In the heart of the cleaning industry, there’s a familiar narrative: a company’s ongoing struggle to recruit and retain the best talent for the long haul. 

Everyone in the home services industry can relate to how hard it is to hire and retain the people that keep the business running. 

Cleaning businesses frequently see high turnover rates, pouring more energy and capital into hiring than nurturing and keeping their skilled workers.

Most cleaning businesses solve this by keeping the talent tap on full blast year around. Meaning recruiting never stops, and we’re constantly interviewing. While constant hiring isn’t bad, these efforts miss the mark. 

It’s easier to get employees to stick around than it is to replace them when they leave. The question becomes, how do we keep people sticking around for the long term? 

At Tidy Casa, we have over 50 cleaners actively working with us. Some of which have been around since day one. We accomplish this by spending our energy nurturing the people we’ve got. Here are a few things Tidy Casa does to find and retain the right people. 

Hire The Right People: Fire The Wrong People 

It’s not uncommon for business owners to think the best employees will bring the less-than steller employees up. 

Ever consider that high performers won’t work with employees, not on their level? 

The truth is, it only takes a few less-than steller employees to get top talent looking elsewhere. 

Before discussing how to nurture great employees, there needs to be a company culture that supports top talent. Amazing unicorn employees won’t stick around if there are too many B-players. 

Retaining individuals who don’t align with our ethos and standards creates an imbalance that will burn out the best performers since they get saddled with the responsibility of picking up the slack for the underperformers. 

Avoiding these B-players is hard, given the home cleaning business attracts service-oriented good-natured people. We’re a haven for those with a genuine heart and a desire to serve. 

When we get these amazing people applying, it’s difficult to turn them down because we genuinely love the person they are. However, time teaches good-natured kindness and competence don’t go hand in hand. 

With any underperformers on the team, the workload of the top performers increases, morale decreases, and it doesn’t take long before a star player is lost for good. 

Hiring ONLY top performers isn’t just a luxury when it happens, it’s a must every time. 

Tidy Casa’s interviewing strategy focuses on the most essential core values. For Tidy Casa, it’s being honest, timely, and thorough. We look for these qualities when hiring. If potential candidates miss any of these qualities, they’ll never fit in, and we have to turn them away despite being great in other areas. 

After someone has been hired, listen to the employees on the ground. Our top-performing cleaners have an innate sense of identifying who’s a team player and who’s not. 

When a new cleaner joins the team, we pair them with our top talent. This helps build a sense of comradery and gives the business an opportunity for feedback on how the new cleaners perform in the real world. 

Using this pairing method for only one or two cleanings quickly teaches which candidate is cut out for the job. 

If they don’t have the values and work ethic we need, they must go ASAP. If not, Tidy Casa will lose the foundation to keep our best people on board. 

Be an Involved Leader

It’s a trope, but it becomes apparent early on. As leaders, we must lead from the front. Inspiring a team from the sidelines is impossible. 

This doesn’t mean go pick up a mop and bucket, what it does mean is that we need to be visible leaders who are involved and not just superficially present if we expect to cultivate respect. 

It’s important to show the team that the leader is committed to the company’s success and willing to work. 

When employees work overtime, they should look up and see their leader in the trenches, pushing the boundaries with them. 

That kind of leadership fosters loyalty and keeps employees wanting to continue to work hard and stick around. 

Even the perception that employees work more than the boss can make high performers want to walk. 

Build An Environment of Support

Beyond recruiting top-tier cleaners, it’s imperative to have an equally impressive support system in place. The backbone of any successful home cleaning business is the support staff. They are the unsung heroes who make the operations seamless and make cleaners feel heard. 

They handle unforeseen challenges, manage client interactions, and ensure our cleaners can focus on what they do best. 

One trait I prioritize in hiring for these roles is empathy. Being able to put themselves in both the cleaner’s and clients’ shoes ensures we maintain harmony and address concerns effectively.

100s of potential home cleaners have come into interviews telling stories of other companies they left because they were locked out of a house or had a misunderstanding with a client and didn’t have anyone to champion for them. 

The golden rule has never been more real. They’ll stick around and support us if we show them empathy and support back. Treat cleaning the way you’d want to be treated and hire people who will do the same. 

Make Everyone Feel Valued

At the core of this employee retention strategy is one simple principle: genuine care. 

It’s not limited to professional growth; it extends to their aspirations and well-being. At Tidy Casa, our approach to appreciation isn’t just about the occasional raise or bonus (although we have structured incentives in place). The trope “people don’t quit bad jobs, they quit bad bosses” has always been true. 

Showing empathy, understanding, and acknowledging the little things goes a long way to keeping people around. 

It might be as simple as pulling them aside and asking how their first week was, remembering a birthday card, or offering flexible hours during a personal crisis. 

When employees know they’re valued and respected, their worth extends beyond their job description. In return, they will invest more in their roles and the company.

In summary, pay attention to the company culture and the people in the company. Ensure that company culture respects, nurtures, and values every member. By balancing professionalism and personal care, we’ll retain our best talents and elevate businesses to unparalleled heights.

For more insights or to learn about Tidy Casa’s approach, always feel free to connect.

Ryan Knoll is the owner of Tidy Casa, a home cleaning and maid service in Phoenix,

Tucson, and Oro Valley, Arizona. For any house cleaning questions, visit their contact us