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hiring dog walkers

Review: The Top Websites For Hiring Pet Sitters & Hiring Dog Walkers

When hiring pet sitters or hiring dog walkers, it can be difficult knowing where to start. There are so many different websites out there where you can post job ads – so how do you know which one is the most lucrative? Today we bring you a review of the top sources for hiring for your pet sitting business, so you know which ones to invest your time into.

Review: The Top Websites for Hiring Pet Sitters & Hiring Dog Walkershiring dog walkers

Indeed

Indeed describes itself as the world’s #1 job site. And we can’t blame them. They pull in over 200 million unique visitors to their site every month. One of the main reasons why Indeed is great is because it’s FREE to post jobs. Or if you’re really in a pinch, there is an option to pay for your ads so that they are shown to more applicants. Plus, if you’re feeling extra proactive, you can search through resumes and invite potential applicants to apply for your job.

One of the reasons that Indeed is NOT so great however, is because you’ll get a lot of bogus and spam applicants. I’m talking about people that are just sending out their resume to the masses, with no regard to what the job is. I know some pet sitters that have had to wade through over 100 applicants to find 1 or 2 winners. But the reality is that hiring takes time, and wading through applicants you can automatically disqualify is just part of the process. No matter what, you have to stick with it!

Check out what other business owners have to say about Indeed:

Indeed has been a useful resource for us – drives the most applicants. However, applicants almost never send anything helpful via Indeed. We send back a standard response of ‘Thanks for your interest, please apply via our website.’ That helps narrow down the pool a bit!” -Robin Brown, Manhattan Mutt Company LLC

“Very few of the folks on Indeed bothered to read my posting. The ones who had relevant experience often didn’t bother with the cover letter and very few sent a cover letter at all.” – Annamarie Hessman

Craigslist

Craigslist can be another great source for hiring pet sitters and hiring dog walkers. The website has been around for over 20 years, and has quickly become the premiere website for posting classified ads. Another great thing about Craigslist is that it is totally free to use. It is also is really great about protecting your privacy. When you post an ad, applicants will be able to contact you without seeing your email.

TIP: Try posting your hiring ad in multiple categories such as part time, gigs, domestic, etc. This will allow you to reach more applicants!

But, Craigslist does have some downfalls. There is a lot of spam job ads on Craigslist, which lessens it’s credibility. A lot of people do not consider Craigslist a legitimate source for applying to jobs. It may be harder to reach the demographic you’re aiming for.

Here’s what pet sitters have to say about Craigslist:

“Craigslist has been the biggest success with 3 amazing employees.” – Nicole Brown, Miami Pet Concierge

Hireology

Hireology is a little different than your typical job posting site. Think of it more as a hiring “hub.” According to their website, Hireology allows you to manage all hiring activity from their platform. This includes writing job descriptions, posting to job boards, interview candidates, and running background checks. It allows you to keep all of your information in one place, including applications, resumes, interview notes, etc.

Keep in mind that Hireology is not free! If this sounds like something you’re interested in, you’ll have to request a free demo. If you like the software, there will be an additional cost, which is determined by the size of your business, how many employees you currently have etc. Hireology is also billed on either an annual or multi-year basis. One business owner reported paying $400 for one year.

“Hireology is a portal for CL [Craigslist] and Indeed for me. I do not plan on renewing after this year. My company is not big enough, nor do I hire enough people to justify the elaborate portal.” – Julie Fredrick, The Pet Sitter Of Boise

NextDoor

Nextdoor is also a successful platform for hiring pet sitters or hiring dog walkers. For those of you who don’t know what NextDoor is, think of it as Facebook for your neighborhood. You’ll be able to interact with your neighbors, share reviews of services, post classified ads, etc. It’s the go-to place to find all about what’s happening in your neighborhood.

For pet sitting businesses, it’s a great way to reach local talent and potential clients. You’re able to advertise your business as well as post job postings. But there is a downside – Nextdoor recently partnered with Rover, so they do give preferential treatment to Rover sitters. They have also implemented a pet directory, which is a plus, so you’ll be able to see which of your neighbors have pets. Good information!

“NextDoor is a disaster. I was ostracized for trying to help a neighbor find her missing dog, but when I gave her my email address someone accused me of soliciting business. Apparently, you’re not allowed to advertise your personal business on this site.” – Nicole Brown, Miami Pet Concierge

Facebook

Facebook, the most popular social media outlet in the world, has rapidly become another premiere platform for hiring. Although they have just rolled out their new job posting feature, many pet sitters say it is useless at this point. Not many people are using it yet.

Some business owners say that by posting their ad on their business page, and then boosting the post via a Facebook advertisement has proven very lucrative. Definitely something to consider!

No matter which platform you choose to utilize to post your hiring ads, one thing is for sure: you must always be hiring! Admittedly, there are many problems that can arise when hiring, but it is still so important that you continue to do it, regardless. I preach this time and time again because I still get stories of pet sitters who are stuck. Business owners that have to bend to the whims of their employees because they can’t afford to lose them. I can’t stress enough how important it is that you are in control. After all, a ship can’t sail without it’s captain!

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cost of hiring pet sitters

The True Cost Of Hiring Pet Sitters In Your Pet Sitting Business

If you have employees in your pet sitting company, then you know how valuable they are to your business. But you may not have considered the cost of hiring pet sitters. Before we go into costs, I want you to think about how much a new employee could be worth to your company? How much revenue are they capable of handling in a year? Write that number down. Now let’s flip the script and think of how much does it cost to have an employee and look at it as an investment.

The True Cost Of Hiring Pet Sitters In Your Pet Sitting Business

cost of hiring pet sitters

Personality & Background Tests

While completely necessary, personality and background tests can be a costly part of hiring pet sitters. Tests such as the Orion Test are an important component of getting the applicant’s story, but these things are definitely not free. Background checks also can cost around $30-$60 each time you run them. Needless to say, these things add up!

Fun Fact: Did you know that personality tests are illegal in Massachusetts? Sorry MA friends!

Training

Training is another large portion when discussing the cost behind hiring pet sitters. Not only are you investing the money into the pet sitter who’s training them (unless you do it yourself), but you’re investing time and resources. If you pay the trainee, you’re also racking up a cost there. Hiring a new pet sitter definitely takes a lot of time and resources, so you want to make sure you’re training the right person!

New Hire Set-Up

It may (or may not) take quite a bit of time to get your new pet sitter “set-up.” This includes in your pet sitting software system and payroll company as well as setting them up with an email account and Google Voice number (if you do those things!). Also think about the time it takes to put your new hire on your website, complete with their photograph and biography. The point is it takes time to get your new pet sitter completely set-up in your company, so we have to include that when discussing the cost of hiring pet sitters.

New Pet Sitter Starter Kit

Do you provide your new pet sitters with supplies when they start with your company? This is something I personally never did in my company, but I know that lots of business owners do. This may include poop bags, first aid kits, business cards, magnets, fliers, bark cards, and more. When you give these supplies to a new hire, factor in the cost. All of these items may be inexpensive individually, but like everything in business, it adds up!

Hiring Advertisements

Do you spend money for hiring ads on sits like Craigslist, Indeed, or Hireology? While these ads may have brought you in some quality applicants, this is yet another cost to factor in to the equation. Paid advertisements are great because they can have a much larger reach, but they can be costly and of course do add up. If you’re having trouble thinking of places of where to find pet sitting applicants, check out this article here.

Overall, there is a clear and large cost to hiring pet sitters. It’s basically inevitable for any company with employees. What’s important is that you recognize this cost, and then try to minimize it. Minimizing both the financial cost and time spent by streamlining processes will make your business run smoothly and will make you a happier business owner!

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hiring pet sitters

The Problems With Hiring Pet Sitters For Your Pet Sitting Company

Hiring is something we talk about A LOT in the pet sitting industry, because it can be one of the most difficult parts of running a business. When hiring pet sitters, there are a number of problems that usually arise that make it difficult to make sure that you and the applicant are on the same page. Today, let’s break those problems down and discuss real life solutions to make sure that you are making the best choice for your pet sitting company.

The Problems With Hiring Pet Sitters For Your Pet Sitting Company

hiring pet sitters

The Basic Criteria

Finding quality pet sitting applicants starts with YOU. Yep, I’m talking about your hiring process. It’s important that you are properly screening applicants to make sure that they fit the vision of your company. A big problem when hiring pet sitters is that business owners are forgetting to ask instrumental questions that are extremely important to the business. You want to ensure applicants meet basic criteria such as:

  • How far away do they live from your service area?
  • Did they follow the instructions in your job posting? (i.e. send a resume AND cover letter)
  • What does their availability look like, and does it coincide with your company’s pet sitting schedule?
  • Do they have a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and own their own car?

Testing The Applicant

Once you get past the basic criteria, it’s then up to you to “test” the applicant to see just how badly they want your job. This is another problem business owners have when hiring pet sitters, because sometimes they are so desperate for new staff, they let applicants off easy! This is why I recommend conducting multiple interviews and requiring the applicant to jump through a series of hoops. Not only does it demonstrate to you how serious they are about being a pet sitter, but it tests their ability to follow directions (an important quality to have in the pet sitting world!).

That being said, you do have to make sure your job posting is appealing and not overly-technical. This is the only way to weed out applicants that aren’t serious. You have to be selective!

So how can you do this? Here’s a few tips:

  • Conduct multiple interviews. The first interview should have nothing to do with pet sitting at all. It is simply an opportunity for you to learn more about the applicant, and to gauge their personality and professionalism. If you decide to move forward, interview #2 is where you’ll discuss everything else. This can include asking the applicant about relevant experience and discussing some of the finer details of the job such as pay, scheduling, a typical pet sitting visit, etc.
  • Make the applicant jump through hoops. Your job posting should have specific instructions like “Send an email to bella@petsitting.com saying who you are, what your major cross-streets are, and how much money you’re looking to make per month. Attach your resume and cover letter.” Then before the first interview, you can create another hoop by having them take the Orion Hiring Assessment. See where I’m going with this? 🙂
  • Follow these tips when you receive unqualified pet sitting applicants.

Last but not least, are you looking for applicants in the right places? Check out this video where I tell you how to get more pet sitting applicants!

Getting To Know The Applicant – Interview #1

Another problem that comes up when hiring pet sitters is figuring out how to trust what they’re saying to you in an interview. People are usually really good about talking themselves up, so it’s up to you to find out if they’re the real deal. For example, is the person just telling you what you want to hear? Here’s a couple ways you can break down that barrier:

  • Use the Orion Hiring Assessment. If you don’t know what that is, Google it immediately! Essentially it is an assessment you can give to all potential applicants. The results will tell you more about the person’s personality like if they are a risk for theft or if they are likely to not be long-term, etc. It is scary accurate!
  • Call the applicant’s references. Not enough people do this, but it is a great way to glean some more information on the person.
  • Make sure you ask the right questions.
  • Don’t do all the talking! You don’t want to come out of the interview feeling you still have no idea who the applicant is. Have a drink ready to go before the interview, and make it your goal to finish it by the time it’s over. It works!

Retaining Your New Employee

Okay so you’ve made it through the interview phase, and your applicant is now officially an employee! Hooray! But now comes the hardest part of all when hiring pet sitters: Ensuring your new employee stays with you long term.  During or before training, have your employee agree to these basic guidelines.

While you want to keep your new employee happy, at the same time you have to make sure that they are following the rules set in place. You want to figure out how to keep your new employee happy to do their job, as well as empowering them. Your employees should feel like they have an important role in your company.

I hate to say it, but some pet sitting business owners don’t know how to manage. They are either too strict, like a dictator, or are a push-over, where the staff runs the show. Don’t be either of these extremes – find your balance and run with it!

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