The Dirt (on Cleaning)

7 Things to Keep in Mind When It’s Time to Hire

7 Things to Keep in Mind When It’s Time to Hire

Tuesday, May 26, 2015/Categories: Cleaning Business Insurance, Starting a Cleaning Business

When your cleaning business is just starting out, hiring employees may be the furthest thing from your mind. But once your venture gets some traction, chances are you're going to need help if you want to keep up with the demand.

You may not realize that the people you end up hiring will shape your business, its culture, and how others see your cleaning services. In other words, it's not something you want to take lightly or do on a whim.

So how can you make sure you hire the right people for the job? These seven pointers can help.

1. Think about how your role will change.

When you're mired down in the grind of daily work, you don't have much time to think about where your business is headed and how to get there. Ideally, your new cleaning team should handle the smaller, day-to-day work so you're free to handle the big picture stuff, such as business strategy and management decisions.

Put differently: hire people to do the lowest-paying jobs so you can spend time on the long-term, costlier work. After all, someone has to be the captain of the ship if your business is going to chart its course to glory.

2. Ask for recommendations from people you trust.

Your employees represent your cleaning business. Do you want just anyone acting in that role?

In order to find a candidate you can trust to represent your business the way you intend, you need a pool of candidates. Your best bet is to ask friends, family, and business associates if they know anyone who might be interested in working for your cleaning business. You can also try reaching out to people on social media to gauge interest and get recommendations. For more on that, read "Tips for Hiring Employees in a Cleaning Business."

3. Hire people whose abilities complement yours.

It takes a team with diverse skills and talents to take your cleaning business to the next level. Instead of hiring someone with your exact skill set, look for someone whose physical capabilities or business savvy can fill in the gaps. For example, you might try to find a cleaner who can also help manage your books or hire someone who can handle exterior window washing.

4. Look for the right attitude, not necessarily the right résumé.

This may be a harder aspect to evaluate, whereas you can call up previous employers to vouch for someone's past work. However, experience isn't the only worthwhile measure of a compatible employee. You can train people to do certain tasks, but you can't train them to have a good worth ethic, for example. Hire someone who shares your business's values so they will embody those attitudes in their work.

5. Get an employment agreement in writing.

This isn't just a legal formality. Employment contracts can help you establish expectations for your employees and clarify their duties. It can also help mitigate potential problems down the road, especially if you have to let someone go.

Be sure the employment agreement clearly defines…

  • What work duties the candidate agrees to take on.
  • How work should be completed.
  • Compensation, benefits, and work leave.
  • Grounds for termination.
  • The type of employment relationship (e.g., contractor or employee).

Remember, the contract isn't legally binding until both parties agree to the terms and sign the document.

6. Know your Workers' Comp needs.

Most states require you to carry Workers' Compensation Insurance as soon as you hire your first employee. The laws vary from place to place, but you don't want to be caught off guard. Failure to carry the mandated amount of Workers' Comp coverage can result in big fines. To see what your state has on the books, check out the guide Workers' Compensation Laws by State on insureon's main site.

7. Consider hiring contractors or subcontractors.

In some situations, hiring contractors or subcontractors to fill occasional gaps may make sense. For example, it may be more cost effective to contract with an accountant for your bookkeeping and taxes if you only need help a couple times a year.

However, be careful not to misclassify a cleaning employee as a contractor. If someone does regular work for your business and their duties are essential to keeping the business running, they are probably an employee and are entitled to the benefits of that classification (e.g., Workers' Comp, withheld taxes, etc.).

For more hiring tips, check out Entrepreneur's article "What to Look for When Hiring Your First Employees."


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