One of the most challenging aspects of running any pet sitting business is the hiring process. Not only are you looking for those who align with your values and mission, you are trying to convince people why they should want to work for you! Many business owners forget that hiring is a two-way street. In fact, it’s much like dating: hiring is about people loving you as much as you love them!
Below are five tips that all employers need to understand.
- Update job description wording
- Start asking different questions
- Create a shorter timeline
- Add extra touches
- Give visuals
Remember, the hiring process should be exciting for both hirers and applicants. Many hiring managers and employers complain that applicants don’t get back to them– chances are you just need a little help in the application department.
Update Your Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Job Description Wording
When you’re looking to fill a pet sitting position – and any position for that matter! – wording within your job description is crucial.
Remember, looking for a job can be really tedious and depressing for people. It can be exhausting sifting through help wanted ads, especially when so many ads simply list what people should be doing or what they need to have.
Try and make your job titles and descriptions more fun and off the beaten path.
Don’t be afraid to use a more conversational tone, like, ‘hey girl, imagine this!…’.
Descriptive words paint a visual picture, making prospective hires much more interested in you than the sea of more robotic job descriptions. Looking for pet sitters?
Let them know, ‘this is a job you’ll never want to let go of because you’ll be out in the sunshine with dogs!’
Let the personality of both you and your business really shine through. Don’t know where to start? My advice is to record yourself talking about who you’re looking for and what you want out of a new hire. Then you can write down the words you actually want to convey!
Start Asking Different Questions
During the hiring process, there are tons of questions – from the job application itself to the actual interview.
Of course, you’ll have to address the more standard (boring) questions like, ‘Do you have a car?’, ‘Do you have insurance?’, etc.
But, again, don’t be afraid to have fun with your questions!
Ask applicants why they think your job would be the best job ever, or why they stopped scrolling and made the decision to apply. For a pet sitting gig, you may even ask a fun questions like, ‘What’s your favorite dog breed?’
Also, don’t be afraid to break up the interview process into phases.
By the time you get someone in front of you, you should already know a lot about them. But that’s only possible if you ask the right questions beforehand. Of course, you don’t want your job description and application to have five pages of questions– break it up into five interview phases instead!
Create a hierarchy of needs for your business; is it really important that someone is a caretaker? Then ask about responsibility and showing up on time. By now you’re in the third or fourth phase of the interview process and can really dive into the nitty gritty!
Create A Shorter Timeline For Applicants
The hiring process can be quite lengthy if you don’t have all your ducks – err, dogs – in a row!
You want to make sure the time it takes you to get applicants through the process is short but along. What I mean by that is you’ll want to have a workflow set-up into phases. But make it simple for someone to move through them – for example, a person can move from phase one to two with just the click of a mouse depending on their responses.
You don’t want to waste time with applicants who aren’t the right fit, so be sure to get them through these phases first. Really think about them ahead of time; it’ll be time consuming but, in the words of author Steve Kamb, “we all start at suck.”
When you meet someone face-to-face, you should be armed with as much knowledge about them as they have about your business– but don’t drag this process out. If it’s more than a week, it’s too long. People are not going to wait around for you and will simply find another pet sitting job.
Add Extra Touches – Little Things Matter!
If you want to stand out from other employers, you’ll want to make applicants feel special throughout the hiring process.
Whether it’s buying a cup of coffee if you’re meeting face-to-face or using a feature where you send a follow-up text after they’ve submitted an application, there are so many small things that can make a huge difference!
Remember, people are applying to a lot of jobs and you want to think of little things to help applicants along the way to show that you’re an employer who really cares. If you’re meeting via Zoom, something as simple as sending instructions via email beforehand to make sure the applicant is all set can be a game changer. Even the most qualified applicants can get nervous before interviews, so this is a neat way to ease a bit of stress.
Applying for jobs is a bit like blind dating – even with the job description and interviews, you may still be unsure what you’re getting yourself into.
When you think about hiring someone, consider showing them what a pet sit looks like. Instagram stories can be great for this. Create highlight reels for pet sitting, dog walking, cat sitting, etc. and send applicants links to short videos. This will give them much more insight as to what they can expect when working for you. Consider having a staff member speak on camera about why he/she loves working for you.
You Be You, Boo!
There are so many ways you can make pet sitting and dog walking applicants fall in love with your business.
Remember, there is no exact formula you need to follow – stay true to your business and your brand when writing job descriptions.
Keep your tone more conversational and be quick to respond to any prospective hire’s questions, comments, or concerns. If they know you truly care, they’ll be that much more eager to accept a position at your company!