Hiring – This is a guide & some extra information about what to look for and how to pick the best cleaners
Prioritise applicants to contact according to:
Location – When you are setting up your business you will need to recruit cleaners able to cover the area you are going to be advertising in.
Cleaners do not want to be spending a lot of time travelling. Someone based in the centre is useful as they can easily access most of these areas.
People who can only go by bus / public transport are better located if more central. There is no point spending time recruiting someone too far away from areas where cleans are likely to be needed.
Experience – Prioritise people with some experience – whilst people with no experience can be very good cleaners it will take more time going through everything with them initially to get them set up. You can still recruit people with no professional experience of cleaning but start them off with smaller cleans / 2 hour cleans and make sure you get feedback from the customers asap so you can ensure anything negative reported can be smoothed out quickly.
Transportation – car owners are easier as they can get further quicker but if well located people going by bus or bike can be useful.
Telephone and speak to applicant.
Ensure they understand this is a self-employed opportunity and that they have or will have public liability insurance.
None of the answers to these questions will be a barrier to you offering them work – but it is useful to know the cleaners circumstances. Potentially you could ask about their current situation – are they married, single, living with parents, alone, with partner, friends. If they have school age children do they have any help in holidays/ times of sickness etc.
What other work are they doing now and what availability do they have for doing cleans.
People doing shift work may be useful for cover cleans and flexible customers who are out or who provide a key, but not so good for regular cleans where the customer wants the same day/time for each clean.
Try and get a feel for if they are just looking for a stop gap type job which may have its place but won’t suit all your customers.
Do they have any health issues like migraines we need to be aware of? Are they supporting anyone at home with a health condition that may affect whether they can work or not?
Discuss their cleaning experiences. If they have lots of experience including house cleans you can go on to discuss cleaning products.
If they have only done pub/shops/offices etc and not homes then run through the differences as there is no point signing people up who haven’t thought it through properly.
Points to discuss are – regular house cleaning is likely booked for a fixed time frame so needs time management. It is no good spending half the time in one bathroom and then not enough time to do the rest of the home.
On attending a clean for the first time it is important to have a quick check of all the rooms needing to be cleaned so they can get an idea of what will be needed.
The cleaner will need to be able to prioritise and cover basics like main surfaces and floors and if time allows other areas can be done as well. Some customers will leave a note listing things/rooms in order of priority which is helpful. This can be requested at the time of booking the customer in.
As the business owner make sure you understand the issues likely to confront a cleaner. There are three main types of customer:
The first type is OCD (obsessive compulsive) – already clean and tidy home on arrival. They will still need to clean every surface and ensure everything polished to perfection.
The second type is the normal home with a little tidying and normal general cleaning needed. These customers normally do a vacuum and clean-up of some areas between cleans. Not usually a problem.
The third type is the scruffier type – untidy and uncleaned since last time: so the cleaner has more to tidy/wash up before cleaning and do whatever is possible in the time.
Some customers request washing up/beds changing/washes put on/put into drier or out on line/ironing.
Cleaning Product Knowledge:
Find out what product knowledge the applicant has by asking what products they would take to a clean. Keen and enthusiastic cleaners will be able to tell you lots about products they like and don’t like.
Ask questions about how they might go about cleaning a room or section of a room like a shower, or kitchen surface. Discuss moving items and cleaning underneath and washing shower gel bottles and the like and polishing taps, mirrors, windows etc..
Explain they should always take products and cloths to every clean just to be on the safe side, even if the customer says they will supply them.
We suggest they should always take an all in one anti-bacterial product for all normal surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom and floors that need mopping/wiping (a concentrated one is better value for money), a scouring type product (cif or a dry powder like Bar Keepers Friend UK & USA) for sinks and plug holes and general grime, and a mould and mildew blaster (Astonish brand is good value and works very well) that will easily remove anything like this and will also be useful for the toilets. A general polishing product would also be useful for wood. If the cleaner buys a product that they are not familiar with they should read the information about the product and test it at home before using at a customer’s home. Any suggestions you make should be just that but should also have a website link for further information.
They also need to take a good selection of cloths (microfibre etc) for wet work and anything for dry polishing work like old tea towels, cut up pillow cases etc.
Move in/move out and deep cleans:
Applicants should have experience for these and at least be set up and started with the correct equipment.
Ideally, they must be able to clean an oven to a good standard.
Having a carpet shampoo machine is useful so you can offer the service. If you do not find anyone with a carpet shampoo machine you can offer to pay the rental on one, if the cleaner has done carpet shampooing in the past.
Explain you offer a 48 hour reclean guarantee so if any clean isn’t completed to the proper standard and proof of the incomplete job is provided by photos within 48 hours of the clean they will be asked to go back asap within 7 days to complete it at their own expense.
Insurance – check they have this in place before starting.
Mobile phones/app – it is worth informing all your cleaners that in the event of a problem with their phone being broken/lost etc they must let you know asap ideally by asking to borrow a family member or friend’s phone or asking them to message us so we are aware and know if they are still able to attend their cleans. Bearing in mind the customer info is on the app on their phones so if lost they’ve probably not made a hard copy of the customer’s info so we’d need to let them have it another way so they can continue their cleans.
Setting up cleaners onto system
Add applicant onto your contacts on your phone.
In Launch27 go to Settings/People/Teams then top right side go to add new and then just complete all the sections.
Use a code in the title before their name so you can see immediately what type of cleans they can do and how they travel. For example R = regular cleans, E = ends and deeps. N = no car – you can choose what you like.
Add info about the applicant in Notes section, to remind yourself about their background/experience and anything else helpful. Also set their availability so you know when they can work.
Set them up on WhatsApp with you so you can message them offers of cleans etc.. Send them a welcome message asking them to download the launch27 app to their phone.
Send them a longer message detailing anything you particularly want them to be aware of. Ideally this should include a request for their bank account info so you can pay them and a link to the application form with its terms and conditions as a reference point plus any info you want them to be sure about – what to do if unwell, get given a key, offered cash, etc.
Also send a check list for cleaning for different types of cleans as a guide and any cleaning tips.
Cleaners are like your business products, so you need to select them wisely! Good cleaners that are reliable and perform at a consistently good level will result in better customer retention for you and will keep the cleaner with a job longer.
Please remember some applicants do not like to say no and will say they are happy with everything discussed and then may not complete the setting up stage. They may also complete the set-up process and change their minds later. This could be because something else turned up for them and they were keeping their options open or they could just be time wasters. Normally people who communicate well all the way through will normally be worthwhile but there will always be people who talk the talk but do not walk the walk.
Ensure the cleaners you take on are either experienced, or love cleaning and are fully briefed before being sent to their first clean.
Treat them with care and respect and try and set them up to succeed in the first place.
If they get good feedback from customers let them know. If they get bad feedback, then you will need to discuss with the customer and ensure it is fair and they were not expecting too much to be done in a short time. If it sounds reasonable then go over whatever the issues were with the cleaner to help determine whether to select a different cleaner and if the cleaner has their own version of events.
Remember that cleaners are human beings not magic fairies…. although there are a few you may be lucky enough to find!