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How to Find the Best Cleaning Employees
"Kit... we now have 3 excellent employees, and thanks to your system, finding them was easy. Currently my time commitment to this business is about 15 hours per week; I clean one small building right after my job, and 3 nights per week I spend about an hour a night supervising and inspecting my employees' work. We hired employees almost immediately after we started getting business, it appears that I will soon be able to give my own nightly cleaning to an employee, and I will do nothing but supervise... I have a message for those who are looking at this opportunity; Go for it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain! Anthony A., Newton, MA*
Being able to "duplicate" yourself is one of the best things about this business. As of this writing in 2015, my people put in a total of about 550 hours a night, compared to my 2 or 3 (and often zero) hours a day.
But for years, I struggled with finding the right people -- in the very beginning it seemed like I hired every "wrong" person in Seattle -- I did get better at it, but it was still the toughest problem when it came to building my business and making it truly dependable, for myself and for my customers.
And then I got incredibly lucky and in 1984 I met "John" at a wedding reception -- my wife had known him since grade school -- so we spent most of the reception with him and his wife at the same table and getting to know each other -- and it turned out that he was an interviewer in the human-resources department at Nordstrom. I told him I'd always had problems finding good people, and he volunteered to sit down with me on a Saturday and help me out. I offered to pay him, but he said a pizza was good!
I was really excited to hear what John had to say because he was a pro at finding some of the best customer-service people in the world -- Nordstrom.
John looked at how I found employees, and said we needed to throw most of it out and build it from the ground up -- he said that I was making it far too easy for just anyone and everyone to apply for a job, which was wasting a lot of my time, and that I wasn't asking the right questions.
So we built a new ad, a new job description, a new application form, and a new interview process -- I've tweaked it and added to it a hundred times over the years, and today it's a much more sophisticated, "corporate-style" system than what other janitorial services use.
You get all of this in the Employees system.
Firstly, I don't let anyone else in my company interview and hire people -- mainly because I always want to know who's working for me. We pay our people more than most other cleaning services, we train them better, we supervise them better, and we give them the support they need to make it a good source of income -- and because of this we have an extremely low turn-over in employees, and it makes our business dependable.
We recently had a spot open up because one of our people was moving out of the area -- and here's how the "find a new employee" process went:
When I'm talking to applicants, I also jot down "grades" on their applications -- the grades are A, B, C, and "No Way". I keep the A's and B's, and the C's and No-Way's get filed away.
We put our ad in Craigslist -- the ad tells all about the job, and gives a link to our online application (which you also get with the System).
People saw our ad, they clicked on the link, printed the application, filled it out by hand, and faxed it to us. The reason we have them do it this way is because:
(1) If they go through the process of printing it, filling it out by hand and going to a fax machine, it means they're serious about a job -- this takes time and effort, and it's a good first sign.
(2) The application form asks all the usual questions of course, but it also asks a lot of "essay" questions, and you can get a very good idea as to their situation, their qualifications, why they need this type of work, and yes, you also get a good idea of their general intelligence and communication skills.
The application form, when printed, is 4 pages long, asks 65 questions, and usually takes most people at least 45 minutes to complete -- this is another test as to how much they really want a job.
We got 24 applications faxed to us within 4 days -- I looked them over and picked out 8 people that I wanted to call.
We also got a few applications emailed to us, even though the ad and the application form both say, "Please do not email this application - it will not be opened and you will not be considered for a job".
Those people failed that test, and we never even opened their emails. They were OUT -- if they couldn't follow our instructions on the application, how then would they follow our instructions on the job??
I spent about 5 minutes on the phone with each person, and I made notes on their applications as we talked.
I picked 5 people that I wanted to interview in person, and made appointments with them for that next Saturday, each appointment 20 minutes apart. I interview at a McDonald's just a couple of miles away from my home - it's a public place, and it's a safe place to meet.
4 people showed up for their appointments on time, and one didn't show up at all -- (I call that a successful interview, too, because people who don't show up automatically become "No Ways"!).
Two of them were definitely "A's", the 3rd one was a "B", and the 4th one turned out to be a "C". I told everyone that I would call them within a couple of days and let them know my decision.
By the way, every time I interview a group of people, at least a couple of them say something like, "I've never seen an application like yours, anywhere!"
The one I picked is a 23-year-old college student -- he lives only 2 miles away from the building; he played football in high-school and is in excellent physical shape; he isn't taking so many classes that the part-time cleaning job will cut into his homework (and his homework won't cut into his time for the job); he owns his own car; and he said be able to stay with us until he's finished with college -- 3 more years. He's turned out to be a great employee, and he's also the type of guy we would consider making a supervisor.
My entire time-commitment to find him, from start to finish, was under 3 hours.
That's how to find the best people -- and it (easily) allows you to build your business into something that both you and your customers can depend on.This is also another sales tool -- when your tell your prospects how you find employees, they'll have a lot more confidence in your business than in your competition.
You can find great people, too -- they're out there, and they want to work for you -- just follow the pre-built steps in the JanQuest System.
Click here for "What You Get"
Note: If you live in Western Washington State, or own a janitorial service in Western Washington State, or if you plan to establish a janitorial business in Western Washington State, or if you are a franchisor or franchisee doing business anywhere in North America, or if you operate or plan to operate a business that sells business products or services such as my company does, no matter where that business may be located, I'm sorry, but this package is not available to you. I tell so much about my own cleaning business in this package that I would be creating my own competition if I let you use this information. The purchase agreement spells this out very clearly, and violating that agreement will result in legal actions.
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