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Dog walker, pet sitter, blog, business blog, hiring, recruitment, new staff, interviews, business coach

Secret Elements To Having A Kick Ass Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Interview Process

When most people think about marketing, they think about getting new clients. However, 50% of your marketing efforts should also be on getting the right people to work for your company. But finding the right dog walking or pet sitting candidate isn’t just looking for a needle in a haystack. It is the entire pet sitting and dog walking interview process that needs to be shaped to appear attractive to your prospective new employee.

It is all about courting them, attracting them, exciting them, and keeping them engaged.

When you can accomplish this, people will be banging down your door to work for you. They will be excited and eager and your ghosting at face to face interviews will go way down or be eliminated.

We talk a lot about what you should look for in a candidate and in the past we have already walked you through:

 

So that should definitely get you started with the nitty-gritty. But now I actually want to break this down to show you what both sides can experience during the hiring process. It isn’t all about the business and what the business wants. You have to appear “sexy” to the applicant too. You have to make them want the job and the very first impression they have of you is the hiring process.

So let’s make this interesting…

In a volatile job market

it can be difficult and time consuming for businesses to have the perfect hiring process. BUT a standardized hiring system is crucial to fairly screen and interview candidates. Your hiring process says so much about your company before introductions are even thought of.  Applicants are not just applying for your job but many others as well. They are getting responses from different companies and they are all making them feel a certain way.

Stand out in your business! Make them feel connected and excited about their application with you. I am going to break down a few ways you can accomplish this so hopefully, you can take your process from drab to exciting.

FREE TRAINING: Watch what a fast, effective, and impressive hiring process looks likes from beginning to end

? FOR PET BUSINESSES: Ever wonder what it looks like from the employee end of the hiring process? Peek over Bella and Jen's shoulder as they roll play and SHOW YOU the entire hiring process from beginning to end. This is sure to help inspire you in your own process, or… you can copy and paste the entire thing!

Posted by JUMP Consulting – Pet Business Coaching on Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Advertising & Creating Interest In Your Dog Walking Interview Process

Once you create an ad, you have all the ability to play with where it shows up and test the different titles and descriptions. How do you know which ad copy performs best if you don’t test it? How do you know if you post a link on Facebook, send it out in an email, or post it on a job board – which actually performs? With this data you can start honing in on what works and stop wasting your time on what doesn’t work.

I always suggest to play around with the tones of your ad. Create an ad like you are talking to your best friend, create a corporate one, and then create one with the fun pet lingo that you use in your daily adventures with your clients. Which will get the most interest? Which will draw out the best applicants?

 

See how many jobs you have “open” and how they are performing

 

The only way you can tell is if you test all of this and track the conversion rates. JazzHR lets you post as many hiring ads as you want

…and posts them on over 20 job boards

…and then tells you how many eyeballs see it

…and then how many actually apply.

This info alone is so super valuable, if used.

You can also import them easily to your website to see if that has any effect as well. How professional does it look when you have a formal job application on your website? The applicant is coming to your virtual house and knows exactly what kind of company you are.

The dashboard will show you all the important info you need in one place. Know what works to get the right people excited.

 

How Sexy Are Your Basic Information & Screening Questions?

The next most important thing when creating the best dog walking interview process is to not get bogged down with all the “unsexy”  typical questions that everyone asks. Here, you actually have the ability to insert your company culture or witty nature through collecting their basic info and screening questions.

How about asking some exciting WHY questions to your applicant? Things that show that you actually care about their opinions and their desire to apply for the job. Tailoring these questions can attract or detract your applicant to the job so think hard and long about what the right questions can be. Don’t be afraid to make it about them. Like, “Describe your dream job?” or “Describe two things about this job that appeals to you” or “Tell me one thing that could be a downside to this job?”

Seeing how much thought they put into this can really save time in the hiring process to weed out applicants who aren’t meeting the basic job requirements or applying just to apply.

In this stage, you can hear their heart – and hopefully, if you word it properly, they can hear yours too.

 

Stop Looking At The Duds! You Are Wasting Your Time.

I have been in your sneakers… I know what you are looking for when you are setting up your pet sitting and dog walking interview process.

You want:

  • someone in your service area
  • someone available the hours you need
  • someone who is physically able to complete the job
  • someone who has a smartphone
  • insurance
  • and a car.

Am I right? (I got you boo!)

It is exactly why I included those questions and more on the knockout questions that you get, complimentary when you sign up with JazzHr.

But more so, these questions – are so important because why would you want to waste your time with someone who doesn’t even meet your basic criteria?

And one step further, what are your knockout questions saying to your applicant? How about going one step further and slip in something like, Do you mind ending your shift with slobber and dog/cat hair on your clothes? Give them a win when they are filling out this online application. Make them chuckle, smile, or get to know your brand through what you ask them.

They will see that you are looking for the necessities but also have enough of a personality that you just perked their interest to work for you!

Wowzas! Interested?!?!

and the best part?

You get to determine what is an acceptable or unacceptable answer and can set up this process so you don’t even see the unqualified applicants. Imagine that… less toads you have to kiss before you find the proverbial prince charming!

 

via GIPHY

 

Knockout questions help to detect the red flags and absolute no-gos with no extra work! (Check out our previous episodes with Jen for more info on this.) You even get to control if you still want to view the flagged applications, or if you just want to eliminate them right off the bat. This becomes a next level screening process to find those hidden gems in the bunch with minimal work to you.

All this info is stored inside the applicant’s profile too so you don’t have to sift through email threads and try to piece together all the info. It is all in one place for you to reference. Especially when you are exchanging communication with the applicant.

This brings me to my next exciting perk in this journey to finding amazing staff…

Text Your Applicant!

If you are reading this, I am sure you have hired before and I am sure you have a story of one time when you were ghosted. While I can’t guarantee that won’t ever happen again, I can tell you that being able to chat with them real-time – through text messages can really help get that bond established and make them feel like they know you .

Oh, and you can systematize all of that too. Create your standard text messages that you send to people you are really interested in like:

“Hey (name)! I loved reading your application. I am out right now, but I wanted to let you know to watch your inbox because my tail is wagging fast to forward you onto the next phase of our hiring process! Bella, Bella’s House & Pet Sitting. 

or maybe something like this:

Good morning (name)! Just wanted to let you know I am looking forward to finally meeting you face to face today! I feel like I already know you – and can’t wait to chat some more. By the sounds of it, you sound like you are on your way to be a great addition at our company! See you soon! – (Name) 

I guarantee no other suitors (companies) are getting that excited or personal with applicants. You need to drop some bread crumbs to get them excited about this process. Remember, it isn’t just about you.

texting applicant

It can even be used to send updates during the interview process or a thank you text…. instead of an email.

But why not just do it from your company phone?  That was my first thought. 

With this method, the texts stay in the candidate’s profile, and anyone who is accessing your account can keep up with the convo! You can’t do that if you are doing it all on a physical phone. Not to mention you can systematize the heck out of it! #winning

Acknowledge Your Applicant Goes A Long Way In All Phases

One of the toughest things when applying for a job is wondering if they got your application, when (or if) they will reply, or going back and forth with scheduling. Not only is it nerve-wracking for all involved, but it typically produces a lot of untrusting emotions and stress.

dog walking interview process

Make the dog walking interview process nurturing. Let them know through auto-responses that you got their application and they can expect a reply in X hours/days. This is important because looking for a job is depressing and daunting. The applicant is not feeling the greatest, so it really doesn’t take much to stand out from everyone else and be human.

When you are trying to arrange a time to meet virtually or in person or on the phone, how about setting up a calendar where they can select a time that works for you? This will speed up the process, eliminating the back and forth, and leave your applicant feeling impressed that you have thought ahead and smoothed out the process.

calendly email

 

How Do You Think That Makes Them Feel?

Imagine how they are now thinking it would be to train with you or learn their new job from you? You are building their confidence in your company making them want the job even more.

It is an opportunity to take these small nuances that often become a put off to applicants and it is where YOU can shine and excite the applicant.

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Are You Breaking The Law With Resume Collection?

The last thing we need is another thing to keep track of during the dog walking interview process!

Did you know that the law requires you to keep all of the resumes you have received for 2 YEARS?

That’s a lot of responsibility for anyone to have, but even more so if the hiring process isn’t organized or even located in the same place. Again, this process allows you to electronically store all of this information, and to compound this feature, it will tell you if someone has applied to your job opening in the past and why you rejected them!

jazzhr

Customize your own workflow process in the dog walking interview process.

I know that your secret sauce isn’t the same as your competitor or even someone in another state. That is why I give you the suggested hiring and interview phases but I know that not everyone will be the same. Being able to create your own phases of the interview process, that you feel comfortable with is paramount.

What is even more important is being able to replicate it all with the click of a button. What kind of experience would that potential employee get if every single time you were having to think about it and recreate that moment? That email exchange, that request for a video, that response to the video, that request for an interview or zoom meeting? Not only will your delivery not be consistent, which could affect the love affair you are starting with a potential hire, but it is also emotionally draining.

Because I know you get your hopes up when you see a candidate that you like…

So let’s front load this sucker! Let’s take a moment to create some phrases that are comfortable for YOU and then make it all work with the click of a button.

Sound easy? It really is… so many in the Mastermind are crushing it with this method and able to hire on-demand because of it (If I sound like a proud Mama Bear.. it is because I am!) 

And bonus thought – having this automated allows you to tweak the entire process if you see that people tend to drop out at one point or another.

Share Information With New Hires In The Same Place.

No one gets excited about getting a packet in their email that they need to print, fill out, and hand in. (Heck, even my printer is busted at the time I am writing this!) Let alone getting something in the old fashioned MAIL. The time is here – electronic is the way to go and what better experience for this person you are courting to hire onto your team than an easy onboarding process where they can do it all online and easily?

Not only that – but now you have it all in one place so no more file cabinets of folders stacked around your home office!

Think about how it feels from the applicants stand point.
Think about all the time you can save in your own business. If not your own time – the time you are paying others to do this all.

Want To Go All In With Me?

For over 2 years hundreds of businesses in the pet sitting and dog walking industry have partnered with JazzHR to help them do all this and more with their hiring process. The power of this software has helped them to attract the right applicant, hire confidently, and know that they don’t have to be a hostage in their business because their system to find people to hire – works! (and lets face it, they now have a pool to pick from)

I believe in this company and used them in my business and personal hires. When you sign up through me, you actually get 50% off the middle plan AND a job ad AND knockout questions.

It is time to flip the tables and instead of feeling like you need to convince people to work for you – have them begging to work for you!

hiring ads

How to Know if Your Hiring Ads Are Actually Working

When we put a hiring ad out there, it doesn’t matter if you get 100-200 applications, if only 1-2 are actually qualified. At the end of the day, that’s just a waste of your time. It’s equally as bad if you publish a hiring ad, and nobody responds. Not one person – yikes!

Let’s solve both of those problems together, today.

 

 

How can we make our hiring ads stand out?

When you post a hiring ad, you’re in competition with every other company out there that’s hiring.

That’s why it’s really important to make ourselves stand out among the crowd.

  • Target personalities. By this I mean, speak the language of the type of person you’re trying to hire! If you have a fun, upbeat company, make your hiring ad fun & upbeat! We want to be mindful of how we can connect with our candidates. The best way to do that is to simply make your job sound FUN! As we get to work with pets, this should be pretty easy 🙂

Make your company culture shine through in your hiring ad!

  • Readability. At the end of the day, we’re looking to capture people that love animals, are reliable, and can care for our clients. Stay away from making your hiring ad difficult to read or making it too technical/rigid. There’s A LOT of job posts out there that are like that – so this is the perfect way to make yours shine through! Stay away from long paragraphs, and gravitate more towards bullet points

Our natural inclination is to skim things, so you want to make your ad:

  • Quick & easy to read
  • Show quick bursts of relevant information
  • Easily highlight the perks of working for you
  • Have your personality shine through

See what I did there? 🙂

 

 

Staying Competitive in the Hiring Process?

Think about this for a moment.

You are posting jobs, but guess what?

So is everybody else.

The reality is, there’s only a finite number of quality people. So we want to make sure that they want to choose YOU over the competition 🙂

We can do this by emphasizing the perks of being a pet sitter or dog walkers such as the freedom, flexibility, and lifestyle.

And, hello?!?!  Getting to spend time with adorable animals each day!?

Another “hiring hack” to consider implementing is a referral system. What’s better than letting people you trust recruit FOR you? You can provide meaningful incentives to always have that process running in the background for you.

Even just one employee can generate a substantial amount of revenue for your company. Have you ever stopped to think just how much revenue one employee can help you generate?

You also want to pay close attention to your analytics. With streamlined hiring software like JazzHR, you can actually see how many people are seeing/viewing your ads but not applying.

Hint, hint – that means it’s time to take a closer look at your job description and pinpoint why people aren’t applying.

The bottom line? Use the data to your advantage to see where your audience is finding you. You don’t have to go at this alone. I always say that the two problems a pet business owner has is 1) getting clients and 2) getting staff. By implementing helpful tools, systems, and processes, we can get you one step closer to solving those problems for good.

Click here to receive 50% off ($100 savings!) JazzHR’s Pro Plan

jazzhr

knockout questions

How to Perfect Your Hiring Knockout Questions

How many of you have been inundated with applications to your hiring ad?

With the unemployment rate at 13% in June 2020, many business owners are having this problem (although, it’s a good problem to have!). Even still, it can get seriously depressing sifting through application after application of candidates. Most of them didn’t even follow the instructions and some may not even live in your area, am I right?

I’ve even heard of some pet sitting companies getting over 100+ applications on a single hiring ad. That’s a lot of responses to go through!! And out of those 100, usually, they will only hire 1-2 people.

Look, you’re a busy business owner and every minute is precious. So today, I’m going to give you some tools that you can use RIGHT NOW to smooth out your hiring process and free up your time by crafting the perfect knockout questions.

 

What are not knockout questions?

Knockout questions are meant to be qualifiers – not a substitute for your interviewing questions. They are an important first step, but they should not replace your phone interview, video conference, or in-person interview.

The goal is to determine if the candidate is even worth moving to the next step. You’re trying to identify if the candidate even has the potential to be a good fit, which requires them to meet your non-negotiables. As funny as it sounds, it’s a lot like dating!

Let’s go through an example.

Say I’m hiring for my pet sitting company that’s based in Phoenix. One of my knockout questions is “What city do you live in?” Now, a candidate has applied for the position and is based in Chandler (a neighboring city). Since the candidate does not meet the basic criteria for the position (i.e. being based in Phoenix), I won’t even see their response. Pretty neat, huh?

But how do you even go about setting something like this up? It sounds pretty technical, right? Well, that’s where JazzHR comes in. They are my recommended software for streamlining your hiring process, and setting up knockout questions couldn’t be easier.

 

What are some examples of good knockout questions?

Your knockout questions are your non-negotiables. They ensure that every candidate you look at has already jumped through those hoops, saving you from a negative emotional experience of weeding them out.

Let’s dive into some great examples that you can use right now in your business:

  • Are you willing to care for both big and small dogs?
  • Are you comfortable with both dogs and cats?
  • Are you able to lift up to 50 pounds?
  • What city or zip code do you live in?

…and more! Guess what – I’m about to simplify this for you even more. Did you know that JazzHR actually gives you a list of FREE knockout questions for pet sitters & dog walkers when you sign up? I told you they’re amazing.

Now, say you repost your hiring ad a few months ago now, and a candidate that has already been automatically rejected through your knockout questions applies again. JazzHR will catch that just by their phone number or email, so you don’t have to waste any precious time reviewing duplicate candidates.

 

jazzhr

So, how do I set up my knockout questions?

I don’t know about you, but I am a VISUAL learner. So instead of telling you how to set these up in Jazz, check out this video below, specifically at the 8:02 mark.

Jen, Customer Success Manager at JazzHR, will walk you through exactly how to:

  • Set up your knockout questions
  • Save your knockout questions
  • Show you how to create different knockout questions for different job postings

 

 

Let’s talk about rejection

Nobody likes rejection – but it’s a necessary evil in the world of hiring. Our resident HR expert, Niki Ramirez, encourages pet business owners to adopt a policy either to send rejection letters to disqualified candidates or not.

What you don’t want is the same candidates applying to your job over and over again because they think you just haven’t looked at their application. You guessed it – we have a solution for that, too!

JazzHR allows you to save customized email templates, so you can save preloaded rejection letters and all you do is have to hit “send.” Feel free to save different rejection letters for different reasons, if you’d like.

You might be thinking, “Yikes, it might not look so good if a candidate applies and immediately get a rejection letter afterward.” With the customized email templates, you can actually choose when you want the letter to be sent out to the candidate. So you never have to worry about the candidate learning they were instantly rejected!

 

The bottom line

One of the things in this world that we can never get back is time. It’s one of our most precious resources. I’m on a mission to get you more of it, and I guarantee you that using JazzHR is one of those ways to get you there.

So what are you waiting for?

Click here to learn more and receive 50% off ($100 savings!) off of JazzHR’s Plus Plan.

pet business hiring

Recruitment vs. Reactionary Hiring In Your Pet Business

One of my clients called me frantically last week. Two of her dog walkers quit on the same day.

She was freaking out. It was going to cause her to get back into the field and she knew that she wouldn’t have as much time to work on her business.

Ever feel like that before?

I know I have.

You get caught in the conundrum of feeling like you don’t have enough business to hire, yet if you don’t, you feel like you are living on the edge.

You know that if the perfect storm comes (and enough people leave the company at the same time) you will be back in the field just like my client above.

Hiring pet business

 

Today, I am going to help show you how to never be in this position.

How to stop that conundrum and take control over your business so you aren’t living in slavery to your business at the drop of a hat (or a resignation letter).

There is a major shift happening with hiring pet sitters; It is the difference between being reactionary versus responsive.

The ones who are acting responsively are scaling their companies at record times.

Allow me to explain.

Reactionary Hiring Happens Only When You Have To Hire. 

Reactionary Hiring is when you start posting ads because you:

1. Just had someone quit.
2. Want to hire someone to replace a bad apple.
3. You have so much work that you need more help.

This is hiring for a specific reason. You are only trying to fill the funnel when you have a need . . . which makes you already behind the eight ball.

 

When you are constantly behind the eight ball, it can lead to a lot of stress in your life.

You don’t get to consistently work through projects because you have to keep stopping to jump in and help get walks and visits covered.

And don’t even think about your social life!

You are the friend or family member who is always rushing off, never there, or too tired to attend.

And, you know what? You just can’t last longterm living like this.

Responsive Hiring Is What You Need To Do To Solve The Hiring Problem

Responsive hiring is when you’re constantly looking for great people to bring on your team.

You are always feeding the funnel by keeping your hiring ads fresh. You are constantly sifting through all the applicants and putting them into warm & hot categories.

How you organize this or keep track of these applicants is hugely important. You want to have a system that can track it all, sort it all, and not distract you in the middle of your regular working day. You don’t want to lose sight of all the good applicants out there- even if you don’t want to hire them today. You don’t know what tomorrow holds.

The important part is being able to recall all of the qualified applicants right when you need to and have the right type of software can help you with just that.

Are You Able To Email A Pool of Qualified Applicants Today?

Which one are you?

Ask yourself this:

Right now, are you able to email a pool of applicants that have already passed the first or second round of vetting for your company?

Are you able to ask them on a “date” (interview) and get them up and hired in the next week?

If the answer is no . . . and you have to start from scratch by posting an ad . . . then you are reactionary hiring.

This causes a lot of sleepless nights.

It causes anxiety that . . . “if one or two people quit on the same day… your business wouldn’t exist”

Feeling of helplessness when your office manager is telling you . .  . “I am posting all the time but not getting any applicants”.

It is like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and you are about to collapse!

 

This Is Why I Always Say…

This is exactly why I say to “always be hiring” and “hire more than you need,” because you just never know!

I have been there personally with my former company.

I have had the pit in my stomach, the worry, and as a coach I have been dreaming and searching for something I could pass along to you to help take all that fear and anxiety away.

sign up for jazzhr
I have seen vacations be ruined because the business owner had to stay back and take care of the business because they were understaffed. I have also seen business owners look forward to a dream vacation, spend a fortune, count down the days, only to spend the entire time working and putting out fires.

This is not why we started our own business and we must keep that in sight.

Getting ahead of the hiring challenge will help you to grow a business that you desire. It will help take you from solopreuner who really just has a job to someone who is the boss in charge that can multiply themselves for the masses.

To grow, to achieve your goals, you have to get really good at putting yourself out of a job. But in order to do that – you must have someone to replace you.

If you don’t figure out how to hire for your business you will eventually stall out. Don’t let this be you.

 

mastermind pet sitting

You Deserve To Be The Boss In Charge

I want you to think back to when you started this business. Why did you start it and at what point did it start running you? Staffing is 50% of the challenge that you will always have no matter if you are just starting or been around for 15+ years. You must stop trying to save the same problem again and again and start solving it systematically.

So what are you going to do?

Are you going to consider creating a process where you can have QUALIFIED applicants always on hand?

Over 70 pet sitting and dog walking companies have trusted my partner, JazzHr with their hiring needs and have been able to take charge of their business and their life because they now have control over the hiring challenge.

Whatever you choose, know that this is something you will need to address so you can take some of the stress away from running a growing business.

 

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Get a Jump Start with Jump & Scale

I am inviting you to attend my 3 part FREE webinar that will help you scale your business by attracting & hiring the right people for your business.

This program is ideal if you have high turnover, feel hostage or you just don’t know where you are going wrong in the hiring process.

To register for this FREE training (valued over $500!) go to JumpConsulting.net/scale

Jump & Scale Your Business

 

 

hiring

Episode 123: Solving The Hiring Problem In Your Pet Business

Abbie Hawkins is the Senior Channel Account Manager for JazzHR, the best hiring software in the pet industry. Listen in to see how over 60 pet sitting companies are turning their “I don’t have anyone to hire” problem into “I have too many qualified applicants to sift through” This is a great episode you will want to hear!

 

hiring

 

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want To Miss

  • The two problems you will always be solving in your pet sitting or dog walking company is getting more clients and getting more staff. By having a consistent, on-going hiring funnel, we can solve the problem of staffing once and for all. By always having an abundance of staff that are able to step in at any moment’s notice, you are preventing yourself from being held hostage in your business. Hiring isn’t a means to an end – it is an on-going process!

 

Show Highlights

  • How do we change the mindset from hiring one person to having an actual hiring funnel? [5:00]
  • What happens if you don’t have the right amount of staff? [6:45]
  • How does JazzHR solve the hiring problem on a global scale? [8:00]
  • What are some tips to having a strong hiring ad? [11:00]
  • Can you describe what a knockout question is? [14:00]
  • What are some sample hiring flows you’ve seen in other businesses? [18:00]
  • How do I proceed when I have resignations and new positions to fill? [18:45]
  • Any suggestions to bring in more applicants? [23:00]

 

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