Window Cleaning Season is Here and I Can't Find Employees!

I’ve done everything I know to do to find some good employees for our Spring season. I’ve posted multiple times on Indeed and Craigslist. I have contacted local churches. I have posted with Ziprecruiter. I have increased my starting wage to $13 for training and then $14 afterwards.

This weekend I lined up 3 people for interviews, and all 3 flaked out.

Do any of you have the magic potion?

Some of you guys employee many people. How in the world did you get them?!

It seems like young people just don’t want to work. Window cleaning is not easy. There is effort and work involved. I’m tired at the end of the day. But, hey, I’m 57 years old, and I can still outwork the 22 year olds that I hire. Is it just me, or is there a trend in the young people not just having a solid work ethic?

I need to figure this out and fast! Soon, we will have $1,500 to $2,000 of work every day, and I only have one other employee. There’s no way the two of us can get it all done.

Any ideas?


Learn Spanish and hire immigrants.


Sorry to hear what you are going through. Years ago when I was in Tae Kwon Do, our 5th degree black belt Korean instructor said “Americans are lazy.” He taught me at an early age, the importance of hard work. Now that I am older, I see what he meant by that statement. Not all Americans are lazy, but there are a lot of people that have no desire to work. They just want to know if they get paid every Fri or every other Fri.

Hopefully someone can steer you in the right direction. There are some incredible business owners on this forum that have success with employees. From what I have heard, it is a numbers game.

Keep us posted on your success!

1 Like

Hey Kelly,

Question, in your travels this past week who was someone outstanding to you? Offer them a job. Im telling you, this may be your best bet. It worked for me. Two people, two interviews, two orientation days in the field, one part time employee.

Something is not working and i know you dont have time to be wasting on no shows.

Reevaluate your strategies. Brainstorm with someone you respect and trust. Problem solve.

You know all of your circumstances best. Trust your instincts. If someone has stood out to you in their service, demeanor, communication, go back and ask if they are looking for more work.

Also, @sgraef has a great system in place for screening and weeding out prospects. Window Cleaners Braintrust 2017 - YouTube

It definitely is not easy and I wish you the best!


don’t stop

keep fishing


Try $1.00 more to start.

For real, did that a few years back and the results were shocking, try $2.00. What is that? $80/week. If they are good/great $80 is nothing.

Last year met a man with a family. No bennies, same place for 10 years he made $16/hr…


Try your local unemployment/employment office. Wherever you are. They make them look for work to keep there benefits. Works for me all the time. Some of my best employees came from that office…

1 Like

Reality is nobody wants to work anymore totally different generation coming through the workforce.

I don’t understand why people take the time to set up an interview and then not even show up.

I fired three guys in the last two weeks. One with no experience just couldn’t catch on two with experience just too lazy. They just didn’t want to work.

1 Like

Why climb a ladder when you can sell shit off your phone?

Let’s not judge other people. Just cause we are OCD, hardworking and caring, doesn’t mean that those who are “smarter” are lazy.

I want to be lazy


Starting wage is huge to get even decent workers to look your way. The smart, hard, and dependable workers want to be compensated and there are hundreds of jobs out there $14+/hour that will suck them up. I’ve always offered a higher starting wage and have had good results but there was still a lot of waiting for the right one to come along.

1 Like

Have you thought about commission? If your one other employee is dependable then he can be a lead on one crew and you can be a lead on the other. Start them at $15 an hour during two weeks of training and then commission afterwards if they prove they can learn and keep up.

$1,500 a day split between 2 crews is $3,250 a week per crew. Show them what 25% commission adds up to and tell them they can earn upwards of $1,000 a week if they work hard. $1,000 a week after training seems a lot better than $14 an hour.

Tweak the numbers if necessary to make it work for your business, but look great for them too. If it seems expensive then it will probably attract better employees and the truth is you’re going to lose that money anyway if you can’t keep up with the work.

On Edit: This is all in theory for me, but I’m paying a good friend 30% commission and he’s loving the work and can’t wait to get busier.

1 Like

call on your friends-what about their kids who are just out of school? if not can howabout the kids friends?..get them asking suddenly the word will spread ten fold -especially if they ask via facebook posts
personally i think the younger the better, before theyv gotten bad habits entrenched . Make sure the 1st few weeks are enjoyable not gruelling,ease them in


The Young boys, because men work, don’t want to work because they don’t get married until they’re 30 +. I graduated from an online course in dec 2012, I was engaged to my GF of 5 years at the time, I managed to find a full time job + benefits working 60-70 hours a week doing shite termite work in January 2013. I moved out of parent’s house in August and got married Jan 2014. Had I not been engaged and had the “oh crap, I have to support 2 people while wife is still in school” moment I would still be living with my parents. Fast forward to November 2015 and we buy our first house.
The friend’s that did the same have all gotten married and moved out, the ones that didn’t are just now finding full time jobs. I just turned 26 and I’m thinking of starting my own business

You can only blame the parent’s that raised the children, too many times you hear “Let them be children for longer, have fun and don’t grow up too fast” to 15-16 year olds… the only problem is that is the age businesses understand why there’s no work experience; when someone has an 18+ y/o with no work experience people think there’s something wrong, be it drug usage, laziness or what have you.

It also doesn’t help that today’s society looks down on ‘service’ people, many, not all, millennials think blue collar work is “beneath” them and their gender studies degree

1 Like

They weren’t smart, just lazy. I didn’t judge because they didn’t want to climb a ladder. They just walk in the opposite direction of the work they should have been working on.


Not a professional businessman but i agree with the hire younger people comment. Lots of graduating high school students have potential. Also the people who are worth hiring already have jobs. Go to a resturaunt and employee watch and offer something better. Working in a resturaunt sucks and most people would quit if given a good looking oportunity. And they’re not making near what you’re offering to pay.


This is exactly what Im doing with a buddy who is a teacher. He can’t wait to work for me! I pay him 30% and he is a stud with customers and doing the work right. He will be doing all the blind cleaning this summer. Just find 1 or 2 quality guys and you should kill it. I’m also raising my prices all around to accommodate the higher wades and I haven’t had anybody balk yet.

OP, try commission. They will love the flexibility and you can advertise that they can make more part time than full time. You will attract the best window cleaners this way. They will get the same amount of work done quicker. Also, you can always approach existing window cleaners at a storefront and slip them a card ;).


Those starting wages seem low unless you live in the middle of no where. If we have to hire someone will probably have to offer $16/h.

Good luck to those people in areas where they are enacting $15 minimum wage.

Also if you do at least $1500 of work a day, can’t you afford to pay someone more than $112 a day? $14/h x 8 hours


agreed. If you can’t afford to pay QUALITY employees a “living wage,” then it’s time to raise your prices to accommodate that. In the last 2 years, I raised my price per pane by $2.


What I would like to do is put them on commission. But that’s problemmatic because they often work with each other and then alone. And then there’s all the little things like stopping to buy supplies or do an estimate that I would need to figure out a way to compensate them for.

Here’s what helped me. I re-wrote my help wanted add selling the benefits of working for my company. Instead of listing off all the requirements that they need, sell them on why it’s great working for you. Write the ad like an ad, not like a job listing.