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How to hire the right employees for your cleaning business

You’ve put everything you have into your cleaning business, and it’s finally paying off. Business is booming, and the obvious next step is to hire cleaning business employees.

Hiring the right cleaning employees is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Whether you need help to keep up with client requests or want to free up time to work on long-term projects, adding team members is an excellent option for small business owners. Here’s how to do it.

1) Discover what your small business needs

A small business owner should always have a plan. Part of that plan is to have the right small business insurance and know whether they need employees for their company.

After all, you can’t tackle every task in your business. You have a lot to manage—from running day-to-day operations to overseeing company goals.

Roles to consider for your small business

Hiring an employee can help. But first, complete a small business health checklist and consider what your small business needs:

  • Cleaning staff
  • Administrative assistant
  • Office manager
  • Marketing and sales staff
  • Customer service representative
  • Bookkeeper

The type of role you hire depends on the kind of help you need. Each position plays a specific part in making your business a success—know what you’re looking for before you go out to find a candidate.

Part-time vs. full-time vs. independent contractor

Many types of employees exist, and part of the hiring process is deciding which would best serve your business. For example, you must consider if a part-time, full-time, or contract employee is suitable for the role:

  • Part-time employees typically work less than 8 hours per day or 32 hours per week.
  • Full-time employees generally work 32 hours or more per week and receive benefits like health insurance, 401(k) account, or vacation time.
  • Independent contractors are usually best for short-term projects or a specific skill set that a company needs for help with a project.

If you’re in the early stages of starting a cleaning business, you might not be ready for the financial commitment of hiring a full-time staff—a part-time employee or contractor might best suit your needs.

The role you’re hiring for is also a factor. For example, suppose you’re hiring your first employee in Georgia. In that case, you might first outsource your bookkeeping to an independent contractor or hire a part-time team member to assist with client cleaning jobs.

However, a full-time employee can take your business to the next level. If your business is ready for it, hiring a full-time cleaner can free up time for you to focus on key projects and plan long-term goals. It can also provide stability—full-timers typically stick around for a while, so you may not need to hire a replacement in the near future.

2) Write a job description that attracts the best candidates

To attract the best employees, you need a well-written job description. A job description is the first impression that people will have of your cleaning company, so it needs to be clear and accurate to attract the right person.

What to include in a job posting

Your job posting should summarize the responsibilities, activities, and qualifications for a role. The key is to include enough information so candidates understand what you’re looking for, such as:

  • The company's profile and values
  • The job title and cleaning service duties
  • What skills this position requires
  • What cleaning experience this position requires
  • Employment type (full-time, part-time, contract)
  • Salary or hourly pay range

You might hesitate to publish the starting salary or hourly pay rate of the position. Withholding the information can give you more negotiating power, but it can deter candidates from applying. According to the Society for Human Resources Management, 70% of job seekers say salary is the most important part of a job description.

But you don’t want your posting to be too long, either—short job posts of 300 words or less attract 8.4% more applicants than longer descriptions, according to LinkedIn.

How to write a job description

A well-written job description can help set you apart from the millions of other job ads out there—and it starts with the job title. According to a 2020 Indeed survey, 36% of job seekers search by job title when looking for new employment.

Your job title should be clear and concise. For example, “cleaner” might seem like a good choice, but you’re better off opting for something more descriptive like commercial cleaner, housekeeper, or residential cleaning crew member.

Consider the job tasks you want the new hire to do. For example, if you’re hiring your first employee in California for your cleaning business, you could start by listing the tasks that are already being performed. You might also research job postings from other companies in the cleaning industry to determine the experience, skills, and abilities your job description can include.

Monster has sample job descriptions to use as inspiration if you’re not sure where to start.

Where to advertise your cleaning job

Hiring staff for your cleaning business can feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be.The key is to be smart about how you go about hiring cleaners. There are a few ways that you can do this:

  • Ask current employees for referrals
  • Reach out to your network for referrals
  • Post the job on your company’s social media pages
  • Advertise on a job posting site like Indeed, Monster, or ZipRecruiter
  • List the opening in Craigslist or your local newspaper

Even if you’re hiring for a local position, posting your hiring ad online can be crucial to finding the right applicants. A Pew Research study found that 79% of job seekers go online when looking for new employment opportunities.

3) Screen candidates for essential qualities and skills

You’ve gone through the work of creating a well-written job posting to attract your ideal candidate. But there’s no guarantee the applicants match the description of who you’re most likely to hire.

Screening applicants for a position is one of the biggest challenges to hiring, but there are steps you can take to make it easier:

Review applications

When reviewing applications, start by defining your priorities for hiring a new employee. For example, if you’re hiring your first employee in Texas, which do you care about more: Skills, experience, or personality traits? Depending on your priorities, there are various ways you can look for potential candidates and filter them out accordingly.

You can start by sorting the applications and arrange them into 3 separate categories:

  • Perfect match
  • Somewhat of a match
  • Not-at-all a match

This will help you narrow down your choices for the best cleaners as you proceed through the next steps of the hiring process.

Set up initial interviews or screenings

Many cleaning business owners do phone or video interviews as an initial screening. Contact your applicants to set up a time for a quick discussion. It can save time and allow you to learn more about their skills and qualifications.

Ideally, you’ll be able to trim your list to include only the applicants with the right skills and know-how.

The interview

The job interview is your chance to sit down one-on-one with your potential new hires. It’s an excellent opportunity to review your top applicants’ skills, qualifications, experience, and personality traits. Here are some tips for a successful interview:

  • Review the resume and phone screen notes beforehand
  • Ask open-ended interview questions
  • Take notes
  • Know that some topics are off-limits (age, race, gender, religion)

Check references

Checking references is a vital step in the hiring process. It’s a great way to see what potential employees might be like if they get hired—you’ll get a better idea of how an applicant will act in the workplace and their strengths and weaknesses.

Second interview

A second interview is an optional step when hiring employees. If you’re struggling to make a decision, meeting again with your top contenders can help you find the best employees for your maid service, commercial cleaning, or house cleaning business.

4) Comply with legal and recordkeeping requirements

Once you find the perfect employee for your cleaning business, you must follow the steps to comply with legal and recordkeeping requirements. For example, you may need to buy cleaning insurance or a workers’ compensation policy. You may also need:

  • An Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS
  • A method to handle payroll and employment taxes
  • A signed non-disclosure agreement from your employee
  • A Form W-4 and I-9 from your employee

A process to track and store records can help you stay organized and in compliance with requirements. You may choose any recordkeeping system that fits your business. However, keep in mind that you must keep employment tax records for at least 4 years.

5) Train and onboard new employees effectively

After you've decided on an individual or team that matches your needs, make sure that you onboard them effectively.

It is a great responsibility to welcome someone new to your team. It is not only an opportunity for that person to learn more about the company and their role, but it is also an opportunity for you to learn more about them so that you can help them get settled and be a valuable member of the team.

The best thing you can do is to include the new hire in the process rather than telling them what they need to do. You should make your new team members aware of the culture, the company goals, and what they will be doing daily.

Take time out of your day—even just 10 minutes—and walk them through their workspace, introduce them to other staff, and answer any questions they may have.
When you make onboarding a priority, it will help your new cleaning business employees grow within your company and keep them happy with their work for years to come.

Congratulations on hiring your new employee! Now you can get back to doing what you do best: Running your business.

But first, make sure you have the proper liability protection in place. You’ll likely want a small business insurance policy to safeguard your company and workers’ comp insurance to protect against employee injury claims. Contact Huckleberry for a free, no-obligation quote. It takes just 5 minutes, and everything is conveniently online.

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