Why Pet Care is Different
Employees can make or break your business regardless of the industry. But the right employees in a pet care business can set you apart from the competition. Hiring new employees, whether you’re just starting out or adding to your staff, can be stressful. You really never know if you’ll get a good fit until you’ve brought the person on board and worked with them for a few weeks. There’s only so much a resume can tell you, which is why looking at other things can be so helpful in finding the right fit. Here are some hiring tips for finding the perfect match for your pet care business.
Qualifications and Experience
Obviously, the first place you want to start when hiring new employees is with a resume. Reviewing qualifications and determining that they may be a good fit, on the surface, is the first step in a successful hiring process. For a pet care employee, you want to see that they’ve had experience and/or training in animal behavior as well as customer service. When it comes to dog daycare and boarding, they need to be able to interact well with the pets as well as the pet parents. Firstly, any potential employee should have basic knowledge of dog behavior and socialization. Understanding how dogs interact with each other and humans is key in keeping pets safe and happy while under your business’s care. Additionally, understanding how pet parents feel about their four-legged friends is critical. Pets are part of the family and showing pet parents that your employees will give the same care and attention to their animals that they do is key.
Some specific things to look for when reviewing a candidate’s qualifications and experience are:
- What positions have they held and where? Do they have a long list of customer service jobs that were quick turnover, or have they held a position or two for a long period?
- What pet experience have they listed? Have they been dog walkers or sitters frequently? Have they worked at a different pet care business?
- What’s the range of their work history? Do they jump around from industry to industry or are they focused in one or two similar areas?
Since the pet care industry has blossomed within the past decade, your candidates may or may not have pet-specific experience but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be a good fit for your team. It may take a little more discovery that simply perusing a resume to find the right people for your business.
When hiring new employees, one of the most challenging yet most important parts of evaluating candidates is understanding and reading temperament. When it comes to pet care, an understanding and caring nature is crucial for any employee you’re going to bring on board. Naturally, any potential employee must love animals and want what’s best for them. But beyond a true love for animals, you need to find employees that are dedicated, hardworking, and interested in growing with your business. Several facets of one’s personality can contribute to these common traits, including:
- Being inquisitive. You want to find an employee who’s interested in continuous learning and plays an active role in their own success. Staying abreast of trends in the pet care industry and research on canine communication can set your employees apart from the rest. During your interview, do they ask questions about the business or industry? Do they seem invested in learning?
- Being organized. A well-run business works like a finely tuned machine. At a franchise like K9 Resorts, processes and protocol are proven successful and organization is key in ensuring they’re carried out well. Organized employees help make businesses run smoothly and make for happy, healthy pets and parents! To gauge their organization skills, ask them about past projects they’ve had to handle and how they went about it.
- Being authentic. Authenticity might be one of the most important qualities in any employee. Being authentic means that your employee is honest, true to themselves, and exudes confidence. They put people around them at ease – which is very positive in a customer service setting! You’ll likely be able to tell if a person is authentic just by interviewing them in person. They’ll be confident, calm, and have a welcoming sense about them. These are also all things that dogs can sense!
While there may be many hiring tips out there, determining a candidate’s temperament might be tricky. One way to save some time may be to do a primary phone interview before meeting in person so that you can start to gauge their personality and temperament without wasting time.
To find great employees that will stick around, figure out what their long-term vision is for their career. Sometimes, especially in the pet care industry, people may just be dipping their toes into a new career path but not be entirely sure if it’s a good fit for them. While this can sometimes work out, sometimes it doesn’t. That doesn’t mean you can’t hire someone without previous pet care experience if the rest of their experience and attitude seem right. Figuring out a potential employee’s long-term vision is crucial when you’re hiring new employees. Is this candidate looking to help you grow your business as well as their own career? Most hiring tips include asking candidates where they see themselves in five years and this is how managers determine their long-term vision.
While this question is a great start, doing a little bit more investigation can be helpful. Carefully review the candidate’s past work history and look for any discrepancies or bouncing around. Have they held steady positions that have increased in responsibility? Or does it look like they get bored easily and move on to new and exciting opportunities? Also, do a little digging online and read employee reviews. Places like Glassdoor allow former and current employees to leave reviews of their employer. By cross-referencing their resume, you can discover if they’ve left any reviews and what they’ve said about past employers. This information can shed some light on their overall career vision.
Hiring new employees can be tough but doing a little bit of extra research and investigation can pay off big time when it comes to finding the right fit. Our franchise process can help you connect with other franchisees to determine what’s worked for them when staffing and provide a few hiring tips for a successful search.
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