When I talk to other pet sitters about difficulties they are having, hiring seems to be the one issue that causes all pet sitters headaches. Even with my own business, hiring can be tedious and time consuming. While I receive a ton of resumes in response to my pet sitter job listings, the real challenge is going through all the applications and finding the best people for the position. Ultimately, I came up with a step-by-step screening system which helps to narrow down the field of prospective employees, saving a ton of time and headaches.
1. Make sure your job posting is very detailed and lets applicants know exactly what you are looking for.
The first step in your hiring process is to make sure you know what you want in an employee. Your job posting should list all the important qualities you are looking for in someone, as well as specific requirements of the position you are hiring for. Do you want someone with specific pet sitting experience? Do you expect your employees to work weekends and holidays? Do you only hire pet sitters in a specific geographic area? If all of your expectations are listed in your job posting, this will help you to get the types of applicants you want to apply for your position.
2. Pick one non-negotiable thing you want your employees to have and pass on resumes without that thing.
For me, the most important thing my employees must have is that they must live within our service area. In my experience, when I have hired sitters outside of our service area, they end up leaving because the amount of travel they have to do becomes too much. When I review resumes, I filter out the resumes of applicants that don’t live in our service area. This helps to narrow the field a bit.
3. Send out a Pet Sitter Fact Sheet to applicants you are interested in.
Once I have found a resume I am interested in, I send that applicant an email with our pet sitter fact sheet. The fact sheet expands on the job posting, explains what we expect of our employees and tells them what our pet sitters do day to day. I ask the applicant to let me know if they are still interested in the position after they have read the fact sheet. This step really cuts out a lot of wishy-washy applicants because approximately 1 out of 5 applicants end up responding back that they are still interested after reading the fact sheet. I know this sounds like it may limit the applicant pool too much, but if your goal is to have less turnover and hire quality employees, it is better to find out if the applicant will be dedicated to their job before you actually hire them.
4. Do an initial interview over the phone.
After an applicant has read our fact sheet and let’s me know they are still interested in the position, I set up an initial interview over the phone to get a feel for their interest level and personality. I also use this phone call conversation to reiterate the fact sheet and make sure they understand what they can expect if they are hired to be a pet sitter for Angel Pet Sitting. If they don’t seem to have enough enthusiasm for the position, are poor at communicating, or express doubts about the position working for them, I won’t interview them in-person. If they seem as though they may be a good fit, I schedule a time to meet them in-person for an interview.
5. Be prepared at the in-person interview with questions tailored towards the information you want and the requirements of the position.
Because you can’t ask applicants certain personal things in an interview, I specifically tailor my questions to help me get an overall feel of the applicant and figure out if they are going to be a good fit for the position. For example, I always like to reiterate to the applicant that as a pet sitter, their income will fluctuate week to week. Instead of asking them how they are going to support themselves on a fluctuating income, I ask if they feel like a fluctuating income would work for their life? This way, I am addressing something I want to find out about, but doing it in an ethical and professional way.
Although hiring can be a very time consuming endeavor, by following these steps, you will be able to streamline the process and work smarter, not harder! If you are interested in purchasing the Pet Sit Success! Hiring Packet, which contains our Pet Sitter Job Listing, Pet Sitter Fact Sheet, and Pet Sitter Interview Questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or look for it on the products page of petsitsuccess.com.
I’d love to hear your hiring questions and experiences in the comments below. Happy hiring!