My Theory On Hiring

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by Tom Watson on August 9, 2010

I wanted to write a quick post today on a topic that will benefit you greatly.

It involves a small detail that I had to learn the hard way when I first started my cleaning company. It deals with hiring people.

My initial philosophy on hiring employees was to wait until I had a need for full-time employees. Then I would hire people to fill those slots. I wanted only full-time, not part-time workers.

My thought process was that it would be easier to keep good people employed that way, after all they needed a job because they didn’t have one. While the folks who already had a job, and were just looking for part-time work, would soon tire because holding two jobs can be demanding for any length of time. Sounds like a sound theory so far right?

Well…my thinking was WAY off the mark.

I was doing everything completely backwards as it turned out. Now I’ll admit that I was no hiring expert when I first started my cleaning business, and I’m sure I could do better with ten years of experience behind me, but I’m convinced the theory still holds true today. My theory is simple and easy to follow (the best ones usually are). It goes like this…

Only hire people who already have a job.

One thing I learned real fast was that many times people do not have a job for a reason. The reason may be one of a million things but normally revolves around the following:

  • Inability to show up for work consistently.
  • Total lack of time management (unable to be on time).
  • The firm belief that instructions are “optional”.
  • Dependency problem (alcohol or drugs).
  • Possessing a poor attitude.
  • They are angry for one reason or another.
  • Criminal background issues.
  • Lack of transportation.

The list goes on and on but you get the idea. It is for this reason that I strongly prefer part-time employees. The one caveat is they must already hold a full-time job. When one possesses a full-time job (of some length of course) it shows dependability and an ability to work with others for an extended period.

Which is exactly what you need.

When you own a cleaning business it is not your job to hold other peoples hands through life. You need to hire great attitudes that can be trained to do what you need done. It is as simple as that.

Stay away from the “projects” that need a lot of polishing to make them a great employee. Your cleaning business will be easier to manage and much more profitable when you get the “hiring” part down pat. I hope my theory helps you in that regard.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Reba November 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm

I am a small cleaning company. I am writting to ask if you coul help me with “assignment” How to plan and get assignments ready for my team members? How they should know where to go and which clients should be first?
I am just starting to try out a team cleaning routine so that I won’t have to go with them to each client to make sure they are doing the job and being on time.”I am only going to try this and if it works then Great! I will Have a Team!” Please give me some steps on building My New Team. Thanks

2 Tom Watson November 11, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Hi Reba!

The details on how to do this are in my courses (, but what I can tell you is this: Create a nightly schedule for them, describing which jobs to do first and how long they are allowed to take at each job. Then take all your nightly schedules and put them in a folder and make a “weekly” schedule (then give it to the team leader).

I would even include directions to and from each account so that they take the fastest route possible. If you are worried about them getting there on time, make them call in (via cell) at the first job and call out at the last job. This will “help” keep them honest.

3 James Pollard June 23, 2016 at 12:25 am

Great point – I was trying to explain this to a friend this morning. He felt that full time was the way to go as well.

4 Tom Watson August 9, 2016 at 10:26 am

Sorry for the late reply… this comment went to spam for some reason… yea.. part time worked much better! THANKS James.

5 James Toal July 17, 2017 at 12:52 pm

This makes lots of sense

6 Francia Bayona July 18, 2017 at 7:45 pm

Do you have ideas, suggestions, advice on where I can recruit cleaners that are already working?

7 Tom Watson July 23, 2017 at 12:17 pm

Not really. All you can do is ask for only experienced cleaners in whatever ads you run. Try Craigslist!

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