Hiring Mistake Angela Brown Ask a House Cleaner

Will You Make a Hiring Mistake?

Will you make a hiring mistake as you grow your cleaning business? And what happens if you do? How do you recover from it and will you learn from what went wrong?

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.

Are You Afraid of Making a Hiring Mistake?

Will You Make a Hiring Mistake, Tired Woman in BathroomAre you afraid of making a hiring mistake? There are lots of house-cleaning business owners that just get started in the house-cleaning business. They’re growing, they’re expanding and they’re afraid they’re going to make a hiring mistake. Is that you?

Now, lots of people, lots of people have written into the show. They’ve instant messaged me. They’ve emailed me. They want to know, what if I make a hiring mistake? Now, these are new cleaning business owners that are getting ready to expand their business, and they want to hire someone and just have that person work out forever, right?

So I want to break the news to you, and I want to break it down and the reasons why that probably won’t happen. I want to go back to just a second for when we started dating. And if you’re in the cleaning business, you’re old enough. You probably have been on a few dates, if you’re not already married.

Do You Expect to Get Married After Your First Date?

Will You Make a Hiring Mistake, Job InterviewOkay. So, when you go on your first date ever, do you expect that you’re going to get married on that date and you’re going to live happily ever after for the next 50 years? That would be so easy and it would remove so much of the guesswork and hassle of life, right? It doesn’t happen that way.

You end up going on date after date. You meet new people, you try new things out. You’re like, “Ugh, that didn’t work. Oh, I don’t like that personality at all.” And you find out what you like, and then you get into a serious relationship.

Then you get married, and then you live happily ever after. Okay. And there are people that even after they get married, it’s still not happily ever after. And they got to start the whole process all over again. I know, right?

Hiring People is a Lot Like Dating

Will You Make a Hiring Mistake, Man and Woman UpsetOkay. So, what we have to consider is that hiring people is a lot like dating. If you’ve never hired anybody before, you probably don’t know what you’re doing. And I don’t know any other nice way to say this, but you just probably don’t.

So I’m going to tell you for a second about when I first hired Paula. Paula is not her real name, but she was a girl that still lived at home with mom and dad, who was well beyond having the age of being able to move out and be an independent adult, which she was super excited about the fact that she lived close to me and that she could be picked up every day and driven to work. So she did not need a car because she did not drive.

You Have to Hire for Attitude and Train Skills

Will You Make a Hiring Mistake, Two Women at Job InterviewSo at first, it seemed like a good idea. And I didn’t know at the time I was supposed to hire for attitude and train for skill. So she cleaned her own house and I trained her for her skills, not her attitude. But she had the worst attitude of anybody that I ever met.

Every single day, when I would go to pick her up, she had all these problems and lots of drama and lots of chaos, and the sky was falling in.

And she was this doom and gloom wherever she went. Then she would go to customers’ houses and she was doomed gloom at their houses. And they’d be like, “Hi, how are you today, Paula?”

Paula Was a Very Negative Person

Will You Make a Hiring Mistake, Upset Woman on PhoneShe’s just like, “Oh, I can’t believe that you asked. My back is out. I hurt so bad. I didn’t get any sleep last night.” And she was like, all this complaining, too much information. It was awful.

And then what happened is because she didn’t have a car and somebody would go to pick her up, then it got to the point where they would show up to pick her up and she wouldn’t be ready. “Oh, I stayed up all night last night playing games or whatever, and I wasn’t able to get enough sleep.”

So let me hear you jump in the shower. Whoa, wait a second. We’re supposed to be on a job in 10 minutes. And so the person would have to go on without her. And then her mother would have to bring her and drop her off at the job.

We Didn’t Have Any Policies in Place When We Started

Will You Make a Hiring Mistake, Rules and RegulationsAnd so every day, it started breaking down the barriers of what is right and what is wrong in our company. But the problem was this: we didn’t have any policies in place, because I was new and I didn’t know I was supposed to have rules and regulations. And at the time, I didn’t know about being a boss, right?

We go from being a cleaner to a boss, and we have no idea what that means. So I didn’t have any employee records. I didn’t have her signing anything. I didn’t know how to do a write-up, I didn’t have any policies in place.

But what happened was I was picking her up in the beginning because she was one of the first employees. Then someone else was hired and then they started picking her up, and she started putting that person behind schedule.

Firing Someone Needs a Lot of Documentation

Will You Make a Hiring Mistake, Woman Writing in NotebookAnd what happened was we had to stop what we were doing. I didn’t know I could just fire her at the time, but I didn’t have any documentation in place. And now, you’ve got to have lots of documentation in place.

But what happened was I had to create some policies about how many call-outs or how many tardies do you get before we write you up, and then what happens if we write you up so many times. And at what point do you lose your job? So, I kept trying to work with her. What happened was every single time, she would come back with these fantastic excuses.

And I remember there were 14 days in a row that she did not show up. And I was like, “What on earth?” Then I didn’t fire her because I was interested in the creative excuses of why she couldn’t come to work the next day.

I Wrote a New Policy for Her Every Excuse

Will You Make a Hiring Mistake, Surprised Man on ComputerAnd what happened is every excuse she gave me, I wrote a new policy for that excuse. Like, okay, so now here’s this, here’s this excuse. I didn’t know that was possible, but now I do. So now we’re not going to deal with that anymore.

Now, the reason I tell you this story about Paula is because she finally fired herself. She finally quit showing up for work and we took her off the books and took her off the payroll. And she just went away.

But what happened was this: it taught me a lot about what to expect when I hire people. And it taught me a lot about the kind of questions to ask when I hire people. So I know you’re getting started in the business and you’re afraid of making a hiring mistake. And I’m here today to tell you, you will. You’re going to make a lot of hiring mistakes because you’ve never hired before.

Hiring is a New Responsibility as the Boss

Will You Make a Hiring Mistake, Cleaning TeamThis is something brand spanking new to you. And as you jump in and you become a boss, you’re going to go, “Oh, wow. I didn’t know I was expected to do that like a boss, I didn’t know it was my job to discipline my employees as the boss. I didn’t know I’m the one that has to hire and fire them.

I’m the one that, and it comes back to you. It is your responsibility. So when you hire, what’s going to happen is you’re going to hire some fun people, you’re going to hire some zany people, and hopefully, you hire a lot of people with lots of different personalities, different sets of skills. And every single one of them will teach you something different.

I Don’t Want to Discourage You But Hiring is Hard

Will You Make a Hiring Mistake, Tired Woman CleaningAnd so I don’t want to discourage you by saying, you’re not going to just hire one perfect employee and they’re going to help you just grow your business, right? My biggest mistake when I first started hiring people was I would wait until the moment of desperation when I could not do anymore myself. 

And I thought, “Oh no, out of desperation I’m going to hire this person. And they’re going to come in and save my business.” But that’s not what happens. People come to you for a job because they are in desperation. And they’re hoping you are going to save their business, right? 

They’re hoping you are going to save them, put money on the table, pay their bills so they can survive. Okay. So they are looking to you to save them, not you looking for them to save you, right? Does that make sense?

Get in the Mindset of You’re Always Hiring

Will You Make a Hiring Mistake, Woman Upset Looking at PhoneSo it’s backward, but you have to get your head on straight and say, “Okay, now we are always going to be hiring.” And I want you to get in the mindset of always being hiring. If you find a fantastic person that you think would be great for your business, figure out a way to pull them in and get them on your team because it’s hard to find great people.

And it’s easy to hire a lot of people that are wrong for the job. I don’t like to call them the wrong person, hiring the wrong person. I like more to say that I hired the right person for the wrong job. And so when you hire somebody, I’m going to encourage you to be willing to make mistakes.

You have to plan for it. Put it on your schedule that you’re going to document everything that happens so that you can learn from it. Because the quicker you learn from the mistakes that you are going to make, the quicker you’ll pull through that. And the better boss you’ll become.

Hiring is a New Skill to Learn as a Boss

Will You Make a Hiring Mistake, Woman With Bad BackThe more understanding, the more patient, the more tolerance, the more kindness, the more compassion, the better questions you will ask. You will have all these new skills that maybe you did not have going from just a cleaner to a boss.

It is two completely separate ways of running the business, and it is two completely separate different sets of skills. So my suggestion to you is you will make mistakes. Yay. Just embrace it and make the most of it.

000 Savvy Cleaner Spacer Bar 2020Resources

The Physical Therapy Hiring Solution: How to Recruit, Hire and Train World-class People You Can Trust – https://amzn.to/3qnQIio 

The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You – https://amzn.to/2ZioXvB 

Who: The A Method for Hiring – https://amzn.to/3jPWAhT 

101 Hiring Mistakes Employers Make…and How to Avoid Them – https://amzn.to/37gfXf8 

Get That Job! The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview – https://amzn.to/3amoC1u

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