, just like marketing for clients. In the modern world, this usually means an online marketing plan. Below are the top 3 ways cleaning companies find quality employees online.
Craigslist is still the most popular and the launching place for most cleaning companies to find employees. The interface is very easy to use and it is very cost effective. The price varies by market and ranges from free to up to $50 per advertisement. The larger the market and the more site users, the higher the fees. If Craigslist charges a fee in your market, do not let that scare you away. Many readers tell us that they were annoyed at first when Craigslist introduced fees. But the change greatly reduced the number of competing advertisements. Businesses could post an advertisement much less frequently and get better results because their ad stayed on the top of the list longer.
For the best results make sure you have several photos of your people in the advertisement. Do not renew your advertisement. Instead, post a new one each time. When you renew an advertisement it removes the old advertisement and runs it again. The best practice is to copy and paste the text and run a new advertisement so you get the benefit of having both the old and the new listings. As potential employees skim the listings, they may miss your headline the first time, so being listed more than once is a benefit. Finally, target multiple categories. Rotating between General Labor, ETC, and Food/ Bev/ Hosp works best, since it allows you to hit different pools of potential labor.
The one major negative often sited with Craigslist is excessive competition, especially from the online players that post advertisements that some consider misleading. In major markets, companies like Handy, Task Rabbit, Uber, and Grub Hub will often run multiple advertisements per day in all the categories above promising "Up to $1,000 per week" and "Set your own schedule." The good news is that many job seekers are starting to catch on that these are not the great jobs they may sound like. Still, it can be hard to compete against a deluge of advertisements from larger companies.
Indeed is quickly becoming a favorite for cleaning companies, especially in markets where Craigslist has become less effective due to competition from the online players. Indeed works very differently than Craigslist.
One big advantage of Indeed is you can search the resumes of those are actively looking for a job and you can message them to apply for your position. This can be a great way to reach those who may not have considered working for a cleaning service at first. Once you explain the benefits, they may decide it is the perfect job for them. Searching for hotel housekeepers, CNAs, in-home care providers, and fast food employees can be a great way to send targeted messages to people with experience in all of these areas.
The fees for Indeed can get quite expensive if you do not have a good strategy. On other platforms where you pay per post, it may make sense to run a more generic advertisement like "Earn up to $650 per week" without saying you are a cleaning service. This can get people to read your advertisement, even if only 1% may actually apply. On Indeed you pay per click, so having click bait titles like this will cost you, because you pay for every person who looks at the advertisement. On Indeed, a better strategy is to clearly outline in the title the details of the position.
Preview the basic elements of Recruiting and Hiring by Liz Trotter>
There are two major strategies to recruiting on Facebook. The first is completely free. Join groups and promote your position within those groups. Here in Cincinnati, we have open groups with titles like "Cincinnati Jobs" and "Cincinnati Job Seekers" where you can post your advertisements completely for free, and those looking for jobs will join these groups. Other groups that work are community groups or garage sale groups. Community groups often have a specific day of the week where local businesses can post for employees. Garage sale groups will often let you post any topic you want.
The second strategy is to run a boosted post. If you have a Facebook page for your business, and you should, you can boost any post to appear in the news feed of your target markets for a very reasonable fee. You can target the exact geographies and demographics of those who will see your advertisements, such as women 25 - 50 years of age living in specific zip codes. The other benefit is that this form of advertisement can be shared. Often, a well-designed Facebook advertisement which is boosted will be shared in groups and on people’s personal pages, or users will tag their friends to make sure they will see the ads.
The key to either of these two approaches is making sure your advertisement has an easy to read image. If you look in your Facebook feed right now, you will see that all the promoted posts use images and not just text. This is because a boosted text-only post is not going to get the results you want. You do not need to be a graphic designer though. You can hire someone on Fiverr for as little as $5.00 to design your image for you. Also, make sure that less than 20% of the image contains text, or Facebook will reject the ad.
The biggest challenge on Facebook is time. Finding and posting in these free groups, designing your images, and targeting your ideal target market can all be very time consuming, but once you find the right formula it becomes a lot easier. Most of the time investment is up front.
Combining All Three
By using a combination of these three platforms you will be able to provide a steady stream of applicants to your cleaning company. Remember to mix them up and you may have to run 3-4 advertisements to really get the results you want. Just as a consumer sees your advertisement for cleaning several times, the same principle applies to recruiting employees. Often the best results come from using a combination of these platforms. By doing so, your future employees will see your message everywhere they go.
Derek Christian has been involved in the cleaning industry for more than 20 years and is an owner or investor in several cleaning companies including My Maid Service Dayton and Real World Services Columbus, and now he works as a sales and marketing consultant for Castle Keepers.