Don’t hire any more cleaning subcontractors unless you ask these questions.

Cleaning subcontractors can be a lifesaver for your building services or commercial cleaning business. They help out when you’re shorthanded, they pick up jobs you don’t have the people for, and they can bring specialized skills to your team. The right subcontractors can add to the customer experience and help elevate your business. 

Of course, the opposite may also be true. A lackluster subcontractor can hurt your business, leaving customers unhappy with a job that’s not done well. Anything they do reflects on your business. So if you hire cleaning subcontractors who are rude, break things, or otherwise leave a bad impression, it’s a safe bet to assume that you’ll be the one who suffers. 

Is that fair? Perhaps not. Even so, from a customer’s point of view, you should vet a subcontractor’s work and ensure they provide quality work. Your customers are hiring you. They aren’t hiring the subcontractor. Therefore, it’s important to ask some questions before you hire a subcontractor. 

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Cleaning Subcontractors

Can your cleaning subcontractors answer these questions?

Along with the typical questions, such as those around availability and and price, there are some other questions that will give you a deeper understanding of who your subcontractor is. Remember, they are a reflection of your business judgement, so you want to ensure anyone you hire as a subcontractor is fully invested in their work.

1.  Are you insured? State laws vary, but there’s a good chance your cleaning subcontractors will at least need general liability insurance unless you have a clause in your policy that lets you add them. There’s too much potential for damage or injury in the cleaning industry to hire an uninsured subcontractor. 

2. What cleaning products do you use? This can be especially important if you’re offering LEED credits or selling your services as green cleaning.

3. What kind of training and experience do you have? Anyone could hire themselves out as a subcontractor, but that doesn’t mean they have training or experience. Find out what certifications they have or where they learned the job. That can possibly tell you a lot about what kind of work you can expect from them. 

4. Do you have business references and can I call them? Any reputable cleaning subcontractors should have references that you can call. One tip here, however, is to look up the businesses and numbers they provide. Again, it’s easy to make up a business name and provide a friend’s number who’s willing to play the part. 

5. Can you provide inspection reports with before and after photos? You already know how important it is to document your inspections. It’s helpful for your business and it’s a great way to showcase your work to your customers. It’s reasonable to expect this from any subcontractors you hire. 

Where can you find subcontractors?

It’s beneficial to have a network of reliable cleaning subcontractors. You never know when you might need to call on someone for some additional help. But where do you find them? Here are three places to look.

Former employees. It probably is worth pointing out that this only applies to employees who left on good terms. And it’s also worth mentioning that employees who are at another cleaning company are off-limits. However, for employees who have moved on to other industries, you may find that some are willing to pick up a little extra work here and there. 

Other cleaning companies. Again, you need to use discretion in subcontracting. That said, if there are other commercial cleaning companies in your network that you trust, it might be worth exploring that as a potential source for cleaning subcontractors. They could have an employee that’s looking for some extra work. 

Referrals. Just like word-of-mouth is a great way for prospects to find your business, it’s also a good way for you to find subcontractors. 

Hiring subcontractors isn’t uncommon. Nor is it that challenging once you find someone you like. In the right circumstances, a good contractor could be one of your best business assets!

If you’re ready to increase the professionalism of your cleaning operation through better organization, easy access to important data, unparalleled tracking, and more, schedule a call with JM today!