We all know that finding new cleaners for your business is a tough challenge.

    Availability, fit with your culture, what you’re looking for, what they’re looking for, it all plays a major role in finding a win-win. One source for great employees that many cleaning businesses overlook or under utilize is their existing staff.

    In this post, we outline 6 key ideas that will help you when developing an employee referral program.

    # 1 Set a Goal

    The first thing you need to think about when starting a program is knowing what success looks like.  When will you know it’s working? When will you know that it’s not? Being as specific as possible when planning the program will help you stay focused on what it needs to do now and what it needs to do in the future.  The reason this step is so important is that it will help your business understand the return on the time you’re investing in the program. This allows everyone to understand the reasons behind the program and help you keep it a priority when you have a hundred other things to do in a day.

    Are you looking for Evening, Daytime, Weekend cleaners?  How many do you need? How long are you expecting this to take?  One month, 3 months? Writing these goals down and making sure that they are measurable will go a long way to keeping your team accountable and keep you rowing in the same direction.

    #2 Make the Program Easy-to-Use

    The last thing you want an employee to need to do is jump through hoops.  Make the act of referring someone to your company very simple. It could be a form you can send via text or email, or it could be as simple as asking them to send the name and contact info.

    #3 Reach Out to Every Person Referred

    One of the best ways to take the wind out of the sails of your referral program is not following up with the people that are sent to you. Both the person that may apply and the person that referred will feel unappreciated and it will get the relationship off on the wrong foot.

    Two things to make sure this process is efficient is to draft an email template that you can simply copy and paste to the person referred as soon as they are sent to you. The email should include clear directions on how to apply.  We recommend using www.cleaningjobs.co to create an internal job posting that is available for referrals only.

    This tool will help you collect info they might not think to submit on a resume but will be important to making a decision. It will also allow them to apply using their cell phone which makes it even easier.

    #4 Communicate the Program Regularly

    Communicating to your team that the program exists and how it works may be an obvious step but it is often overlooked. Make sure that each cleaner is made aware more than once.  Successful programs often remind employees on a regular basis, going out in company updates or communications to the entire company. It should also be part of your onboarding program/training programs for new and existing staff.

    When communicating information about the program, including the specifics of how employees can send new referrals to you, and how they will be compensated for the referral. Also, make it clear the current positions that you are looking to fill.

    This is also the best opportunity to set the right expectations about the fact that not everyone referred will be hired.  Emphasize that while you greatly appreciate the referral, the availability of positions and what the new applicant is looking for will not always match, and as a result, not everyone referred will be offered a position.  Consider creating a page on your website that you can link to when discussing this with your team electronically.  The page doesn’t need to be publicly advertised but should be available to be viewed if provided the link.

    #5 Recognize Your Team’s Contribution

    Monetary bonuses are the most obvious way to compensate someone for helping you attract great staff. When deciding what a bonus would be, think about the costs to advertise and process (time & money). We know margins are thin in this industry, but this is a proven way to reduce turnover within your organization, so make sure to fund this accordingly.

    Even though bonuses are great, don’t stop there.  Make sure to recognize the individuals that are taking their time to discuss your company in a positive way with the people they know. When possible, do this as part of your communication about the program in a public way. This will not only recognize the people that are contributing, but it also promotes the positive impact the behavior is making on the company.

    #6 Measure, Measure, Measure

    We improve what we measure, and when it comes to your referral program make sure you are tracking key performance indicators (KPI) that communicate how the program is doing but also how well you are doing at communicating it.  Here are a few examples to get you started.

    • Overall hires from referrals
    • % of referred candidates you contact – Commit to your team
    • % of qualified referrals – Are they sending you the right people?
    • % of staff that participate – Do you need to communicate better?
    • Cost to hire organically vs. through referral – Return on investment (ROI)

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