The house cleaning industry unfortunately has a very high turn around rate. This is a result of different factors: people looking for temporary work, the low pay, no benefits, uncertain hours, the physically demanding work taking its toll on your body. As a result, I often find myself reviewing resumes; lots and lots of resumes.
The industry would be happy to simply put a warm body into a customer’s home, but I have higher standards for the people I want to employ. In fact, my critique of one particular resume had someone comment, “you sure do have high standards for house cleaners!”
You’re damn straight I have high standards for house cleaners! My employees are entering into homes and trusted with the customers’ possessions, memories, health, pets, etc! Whether people want to recognize it or not, cleaning a house is a very personal service. If an applicant doesn’t care enough to capitalize their name on their resume (a basic of elementary school grammar), are they going to care enough to do the best job they can do in someone’s home? Maybe, maybe not, but your resume is going to be the first impression I’m given.
I dream of being part of a house cleaning industry that values more than just a warm body to scrub a toilet. I dream of an industry where the house cleaners are valued members of the service industry and they feel like they are making a contribution to society. I dream of being part of an industry that goes beyond the assumption that even the lowest IQ among us can be handed a manual and thrown into a house. I dream of an industry that looks upon their service as a skill that requires an investment in training and constant continuing education.
And so, I’m trying to rewrite the industry standard. I’m looking for people who show me they care about the details from the first time they make contact with their resume, to their jobs in customers’ homes, to how they take care of their equipment and our office. I’m looking at my own training and asking how can I make this better. I’m looking at my employees and asking what can I do to increase their skills and make them feel like they are a part of something worthwhile and valued; that they are important. I’m looking at profit margins in a substantially flooded marketplace and wondering what do we have to do to pay these employees justly and convince customers that the price is worth it?
Are my dreams too big?