In the cleaning industry, trust is the cornerstone of your client relationships. Above all, you need to inspire confidence in your customers that the cleaners you send to their homes will not only be trustworthy and hardworking, but also amicable and committed to ensuring their satisfaction. Knowing how to find, hire, and retain skilled individuals who possess a can-do attitude and an impeccable work ethic is a crucial skill for a maid service owner or manager, and one of the most important aspects of building a profitable cleaning business.

In a recent interview with Mel Kleiman, he challenged listeners to take on a different perspective, saying “The fact of the matter is, you are not in the house cleaning business, you are in the staffing business, and I think you’ve got to recognize that.” Mel is the founder and president of Humetrics, where he has been helping companies recruit, select, and retain their employees since its founding in 1976. He continued to say, “As we become better at staffing… most of us don’t have a difficult time getting customers. If you have quality people to clean houses, you have no problem getting quality customers who want you to clean their houses. So you have to look at your business that way. I think if you change that perspective, you’re already ahead of most of the competition.” Mel is one of the nation’s leading experts on frontline employee hiring and retention, and he is urging business owners to change their perspective and put their focus on hiring and retaining great employees.

“In today’s competitive world, why would an A player want to join your team?” This is a question Mel posed and is important to consider. To obtain quality employees, you must also know how to advertise yourself and your company to your candidates. Throughout the interview process, it can be easy to get lost in the desire to be sold; when searching for the right candidate for a position, it’s only natural to want to be convinced that the person in front of you is the right person for the job, but it’s often forgotten that it needs to go both ways. Not only do you want to be convinced that this would be the right hire for your company, but the candidate in front of you needs to understand why your company is also the best fit for them. When a company remembers to advertise what sets them apart, and how the potential hire will benefit from working there, they are even more likely to hire and retain the right person for the position as it is now mutually beneficial.

Another pointer that Mel provides is to ask honesty questions in your interview. One of his favorite questions to ask in an interview is “What’s the worst trouble you’ve ever been in?” He also urges interviewers to remember this line: “I understand that’s a very difficult question. Take as much time as you need to think about it.” It’s important to give yourself permission to stay silent, and it also gives the interviewee permission to think about the question. As the interviewer, giving yourself permission to stay silent is important because it eliminates the need to fill the silence by helping the candidate find an answer; this statement is equally as beneficial to the candidate being interviewed as they now have relieved some pressure to answer quickly, now understanding they have time to consider their response before speaking. By asking honesty questions, providing time to think about it, and then asking a follow-up question for a second answer, which Mel states is often the answer that truly matters, one can more easily determine the right hire for their team.

When you consider the above, you are more likely to find the right person for the position you are looking to fill. Remember, don’t hesitate to change your perspective, and recognize your business as a staffing business first and foremost, because when you hire honest, trustworthy, hardworking people, you will obtain dependable clients who stick with you. To hear more from Mel Kleiman about hiring and retaining the right people for your business, watch the video at the top of this article. To hear the full interview, search “Smart Business Moves” anywhere you listen to Podcasts and find Episode 11.