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General Cleaning Issues - Floorcare, car valeting, buying and selling businesses, pricing, staffing, market research, etc.

Recruitment - Chicken or egg?

Posted by girlfriday (girlfriday), 22 December 2003
Dear fellow cleaning & Hygiene peeps

I would like to ask a question regarding a chicken & egg situation! I started my business back in October, contract & domestic cleaning.

I started my career in the cleaning industry 18 years ago, I have since then had a several years experience in the care sector & recruitment industry yet I am still finding it hard to fathom which I should do first, get contracts or staff?

I have more work than I can handle myself so I have tried recruiting cleaners to take on what I can no longer cope with, the trouble is I canít seem to recruit people who are willing to wait until I get the work, but I cant take on more work until I have the people to do it! Your helpful comments would be very much appreciated.

Girl Friday

Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 23 December 2003
Hi Girl Friday and welcome to the forum.

To answer your question get the contracts first, allow 1 month notice before you start and then recruit. This should give you sufficient time to get you staff on board.

If it is a commercial contract the cleaning staff may TUPE across to you from the outgoing contractor, and in this case there will be a notice period anyway - 1 to 3 months as a rule.

In this industry the most difficult task facing us all is that of recruiting and retaining decent calibre and reliable cleaners. Those that are looking for work want it now, not in a few weeks or months, and will not be prepared to wait around until a suitable position comes along.

Hope this helps.


Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 23 December 2003
Hi Musicman

I think this may be the first time TUPE has been mentioned here which surprises me.

Any chance you can give us a bit more info on it - what are the pro's and cons of taking on staff from an existing contract?


Posted by Scots_cleaner (Scots_cleaner), 23 December 2003
Hi guys

Taking on all the staff can be a problem, as this may be the reason that the last contractor lost the contract in the first place.

I recently tendered for a contract with three cleaners we got the contract for cleaning the carpets but with a month to go the current contractor put in a new suppervisor and retained the job.

On the other hand we started a new contract and the client wanted two new cleaners from the start. Alot goes down to the cleint listen to thier needs let them tell you what they want it makes my job easier....

Best to always get the jobs first and have a good cash flow pay suppliers before 30 days so if thing do get tight  when you do pay later they will understand.
Remember Cash Is King... Wink
Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 23 December 2003
Whilst I certainly agree with listening to and understanding the client's needs I feel that there is much more to it than that.

In the same way that the carpet cleaning guys have to 'manage their client's expectations' ie some stains may not come out, we also have to educate our prospective customers.

They need to understand that the law of the land takes precedence over their wants. If by starting off with two new cleaners you unlawfully dismissed the previous ones you could well be heading for a Tribunal if the cleaners are aware of their rights.

Will your new customer re-imbuse you for any fines and compensation for your actions? I somehow doubt it.

The bottom line is that you will almost certainly have to transfer those cleaners that wish to do so - it is not the choice of the customer, the outgoing contractor or yours - just the cleaners. Once they become your employees you have to deal with them in the best way you can.


Posted by Scots_cleaner (Scots_cleaner), 23 December 2003
Sorry i should have made myself clear

We recieved all the documentation for the previous contractor for thier cleaners but one left with 3 weeks to go and they put in a temp as cover.
The other told the client that they would they when the contractor finished up .
We use the RBOS mentor service for our employment law so as long as we do thing by the book we are ok.
Plus they have a 24 hour help line... Wink

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