When I posted the question below in the Grow My Cleaning Company Facebook Group it immediately blew up — not just with people answering, but quite a few “following” for their own learning too.

I asked GMCC founder Mike Campion about it and he said:

I hear day in and day out from Cleaning Nation that owners are afraid to get new customers because they don’t have the staff and afraid to hire for lack of work for the employees — it can absolutely kill the growth of your cleaning company!

And when Swept founders Michael Brown and Matt Cooper ran their own janitorial business they too found out the hard way how much work went into finding and keeping cleaners.

But over the years they learned one key thing about hiring:

It’s not about you.

At least, it’s not just about you.

From the cleaner’s perspective, it’s about them too.

That means your company needs to be a good match for the cleaner as much as the cleaner needs to be a good match for your company.

For a position to be a good match, it has to be more than just a job to the employee. Mike and Matt found that their best performing cleaners were getting way more out of their job with us than just a pay check.

Sometimes it was how much they liked working with specific clients. Other times it was the time of day the position allowed them to work. Some were motivated by the fact that it allowed them work while going to school.

The fact of the matter is that their best cleaners could have been working any number of places but chose to work with them because the position was a good fit for their life.

Knowing this can help you not only find the best cleaners, but also retain them so you can concentrate on growing your business rather than sifting through resumes.

Now, before you read the next section, take note!

These are NOT signs of a BAD cleaner. Not at all.

They are signs that you are hiring the wrong cleaner for that particular position.

They might be PERFECT for another position with your company. It’s all about the matching.

Alright, you may read on.

4 signs you’re hiring the wrong cleaner

1. They don’t live in the area they would work in

No one likes a long commute. A study of the manufacturing industry found that at 13 miles  (about a 30-45 minute commute,) the probability of an employee quitting their job jumped to more than 92%!


If you have a cleaner applying for a position that’s not in their own neighbourhood be sure to talk to them about how they plan to get to work. If it sounds like they have a long trek ahead of them or a complicated public transit route, suggest that you’ll reach out when you can offer them something closer to home. This will greatly reduce the chances of them quitting a few days into the job when they realize it’s just not worth it!

2. They’d prefer to work different hours than you’re offering

A common challenge in the janitorial industry is finding people who are willing to work evenings, overnight, and weekends. And even if they are willing doesn’t mean that they want to. You won’t always have the luxury of applicants actually looking for the hours you’re offering, but the closer you can align the shifts to their ideal schedule, the more likely you are to keep that cleaner longterm.

3. They’d rather work as part of a team than alone (or vice versa)

Another thing to consider is whether or not the cleaner is the type of person who likes being part of a team. They may not have considered this aspect of the job before applying, so be sure to discuss what an average shift would look like for them. Will they be one of many cleaners assigned to a location? Or will they be expected to work independently? Not everyone is a people-person, but on the other hand cleaning can be lonely work for some!


4. They say they are willing to work anytime, anywhere

If you’re thinking this is the sign of a really enthusiastic cleaner… maybe. But will they be as enthusiastic about taking a bus, in the middle of the night, to work alone?

Another possibility is that this person is desperate for a job and willing to take anything that’s offered to them. This should be a red flag for you because as soon as they’re back on their feet they will begin looking for something that’s a better fit. The best thing you can do in this situation is discuss what their ideal job looks like and if it doesn’t match the one you’re hiring for, help them identify where they might be a better fit.

Have Cleaners Screen themselves out

Mike and Matt learned pretty quickly that the best way to find a great cleaner was to find the position they would be great for. But conversations around commuting and working hours can be time-consuming.

One way to save yourself time on screening out cleaners who aren’t a good fit is by writing better job postings so that they can screen themselves out. Here’s an article about what should go into a great job posting.

Having said this, we’re all guilty of not reading things closely, and you’ll probably still get applications from people who don’t meet your minimum requirements.

To solve this problem, our team built a tool that will tell you who DOES meet those criteria. In fact, it will rank cleaner applications based on who is the BEST match.

This free website is called CleaningJobs.co, and you can sign up here to use it for free.

Final Thoughts…

Investing the time to hire not only for experience but also for match, then combining that with the recognition of our team, allowed Mike and Matt to maintain a turnover rate of less than 10% for the last 2 years they operated as a cleaning company.

At the end of the day, the cleaning industry is about people. Your company’s product is a reflection of the quality of the people you attract and retain. The founders of Swept learned that investing time into cleaner hiring and retention of their business made them successful in their market, and they know it can for yours too.

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