I am in hire mode to get ready for our busy Spring window cleaning season. I have tried everything to find good employees, but I have probably hired 20-25 guys over the last 18 months, and only 1 lasted for more than 3 months. All the rest were fired or quit!
I tried Sid Graef’s suggestions about having the candidate call a number to follow specific simple directions. However, only a few people even call the number, and most of them hang up without leaving a message.
This is the one part of my business that I just can’t figure out. I’m 57 years old, and can’t continue working doing the hard labor forever. Can anyone offer some real solutions to my hiring problems?
I haven’t tried it personally but it was recommended by Josh Latimer- whenever you’re out and about your normal routine and you run into someone with great customer service give them a card and say you’re looking for talent etc. etc. Basically casual headhunting. May not be the best if you need employees tomorrow but definitely a good long term plan.
My part time assistant did not have the upper body strength nor the physical labor coordination of the many other male cleaners I have worked with but I hired her because she has a good work ethic and is reliable. That is more important to me because I can teach skill but I can’t teach work ethic and responsibility to an adult.
She has been a stay at home Mom for many years and wants to support her kids and get out of the house. My patience is paying off, she is improving her strength and proficiency. So, perhaps you should try hiring gals if you are struggling to find guys that are reliable.
Brian, yes I must say the only part of my job I do not like is the hiring and dealing with employees. I have been fortunate and over the years have had a few guys employed for many years but for the most part I’m always looking for one to two guys.
Employees is the main reason I don’t grow larger, three to four employees is all Im willing to take on.
Many window cleaning companies are seasonal, they have two to three months down time and that is a huge disadvantage in attracting people to hire.
Funny you should say that. I just listened to that podcast a week ago and that was what I was trying to get at, but you beat me to it. You hire employees for who they are as a person. Food servers, people in hospitality are good bets. If you happen to find one who’s a window cleaner, that’s considered a plus! Loyalty is VERY important, too. I think paying on a commission scale is helping us provide some sort of ownership to the business, if not just creating more motivation to work hard and get stuff done. Makes them feel like they are part of something instead of working for something.
putting out a card in a small shop window “part time helper wanted call blah blah” works well for me . you need 2 parttimers ,not 1 fulltimer . make sure you have a notepad handy to jot down every callers details . be sure to make every effort to be friendly when they call,i travel the same day to their home to meet the first caller,dont give them a chance to waver
My best employee was a girl/woman. 19yrs old Very hard worker and did what she was told to. She would not wavier from how I wanted things done. NEVER. After the 2nd year I sent her out with a helper and she would complain all the time about their work ethic. I also went through many people. In fact I shut the doors because of it. I think it might have been Chris who told me, you have to accept that you will lose close to 10% of your base because of complaints. But you have to decide if you want to own a job or own a business? Its crazy hard. I would say employees are the hardest part of any business. I never found a replacement for the girl who was working for me. At 26 she had two kids and did not have the time. I was starting people out at $15 per hour thinking the Bernie sanders route. People deserve a good living. But Sanders is wrong. Because people will just take advantage of you. They believe that they are worth $15 per hour, not understanding your overhead and what they need to produce for the company to be profitable. They don’t care if you don’t bring in business. They expect their check every week. They don’t care if you get call backs cause fact is they don’t plan on cleaning windows like you for the rest of their lives. As I start up again, I’m lucky and will have a retirement income. The window cleaning will only be to keep me from losing my mind. I will not be heading out for any job under $500. But one thing is 100%, I will not try to grow the business and hire people. People can talk a good game, but once you put them to work it’s a different story.