Congratulations! You’ve grown your dog walking or pet sitting business to the point where hiring additional staff will help improve your business. You’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into building your business and you want to continue to grow it with the right people in place. How do you ensure you are hiring the right people?

There are a few criteria that can help you determine an appropriate hire.

Is the candidate a pet lover?
Believe it or not, some of the candidates you get like dogs and cats but have a different level of ‘like’ or ‘love’ than you do. They may express their affection in different ways and you need to make sure you are comfortable with that. It’s always a good idea to bring a prospective dog walker on a walk with you to see how they interact with the dog. Are they asking the right questions? How are they interacting with the dog? Seeing an applicant in person is a great way to gauge how they will perform if hired.

What are the candidate’s career or future goals?
Turnover is one of the biggest challenges faced by dog walking businesses. It’s not good for you and it’s not good for your clients or their dogs. Ask candidates what their short-term and long-term goals are to see if they are a good fit and can stay with you for a good period of time. Dog walkers are often focusing on other endeavors that can work well with a dog-walking schedule. They might be going to school at night, do freelance work on their own schedules, work a job at night, or work weekends. Make sure you clearly define the position and the hours it requires.

What do references have to say about the candidate?
Dog walkers work on their own for the majority of their day – it’s just the nature of the business. This makes it more important than ever to hire a trusting person who will perform at a high level without direct supervision. Talk to two to three references and ask questions pertaining to attendance, performance, attitude, etc. It’s difficult to meet someone only once and decide if you want to hire them. Consider having multiple people meet the candidate to get second or third opinions if you can.

Do they follow instructions?
Dog walking is about providing great customer service to your customers and their pets. You want to make sure your staff is professional, courteous, and follows customer instructions. One way to see if a candidate will provide great customer service is to outline some requirements on your job post. For example, state that you require all candidates to submit a resume, a brief cover note, their mode of transportation (if necessary), and any other relevant questions to see if they follow instructions. Those who don’t can’t be counted on to perform at the level required to run a successful business.

Did they pass a background check?
Your dog walking staff is entrusted to enter your clients’ homes. Make sure you have insurance and bonding in the unlikely event anything happens. You wouldn’t want anyone with a criminal history to enter your home and take care of your pet, and your clients don’t either. Run a background check through a number of different online options and hire only people who you would trust to go into your home.

Do you empower your walkers and sitters with technology?
You want accountability from your walkers as much as your clients want it from your business. Leave the trust issues to technology like you’ll find with Pet Check Technology. Utilizing a GPS-enabled smartphone, Pet Check sends your clients an email outlining the route your walker took, how long they were out, photographs of the walk, and notes about the time your walker spent with the client’s pet. Learn more about our technology by contacting us today.

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