Hiring and Retaining Great Employees Can Actually be FUN!
In today’s podcast/blog Mike shares his wisdom on hiring cleaning staff with Todd Haddock, president of AHI Facility Services. AHI has been going through a period of rapid growth. As they expand into new states, finding and retaining top tier cleaning staff to keep up with the demand has become a bigger struggle.
Hiring cleaning staff is always a hot topic of discussion among Cleaning Nation and Mike’s coaching clients.
We often hear “Should I be on Facebook or should I be in (fill in the black with any outlet you can imagine)”?, but that’s the wrong question. When hiring cleaning staff is adopt a philosophy that asks ” What can we offer to our prospective employees (or customers) that would be compelling to the right people and repelling to the wrong ones”?
You can have a terrible ad in Indeed and get terrible response and you can put a fantastic add out in Craigslist and have tremendous response.
KEY POINT: When hiring cleaning staff, it’s not all about the money!
A big mistake that many owners make when hiring cleaning staff is thinking they have to pay their people more to get the “good” employees. Aside from that being just flat out wrong in most cases, they begin to see their employees as just another commodity. Thinking “I’m not going to learn their name until they’ve been there for at least 3 weeks.” is not uncommon.
If they leave, you will just replace them with another warm body. What most people don’t realize is there’s a flip side to this coin. Those employees see your company and their job as a commodity as well! This leads to a lot of churn and burn within your teams.
You are just another crappy $10/hr job to them and if and when things get inconvenient, hard or maybe they just drank a little too much the night before, they no call/no show, leaving you to scramble to fill the spot with someone else you hire out of desperation.
In order to put an end to that cycle, change the paradigm of “You give me an hour of your time and I give you $10 American dollars.” Offer an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves and join a community of people of like-minded people.
KEY POINT: The power of belonging = the key to hiring success
Take a look at the network marketing folks. Mike loves studying them because what they are offering is a tough sell yet they manage to recruit new people all the time. They ask people to do a ton of work, sell to their friends and family and do a lot of uncomfortable things. Most of them make absolutely no money at all, yet they still manage to get new people excited to join every day.
They do it is by offering a community and a culture that isn’t offered anywhere else. Annual galas where top members are recognized, new members welcomed and high achievers are lifted up like rockstars!
When hiring cleaning staff you have to sell your prospective employees on an opportunity to be a part of a community, a culture. Core Values is the way you build that culture and community.
RESOURCE ALERT: Check out this episode on Core Values
Apple is a great example of how a company’s core values can inspire millions of people and create a culture that top talent flocks to. Customers will drive by 19 best buys and pay thousands of dollars more for their products because they believe in the product and want to be identified as part of this community. Apple has no problem hiring, because their core values are so attractive, prospective employees are coming to them in droves.
For the last 10 years Mike’s core values have been Have Fun, Be Real, Make Money and Help Out.
Those core values were loud and clear in all his hiring ads, advertising and woven throughout the day to day business operations. The people that were super professional and thought having fun at work was stupid would never apply to work for him. He wouldn’t even have to weed them out because they were repelled by the verbiage used in his hiring ad.
People that didn’t like teamwork, helping out and were selfish, would feel uncomfortable really early on in the hiring process.Even if they did sneak through the hiring process, the community would make them feel so out of place they would quickly wander off. The people who really did share those core values felt a tremendous benefit to being able to be themselves at work and were passionate and excited to come to work every day.
KEY POINT: Hire for attitude – you are not hiring a neurosurgeon
If you need brain surgery, of course you would want the best neurosurgeon you could find. Sure, you would want them to have similar beliefs around what happens if crucial decision making has to happen while you are under. But first and foremost you want to hire the most qualified and highly trained neurosurgeon possible. Thankfully, we are not hiring neurosurgeons, we’re hiring cleaning staff.
Hire people who share your core values. Train them to clean. Don’t hire someone who already knows to clean and try to to convince them to adopt your core values.
Now that we have the philosophical down, let’s talk tactical!
It all starts with your hiring ads.
Everyone out there says the same thing
- Need valid driver’s license
- Looking for opportunity?
- Easy hours, Good pay, we will train you,
There are thousands of ads on Indeed and job boards that say the same boring thing.
Instead, consider using verbiage like:
- Tired of not feeling loved at work?
- Want something different?
- Have a driver’s license, not afraid of hard work?
- Honest as the day is long? We need to talk!
- Call right now, part time opportunity
Have a clear call to action in your ad. Tell them what you want to do and how. “Call now, 555-555-5555” Prospective employees that are interested will know what to do right away and the wrong people will pass immediately.
Once you have the ad down, have a clear interview process.
Every company is a little different, and you might already have a hiring process, but for those of you who don’t, here’s something to get you started.
Start with a 5 min interview and go over the basics.. “Can you pass a drug test, do you have a driver’s license, are you able to work here..etc…” These are quick, yes or no quesitons and are meant to cut out the obvious bad fits and save you time in the long run.
Next up is a group Interview.
RESOURCE ALERT: Check out this episode for an in depth discussion on Group Interviews
If they pass the group interview, move on to a one on one interview. The final interview should be demonstrating their ability to clean.
You don’t have to have that exact system but you should have a system in place.
KEY POINT:Your core values should be clear throughout the entire hiring process
So how to keep those employees once you have them? If you have hired people based on your core values, the best way to keep those people around is virtually FREE!
- Making them feel special
Consider something as simple as calling a few of your employees on your drive home and recognizing their hard work. Tell them you are thankful they are a part of your team and thank them for the work they do.
Have monthly parties, encourage your employees to bring friends and family along. This is what builds a strong community.
Here are some other great ideas to get your juices flowing:
- Give awards like “Best looking wife, ugliest car, most likely to stink up the bathroom”, the more fun the better
- Have management in dunk tanks and let the employees try to dunk them
- Fooseball tournaments and Basketball tournaments
When you have fun events like these for your employees and encourage them to bring their friends along, finding more great talent becomes much easier.
KEY POINT: A great resource of great employees are your current great employees
Creating an environment where people feel like they belong and love being a part of is much more motivating than a paycheck. You might even find yourself enjoying coming into work a little more too.
Sadly, like all good things, today’s episode must come to an end, but not without Todd sharing his experience and wisdom in the…
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? Learning the people that work in your industry and being a part of them and working side by side with them in the trenches
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the cleaning business? Trying to expand into other states and multiple cities too fast
What one thing Cleaning Nation can do today to improve their lives or their business? Just remember that building relationships with your customers can offer more opportunities for work within that building
We know that Cleaning Nation owners are always hiring cleaning staff and would love for it to finally be fun and easy! We LOVE hearing from you, so ask a question in the comment box below- Mike answers every one of them…