The Top 7 Cleaning Hiring Mistakes Businesses Make

Published on January 27, 2023

Even though you're eager to find the right employees, there are several big cleaning hiring mistakes you'll want to avoid.

As you explore best hiring practices, avoiding the most common cleaning hiring mistakes will help your business to:

  • Remain fully staffed
  • Hire the best local cleaners
  • Have a phenomenal team who's eager to work for you
  • Equip yourself with a reliable team who shows up on time
  • Establish a local reputation for providing high-quality cleaning services

Avoid these top cleaning hiring mistakes, and you can watch your business soar by igniting rapid, long-term, sustainable growth today!

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1. Hiring Out of Desperation

Even if you're suffering from a hiring shortage, it's important to remember that the wrong employee can cost your business more than firing clients you can't render services to.

After all, hiring a new person who sets off numerous red flags can have a negative impact on your cleaning business' reputation.

Remember, don't hire anyone until you're absolutely certain about them.

If you don't have enough cleaners to render services to all of your clients, then consider putting your least profitable clients on hold. Alternatively, you can increase prices on all clients.

2. Only Hiring Clones

If you only hire the same type of cleaners, then you're not going to have a dynamic team of cleaners who can build upon each other's differing strengths and weaknesses.

As a result, you'll build a business with very big strengths and even bigger weaknesses. In turn, your cleaning business will shine brightly until everyone is burned out.

To avoid only hiring clones, it's crucial to use new hires as an opportunity to fill your blind spots. In other words, hire based on qualities and skills that are lacking on your current team.

Keep in mind, you're building yourself a team, not a hall of mirrors. Your cleaning business needs a dynamic team with varying strengths, weaknesses, and skill sets.

3. Only Seeking Experienced Cleaners

There's a labor pool in the market who lack cleaning skills but have great trainability. Don't dismiss candidates who lack experience.

Instead, see if the candidate fits your company culture and values.

If the candidate is eager to quickly learn in a fast-paced environment, then it's worth considering hiring them for a probationary period.

4. Skipping References or Background Checks

By contacting every candidate's references, you can learn more about their background, verify information, and find any potential inconsistencies.

Additionally, running background checks allows you to discover any convictions, DUIs, and anything else you need to know.

Remember, the candidate you hire will be going into your clients' homes. It's vital that you verify their clean background before extending a job offer to them.

By failing to perform adequate background checks, your business could be liable in the future.

Even if you're hiring based on an employee referral or someone you know, it's still crucial to perform background checks on EVERYONE.

5. Forgoing Working Interviews

When hiring someone with cleaning experience, you want to ensure they can perform the tasks the position requires.

After verifying the candidate's references and passing their background check, it's important to pay the candidate do a working interview.

For example, you could pay them to clean a client's house where you provide the supplies and monitor the cleaning. Plus, you could offer the client a discount for allowing you to do so.

This working interview tell you if the candidate:

  • Needs additional training
  • Wastes time or works inefficiently
  • Knows how to perform the tasks the position requires

6. Searching Too Late in the Game

Keep in mind, continually searching for great cleaners is an ongoing process. Don't wait until you're in need for cleaners to start hiring. Hire BEFORE you need cleaners to keep your team fully staffed at all times.

After all, you never when you'll need a new cleaner, so it's important to always be in hiring mode. Typically, it's easier to find new clients than it is to find great employees.

Don’t become complacent. The second you stop interviewing is the second someone unexpectedly quits.

Even in the best of cleaning businesses, entry-level positions are high turnover jobs, especially if you promote from within—which, by the way, is an excellent morale booster for your team.

Keep your hiring ads active and updated, and keep applications coming in. You can almost always use another set of able hands. The work is there, and you can sell it!

7. Unwillingness to Fire the Wrong Fit

One of the biggest cleaning hiring mistakes is the unwillingness to fire the wrong fit. Remember, as a business owner, you always needs to be willing to fire new hires.

If a new hire shows you they won’t fit, then let them go. Give second chances and an opportunity to adapt, but know that not everyone will work out.

By allowing the wrong fit to stay on your team, you'll interrupt your top cleaners from what they do best.

Don't slow down the rest of the team just to keep on a new hire who's not the right fit. Be willing to fire your new hires who don't work out.

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Avoid These Common Cleaning Hiring Mistakes

Build your cleaning business by hiring a team, not just employees. In other words, fill in the gaps within your business to make it what you want it to be.

Every team is made up of a variety of players. However, every player isn't going to be a superstar cleaner. Although, it’s important that they complement who have you already have on your team.

As a result, you can hire team players who build upon one another's strengths and compensate for each other's weaknesses.

In turn, you can establish a positive company culture, resulting in:

Finally, you can avoid the biggest cleaning hiring mistakes and start finding, hiring, and keeping the top local cleaners today!

Related: 5 Ways to Navigate a Cleaning Hiring Shortage

Originally published Oct 10, 2017 11:45 AM, updated Jan 25, 2023 4:37 PM


Cody is a copywriter with Service Autopilot. He was writing before he could read, dictating stories to his mom. Of late, he distills business principles and practices learned from his ever-increasing trove of books and his year with SA Support into digestible blog posts designed to provide maximum value to service industry business owners.


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