MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN HIRING A COMMERCIAL CLEANER
As businesses and organizations around the globe realize the value of a clean and organized workplace, more and more companies are hiring commercial cleaning services to manage their cleaning needs. The costs associated with maintaining in-house cleaning staff, the growing consumer demand for visible cleaning and sanitation protocols, and the promise of higher productivity and reduced absenteeism are just three of the considerations that compel organizations to outsource their cleaning.
For most businesses, the decision to hire a commercial cleaning company is a no-brainer. They understand that hiring a professional cleaning service will save them time and money in the long haul. Unfortunately, for many businesses hiring a commercial cleaning provider can be wrought with pitfalls and missteps.
In an effort to help you to make the right choice and get more bang for your buck, we have put together a list of some common mistakes organizations make when choosing a commercial cleaning service.
PAYING TOO MUCH
Hiring a commercial cleaning service should be a win-win proposition. You should view it as an investment and like any investment, you want to make sure you are receiving a decent return. This means that you need to hire a service that not only fits within your long-term budget but one that will provide long-term benefits for your organization.
It is important that you understand what particular services you require, how much you can afford to pay for those services, and whether or not a prospective provider can meet your cleaning and budgetary needs. Do your homework and take the time to weigh the offerings provided by several prospects.
PAYING TOO LITTLE
While you certainly do not want to overpay for commercial cleaning, a cut-rate cleaning service will likely not provide the level of service and expertise that you expect. Remember, this is an investment and you want a reasonable return on that investment.
Commercial cleaning companies come in all shapes and sizes. Some have decades of experience while others are just starting out. Generally speaking, the longer a company has been providing the types of services you require the better they will be at providing those services.
An experienced company will have quality assurance programs, employee retention programs, training programs, and established cleaning protocols and procedures. Not to mention, a track record in the industry.
NOT THOROUGHLY VETTING PROSPECTIVE PROVIDERS
Easily one of the most important (and time-consuming) steps involved in hiring a commercial cleaning company is vetting prospective providers. While you may have a good idea of what services you require and a solid budget, your vetting process needs to go beyond ‘can they do what I want for what I want to pay?’.
There are dozens of questions that you should be asking each prospect before making a hiring decision. Here are just a few:
- Are they bonded and insured?
- What are their hiring practices?
- How do they screen employees?
- What is their employee retention rate?
- Do they utilize third-party certification programs?
- Do they have OSHA certification?
- What type of training do employees receive?
- Is there on-site management?
- Are there established communications protocols?
- Are there established safety protocols?
- How do they handle privacy and confidentiality issues?
- What about security protocols?
- Do they have experience with similar facilities?
- What quality control measures are in place?
- Are specific individuals assigned to each facility?
- Can you provide references?
These are just a few recommended questions but you will likely have more that are specific to your facility and requirements. For instance, you may have questions about green cleaning protocols, supply restocking, or specialized services like parking lot cleaning, window cleaning, or high-surface dusting. Be sure to ask about the particular services that you require.
CHOOSING A COMPANY WITH THE WRONG SPECIALIZATION
Cleaning procedures for an office complex are quite different than cleaning procedures for a medical facility. A company specializing in post-construction cleaning will not have the skills required for corporate janitorial services.
It is important that the company you choose has experience in your industry. Many well-established commercial cleaning companies will specialize in a variety of industries and will have the references to prove they are capable. It is not unusual for a commercial cleaning company to train employees in particular specialties to expand their service offerings.
Be certain that the company you hire has verifiable experience in your industry by asking for references and following up on them.
NOT READING THE CONTRACT
Nobody likes to read a contract. For some, it is just a litany of legal jargon that they do not fully understand. Regardless, it is very important that you understand what services are to be provided at what cost, what quality assurances are in place, what recourse you have should the service be less than expected, and what additional fees may be associated with the services.
Failing to read and understand your cleaning contract is a big no-no. If need be, send it to a lawyer to review. Making sure that you understand the agreement that you are entering into will make for a much smoother relationship with your cleaning services provider and help you avoid surprises later on.