Should You Hire Independent Contractors For Your Cleaning Business?

At the beginning, running a cleaning business by yourself might have been a viable business model. However, as your business starts to grow, you need to hire employees to help you keep up with your customers’ demands. Employees can make or break your business. Plus, they come with many rules and regulations to consider. Hiring employees for your cleaning business is not something you should take lightly as there are many things to consider.

One of the most critical things to consider when looking to hire personnel for your cleaning business is the terms in which you are looking to hire them. In other words, should you hire independent contractors? Or should you have regular part-time/full-time employees? The truth is that there is no definitive answer. Both figures come with their own set of pros and cons. Regular employees require you to withhold taxes, develop a payroll system, have worker’s compensation insurance, and more. Independent contractors, on the other hand, usually set their work schedules, require different taxation, and are often less expensive than regular employees. As a result, you must consider all of these elements and choose the figure that best suits your business. 

Below we will explain the differences between independent contractors and regular employees and go over essential information that will make your hiring process more manageable and help you make an informed decision.

Independent Contractors vs. Regular Employees

To start, let’s define both terms. An employee is a person who works part-time or full-time under a contract of employment for a company or brand and has recognized duties and rights. The term independent contractor, on the other hand, is used to identify professionals or workers who lend their services to individuals or companies and are paid on a job-by-job basis. 

Moreover, employees are paid a regular salary, receive specific benefits, have taxes withheld from their wages, and must comply with a pre-established work schedule. Additionally, in many cases, employees are offered other types of securities such as severance, workers’ compensation, and more.

Independent contractors are considered “self-employed,” which means they must pay their taxes. They usually set their schedules and timeframes and generally have a say on what the project’s wage or budget is going to be. 

So, what is the difference between employees and independent contractors? It all boils down to the degree of control. If the hiring company dictates all the terms, including pay, schedule, and work methods (and is doing so consistently over time), we are generally talking about an employee-employer relationship. 

When should you hire an independent contractor?

The most significant benefit of hiring an independent contractor is that, as a business, you have fewer legal obligations with the individual. However, not all cleaning companies benefit from hiring independent contractors. As we explained above, many factors come into play when deciding the figure in which you will hire (or not hire) your employees. Therefore, when trying to decide if you should hire independent contractors, ask yourself these three questions:

What type of cleaning do you do?

As you know, not all cleaning services are the same. As a result, the people performing these services cannot be “one size fits all.” Thus, consider what it is you offer as a company and determine if it is something that can be done by different people. For instance, if you specialize in hotel cleaning, you probably wouldn’t hire independent contractors to do the job. It will be less time-consuming and cost-effective to have a group of full-time or part-time employees familiar with hotel policies and standards. Can you imagine having to waste time teaching an individual contractor how they are expected to fold the sheets every time you hire some new for the job?

Check out this article to know some of the cleaning business certification you need to have and how you can get them.

How big is your demand?

If you are a one-person cleaning company and are looking to expand, consider how big you want to (or can) go. Think about how many extra jobs you have and if they justify hiring a full-time or part-time employee. If you only have four or five additional jobs that you cannot do alone, then hiring an independent contractor could be the right solution. But, if you have enough work to keep 1-2 or any other number of employees busy throughout the day, you should look into hiring regular employees.

What is your budget?

Lastly, you need to consider your budget and analyze if you can afford to hire regular employees. And to do so, you must think about not only the wages you will pay but also the additional expenses that come with hiring personnel. If you are in no position to buy uniforms, provide transportation, purchase equipment, or buy supplies (in bulk), you should hire independent contractors. 

Independent contractors will usually provide their own equipment, supplies, and transportation. Plus, you do not need to worry about their taxes. So, before you decide what the right type of employee is, think about these three questions. 

Job Ads Must-haves

As we explained above, employees can make or break your business. So, it is essential that when you are writing your company’s job ad, you follow specific steps to ensure the best results. It doesn’t matter if you are just posting it on social media or paying a recruitment company to screen your candidates. Whatever the medium you choose to promote your job offering is, your announcement still must:

Describe the right candidate

To start, you need to make sure you are certain as to what you are looking for in an employee. Are you looking for someone with vast experience? Do you want someone who can work both individually and as part of a team? Are you willing to provide training? The more detailed the description of your “ideal candidate,” the easier it will be to find the right person(s) for your cleaning service. 

Find a piece of paper and write down your profile. To make it simpler, divide it into three main categories:

  • Qualifications (e.g., be able to work legally in the U.S., at least XX years of experience, must have transportation)
  • Skills (e.g., attention to detail, extensive knowledge on stain removing processes.)
  • Personal traits (e.g., trustworthy, punctual, able to work as part of a team)

Include a concise work description

Once you have a clear image of what you are looking for, you’ll need to let people know what the job entails. To do so, you must write a short (but detailed) work description highlighting the primary responsibilities and tasks associated with the position. 

Avoid generalizing or being too vague. Stay away from phrases like: “responsible for all cleaning processes.” Instead, think about the specific services your company offers. For instance, if your cleaning company specializes in deep cleaning services and organizing, you should include as part of the responsibilities things such as: 

  • Perform heavy cleaning duties such as cleaning floors and shampooing rugs.
  • Organize custodial closets and spaces.
  • Sweeping, dusting, mopping, and vacuuming.

Explain the pay and benefits

It is crucial that you dedicate a section of your ads to explaining what you are offering potential future employees. Meaning that you must clearly state the salary and benefits included with the job. 

This does not mean that you need to include every single clause found on your employee’s contract, but people are more likely to apply for a job when they know the compensation it offers. 

Specify the work schedule

It might seem obvious, but more often than not, job postings do not include whether the position calls for a part-time or full-time job. Moreover, if you are looking to hire independent contractors, you should also specify if it is an on-going or a one-time job.

Check out this article to know the responsibilities of a cleaning business owner.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you reduce recruitment costs? 

One of the biggest obstacles in hiring new personnel is how expensive it can turn out to be. Ads and marketing campaigns are costly, especially if you are trying to attract only the best candidates. Hence, an excellent way to reduce recruitment costs is by reinforcing word of mouth. 

Start by letting friends and family know that you are hiring. Publish a detailed post on your website and social media profiles with the benefits and requirements of the opening(s). 

Another great way to get the word around is to turn your existing staff into brand ambassadors! You can even recommend a ‘referral’ scheme for new employees. By doing so, your job will become more manageable (and less expensive) while also promoting a feeling of belonging. 

How do you know when a candidate is a good fit?

Deciding who not to hire is sometimes more important than finding the right candidate. Meaning that if you do not think a person is a right fit for your cleaning business, do not hire them! When recruiting personnel, you need to trust your instincts. 

So try to be thorough and pay special attention to any red flags that might come up throughout the interview process. Also, it is vital that you always ask for references. Remember, impressions and resumes can be deceiving. Recommendations will help you determine if a person has the right skills while also giving you valuable insight from an outsider’s perspective.

To learn more on how to start your own cleaning business, check out my startup documents here.

Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.

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