Dusting Up on Business
Tips for Hiring Employees in a Cleaning Business

The old adage "good help is hard to find" certainly applies when it comes to your cleaning business. Whether you run a janitorial, carpet cleaning, or building services company, it can be difficult to find employees who can do the hard work that your business specializes in.

If you need a pool of candidates, a good place to start is to…

  • Ask friends, business associates, and other people you trust if they know anyone interested in working for your business.
  • Post online job listings (e.g., on Monster.com or Craigslist).
  • Reach out through your social media pages to see if anyone is interested in applying.

When you have some prospective hires to choose from, be sure to…

  • Call references and pay for background checks for your top picks.
  • Prepare detailed questions for the interview.

One thing to keep in mind throughout the hiring process is that these situations are ripe for employment lawsuits. For instance, if you pass up a candidate because you find out she is pregnant, your small business can be sued for discrimination.

To keep your cleaning business on the straight and narrow, let's explore how to avoid these nasty legal battles and which insurance policies your business may need when you hire new employees.

How Cleaning Companies Can Avoid Discrimination Lawsuits

How Cleaning Companies Can Avoid Discrimination Lawsuits

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces anti-discrimination laws in the workplace. These laws make it illegal to treat workers differently because of their race, nationality, religion, sex, pregnancy status, veteran status, or genetic information. So if one of your employees feels they were passed up for a promotion because of their skin color, they can sue your company for discriminatory practices.

The EEOC recommends that small businesses do the following to avoid discrimination lawsuits:

  1. Consider diversified pools of candidates for promotions and job openings.
  2. Train managers in EEOC best practices.
  3. Create job-qualification standards and criteria that you consistently use to evaluate candidates and employees.
  4. Clearly define your organization's anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies so your employees have a way to express their concerns.
  5. Show managers how to handle complaints and possible cases of discrimination.

You may not always be able to prevent a discrimination lawsuit from happening. For example, you could be wrongly accused of discriminatory practices even though you go the extra mile to treat everyone fairly.

But even frivolous lawsuits can cost you time and money. That's why some small-business owners carry Employment Practices Liability Insurance (usually included as part of a Workers' Compensation Insurance policy) as a failsafe. This coverage pays for your legal defense fees and settlement or judgment costs when your business is caught in the crosshairs of a discrimination suit.

Which Cleaning Business Insurance Policies Need to Be Updated When I Hire New Employees?

Which Cleaning Business Insurance Policies Need to Be Updated When I Hire New Employees?

First and foremost, you'll need to update your Workers' Compensation Insurance. Simply contact your insurance agent to let them know about your new employees. Your agent will update your policy to reflect these changes.

Be aware that your premiums will probably increase because of the additional personnel. Workers' Comp policies are priced based on the kinds of employees you hire. A clerical worker (e.g., a secretary) has low risk, which means their coverage will cost less than a window washer who repels down the side of a skyscraper to squeegee windows.

Your surety bond covers liability for your whole business, so anyone working for your janitorial or cleaning company will be covered. However, you may need to expand your coverage if you hire a lot of employees, as these bonds are based on the size of your business. As you may already know, surety bonds insure your contracts, paying your clients back if your business is unable to finish a task (to learn more, read, "Should I Get a Surety Bond?").

If your cleaning services business needs a bond or Workers' Comp Insurance, submit an online cleaning insurance application.

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