Building A Team
One of the most important things you can do whether you are building a cleaning company or any other type of business is to grow a great team.
Below is an outline of how to recruit the best team members you can for your cleaning business taking them through application to starting them on sites and the dangers to look out for.
Where to post the job
You have to view the people applying for jobs the same way you look at clients. They are prospects and just like with prospects you have to sell them the opportunity to come work with you. You do this at every stage of the recruitment process.
The first step is to make a plan of what you are looking for in your prospects
How quickly do you need to recruit? This determines how aggressive you need to be with recruitment. You should never find yourself in a position when you instantly need to find staff however this can occasionally happen, equally, if an employee can start tomorrow this should also be a red flag and you need to ask questions about why they don’t currently have a job.
Always try and have continual recruitment going so that you always have a good stream of applications coming in.
Most cleaners will be earning somewhere around minimum wage therefore it’s important to have a look at the location that the applicants are applying from and you are recruiting. For example, if you have a role come up on the edge of your town or city but you adverts always advertise the town center you might just be recruiting for the wrong location, be very clear on the exact location you are trying to recruit for.
Just like when you are advertising for clients when you are recruiting for team members you have to be visible, there’s no point putting one job advert out in one location you have to be visible, try to have the job advert out in at least 5 or 6 locations to give you the best opportunity to find the best member of staff.
Make sure you keep track of the applications, I have heard of cleaning companies who have had some great applications come through but didn’t have the hours or it was the wrong location for them at the moment so couldn’t take them on, but only a few weeks later had a great opportunity but couldn’t find their details. We have a tracker that we use for every application however in the simplest form have at least a notepad to keep the details of all the best applications that come through.
Write a job description
When writing a job description the idea is to catch the eye of the applicant and start to sell them the opportunity. This starts with the job headline, this will be the first thing they see. This is what will make them want to click on the link and get more information.
Try to make a shortlist of the big 3 aspects for example –
Experienced Commercial Cleaner needed for high-end office in Bristol
Domestic Cleaner for long term client
Once the applicant clicks through the first thing they read is going to be a summary of the role and the business, this is your opportunity to really sell yourselves as a company and employer. This needs to sell the positives, try and keep it to around 50 words.
The next section is going to outline the experience the application needs. As everyone who has ever employed a cleaner knows there is a difference between all types of cleaners, domestic, commercial, school, industrial, etc therefore this is your opportunity to set out what experience is needed. What area of cleaning is the role? do they need experience? try to keep this as 3-5 points, if there is anything else you can talk to them about it during the interview process.
Occasionally you may have special demands for the role, if so, make sure you clearly lay them out as you don’t want anyone to apply who can’t fulfill the special demands that you may have or the client needs.
The final paragraph is to outline in detail the duties and responsibilities of the role. We do this so far down the end because the applicant needs to go through all the other sections so if they can’t fulfill the special demands or they don’t have the experience then they will have left the page before they ever get concerned about the detail of the role and what would be expected of them.
With the whole job description, it should be about 250 -500 words outlining the 5 different sections to give you the best possible opportunity to find the best candidates for you.
Once you have your applications intake a bit of time and start to work through them and decide based on the roles criteria who you are going to invite to a job interview, if you are going to do this over the phone book it in doesn’t just call them and expect them to be available to talk with, if they have another job you may have to catch them on their break or have the call in the evening.
When you do get on the phone with them, make sure you introduce yourself, who are you, whats your roles how long has the business been running, etc don’t just plow in with the interview questions, the idea is to make them feel comfortable so that they are able to give the best answers possible and you don’t miss out on a great applicant because they get nervous.
The way we make the applicant comfortable is to start with small talk, about the weather, hobbies, etc. People love to talk about themselves so you will probably find that a few minutes after you have started the conversation will just start to flow, once the conversation has started to flow you will want to move onto the information gathering section.
Be clear on the information you want to gather, this is usually previous experience, availability, etc but you will know what information you want, never be afraid to press if the applicant says something that doesn’t feel right to you, trust your gut usually, it’s correct, if your gut is telling you to cut the call short then there isn’t much point in moving onto the next section so end the call there and then.
Now is time for the formal questioning, every job advert should have formal questions. these are situational questions. It’s easy to find a list of questions to ask using a simple google search, keep a list of them so you can ask all the applicants the same questions and compare the answers.
Once you have been through all the interview process you should have a clear idea of if you want to bring the applicant onboard. Make sure they can tick the boxes and you aren’t recruiting because you need someone because you are short-staffed. This is why it’s important to always have the adverts out, generally speaking, rushed recruitment is wrong recruitment. But if you are all happy, make them an offer to join your team.
Once you make the offer get the important details out the way such as final pay offer, when are they able to start, where they need to be etc the last thing you want is to expect them to start then find out that they have a 4 or 6 week notice period.
The job offer doesn’t have to be a big deal, it’s a simple phone call. Do this before sending out any letters make sure they want the job, we do this with a phone call so that the applicant has the opportunity to say no if they wish.
Once the offer has been accepted then get a formal offer out to this can be done off a template, write it once and use it multiple times. Change the important details and send them by post or email. This gives the applicant reassurance of what needs to be done so it’s an important step.
Once you have done this a few times you are able to speed up the process, you’ll have all the questions you need outlines and the templates written so you’ll just have to change a few bits.
As soon as the job has been accepted it’s time to start onboarding the team member, you should have contracts all ready to go so start to send these out as well as all the details they need on the first day.
From this moment on you want the new team member to be happy to communicate, therefore promote good communication. You want to make sure that if the team member decides not to turn up on the first day, gets a better offer or just decides it’s not for them then you want them to let you know in plenty of time. Equally, communication goes both ways, if the team member isn’t due to start for another few weeks then it’s important to make sure you stay in contact with them with regular emails and calls.
The idea is to make the team member feel like part of the team long before they actually start with you. You want to create a team feeling and can easily achieve this by open communication, this also means that once they start and have been trained they won’t be afraid to give you a call and ask any questions they may have to deliver the best service possible.
Make sure before they start working alone they get trained and you or a trained member of your team start working with them to make sure they know what is expected of them. The obvious next comment and the one most people like to hear is that at this stage occasionally it doesn’t work out and at that stage, you have to make a hard decision, to keep the team member and struggle through or to get rid of them and start again.
Either way, never keep a member of staff for no other reason than you need help, keep them because they will add value to your business, team, and clients.