What to do When You Get Burned by a Pet Sitter on Your Team
I spoke with a pet sitter last week, and she was just distraught about the previous three hires she had made to her pet sitting business. This is what I see happen so many times with pet sitting business owners trying the hiring process. They make the wrong choices, and then they say, “Oh, nope, this isn’t for me. I’m going to stay small, and the business does not multiply.”
So I said to this sitter, “You are learning something, this is a new process, but you need to get better at it.”
Let’s look back and identify the red flags.
Starting with the application, look at what they submitted. Look at the spelling, look at the grammar. Sometimes when I go back, and I’m like, oh, that was not a good hire.
If a pet sitter is going to apply to your company and they cannot take the time to capitalize or use correct punctuation, they’re not going to be a good fit.
Look back and see how they followed the process that you have laid out.
What steps did you have in place for them through the hiring process, and how did they follow it? Did they follow it correctly? Did they have to ask lots of questions? Did they do it incorrectly? Did you have to ask them repeatedly to submit their background check or to submit their references, et cetera? Did they follow the steps?
How do they communicate with you? Go back and read their emails and or text messages to you. It goes back to that application. Are they writing well thought out detailed emails or text messages? Or are they kind of a mess and all over the place? Are they just trying to throw the buck back at you, saying, here you fix this, so on and so forth? Communication is huge.
How do they present themselves at the interview? Sometimes I see people people that show up for a pet sitter interview, and they look an absolute mess. If somebody’s coming to interview for a job position, the least they can do is pull their hair back and put on clean clothes. Suppose they can’t present themselves cleanly and professionally to you at an interview. In that case, they’re not going to present themselves well to your human clients when they go to do registration meetings. Were they on time for the interview? What kind of questions did they ask you during the interview and onboarding process? If the answer’s none, that is a red flag.
Reflect on how you could have missed the red flag.
Did you ignore the red flags? A lot of times, you ignore them. You think this person seems like they’re going to be a really good fit. I’m going to pretend like that email they just sent me wasn’t unprofessional. Or all right, I can get past how they looked, or they were 15 minutes late to the interview.
What could you put in place so that you don’t miss the red flags?
At Pet Nanny Coach, I teach my Multiply Framework, and we have three steps to the hiring process. We have the Attraction System. So we’re attracting the right people. We have the Assessment System; we have all types of hoops to jump through to see if they can make it to the other side. So look at that process. What do you have in place to see how they’re going to be as a pet sitter before you hire them? And finally, what does your Onboarding System look like?
Look at your onboarding process.
One I see a lot is the availability. They tell me they’re available here, and then they get started, and then all of a sudden, their availability changes. Is there any way to improve and have prepared this person more so that they could have done a better job for you?
We must go over this ten times before somebody starts working with my company and have them sign an availability sheet. This is what you are signing off on. Then we also go over the long-term relationship that we’re looking for. We’re not looking to work with pet sitters who will use my company as a pit stop. And if you join my team, you are committing to a long-term relationship of working together.
We’re going over it again and again. During the interview process, during the assessment phase, during the onboarding process. It’s setting those expectations right upfront so that they know what to expect.
Be kind to yourselves during this process.
You are going to get better at it, I promise, but it will take a little bit of a learning curve. I’m telling you if you put my processes into place, creating that attraction system, that assessment system, and that onboarding system that all work in conjunction with each other, you are going to create such an amazing team of people that you love working with that are going to take such fantastic care of your clients, both furry and human.
Still, you got to put the work in on the front end. And when you do that, it’s going to take so much of the stress level out of this.
When you get burned, I want you to take the time to go back and look. What were the red flags? How did I miss the flags? What could I put in place the next time I hire to avoid the red flags? Look at the onboarding process. How can you prepare these people so that you know that they are going to do such a great job working for your company at the end of that onboarding process? Take the time and look. I’m telling you 9.9 times out of 10, there were red flags, and we got to figure out how to get better at not missing those.
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