Episode 66 – Should You Hire Experienced Cleaning Technicians?

Episode #66 – Video Transcription

Today I’m going to talk about whether hiring experienced cleaners is a good idea — or not. Let’s see if the following exchange sounds at all familiar to you. “I’ve got 10 years of cleaning experience” said the applicant.”Wow, 10 years – just what I’d hoped for. Now I don’t have to spend so much time training!” thought the supervisor. Have you ever thought this way when hiring cleaning staff?

In theory it sounds great — lots of experience means they know the ropes. You can just show them around and they’ll know what to do. But if you’ve been in the cleaning industry for any length of time, you’ve probably had a slightly different experience with “experienced” cleaners. There can be some drawbacks.

First, we assume that since they’ve got experience, they actually know what they’re doing. But what most employers find is that they’ve either exaggerated their experience or their training has been so poor that they’re not doing things correctly or safely. I can’t tell you how many people have told us they have years of experience, but ended up taking so many short cuts that the job had to be re-done, costing us precious profit. Or other employees noticed this “new” employee doing things differently than the way THEY were taught, causing problems with the staff.

Now you may find a prospective employee that worked for the same cleaning company for many years. At first glance that sounds great, because longevity at one job means there’s a good chance they’ll stick around. But the downside is, you may find they’re pretty set in their ways. Some people feel that since they’ve been cleaning for so long they don’t need anyone telling them how to clean – even if their new employer has different procedures that will save time and money.

On the flip side, you may find a person that has worked at several different cleaning companies for many years. This can be a red flag for you because it’s likely to mean they’ll eventually leave your company as well. When people work for many cleaning companies they’ve either been fired for poor performance or quit because they’re not happy wherever they go. And you certainly don’t need an unhappy employee dragging the rest of the staff down.

Now all that being said, I’m not saying you should NEVER hire experienced workers, because you can often times find a gem among the rocks. Just interview them very closely, ask lots of probing questions and check references.

So what about hiring inexperienced cleaning technicians? The advantage of this, is that they are much more open and willing to learn new skills and are generally very trainable. You want to be able to train your employees to do things YOUR way and using YOUR systems. In the case of inexperienced cleaners, make sure you give them a clear picture of what this type of job looks like, and always ask plenty of probing questions, to see how they would handle certain situations. This will reveal a lot about the type of employee they’ll be.

So I hope this gives you an idea of the possible pitfalls of hiring experienced employees. And I’d like to ask you — Do you hire experienced cleaners? Why or why not? Post your comments below the video at CleaningBiz.tv.

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