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November 17, 2017 Residential Cleaning Connection Newsletter
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 Volume 8  |  Issue 11 

Be Thankful for the Simple Things, for Everything 

By RJ Patel, Residential Cleaning Council Chair


At this time of year, while it may seem cliché, I think it is a time-honored tradition to think on what it is we value most in our lives and to give thanks for that very thing.

This week, I was at a networking event, the President of the group asked all the members to take a moment to consider what it is we are most thankful for. After allowing a few moments for reflection, we all took our turn to share what it is that means most to us in the world. I must tell you I was moved more than you can know. Grown men and women – many brought to tears – as they detailed how much their faith, family and their family meant to them.


I find myself humbled when I think of the many ways I have been blessed in my life. I am thankful for my beautiful and loving wife. I am thankful for my wonderful children. I am thankful for my large and generous family. I am thankful for the business I am lucky enough to own and the good work that we do. I am thankful for the many friends I have made through my involvement with ARCSI family.


But as much as I am grateful for the many wonderful things in my life, I am also eternally grateful for the little things that we take for granted every day. I am thankful for the air I breathe. I am thankful that I have two good feet that take me where I need to go. I am thankful for the car that I drive and the roof over my head. I am thankful to have warm clothes to keep me warm when it gets cold outside and an air conditioner to help fight the Atlanta humidity in the summer.


I am thankful for these things and so much more this year. And as 2017 comes to a close, don’t miss the opportunity to reflect on what you accomplished this year. And better yet, where do you see yourself in 2018. Did you achieve what you had hoped to this year? Were there opportunities you missed? Don’t wait until the holidays and the new year to creep up on you before you start planning for next year. Give some thought now to what you want to accomplish in the new year.


So over the next six weeks, it will feel like time is flying right by. Take some time to think about what you have done with your time and your business over the last year, set your goals for next year, and most importantly, enjoy yourself! That’s right – enjoy your time with family and friends, taste the food and soak in the holiday spirit!


With that, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!


Sincerely, RJ Patel





New for 2018: ISSA Leadership Summit!


Why Most Companies Never Hire the Perfect Person for the Job  


By Jeff Haden


Jeff Haden is a ghostwriter, speaker, and an Inc. Magazine contributing editor. What else? He is the opening Keynote at the 2018 Leadership Summit in Tucson April 19-21. In this blog, Jeff offers some guidance on how to hire the perfect person.


Want to hire superstars? Trying to find the “total package” is the last thing you should do. Literally (and not in the teenage use of literally) the last thing.


Why? Think about the typical hiring process. You work hard to find and select the right candidate. You evaluate skills and experience and then ask interview questions to determine if the candidate possesses qualities like attention to detail, interpersonal skills, leadership ability, problem-solving skills....


Your process is exhaustive and, well, exhausting.


Still, while many of the people that get hired turn out to be good employees, few of them turn out to be what every company really needs: great employees.

Why? Those companies -- and the people making the decisions -- took the job description approach to hiring.


Think about job descriptions. They list a wide variety of qualifications the employee should possess. Typically attributes like “self motivated,” “able to work with minimal supervision,” “able to prioritize and handle multiple tasks,” and “able to work well alone or as a member of a team,” are included.


So what happens? People evaluate candidates with those requirements in mind. The candidate that ticks the most boxes is usually selected—and the company winds up hiring good when they really need great.


Now think about the truly great employees you know. Some are well rounded, some are not, but all possess at least one incredible skill. They all do at least one thing, one critical thing, so well that people are willing—even happy—to overlook some of their deficiencies.


In short, a great employee has what you really need. All other attributes on the job description, while important, pale in comparison.


Next time you hire an employee, set the job description approach aside and take this approach instead.


1. Determine what you really need.
Forget about finding a “well-rounded employee” (whatever that is). If you could only pick one or two attributes, what are the most important skills or qualities you need?
Keep in mind those attributes will often change depending on your current needs and the skills your other employees possess.


So ignore the job description. Forget the position; think about the job. Decide what you really need the new employee to do.


As Dharmesh Shah says, "You don't need a VP of anything... you need a Doer of Things That Need to Get Done."


2. Decide what you really don’t need.

When you’re ticking off boxes on a list of qualifications it’s easy to forget that you simply can’t live with some attributes, regardless of how solid the candidate otherwise appears.


Complete this sentence about a theoretical employee: "I don't care how great she is, I would still let her go because she ________."


Those are your no-go attributes. Never lose sight of them.


3. Do a first pass.

Set aside every candidate that doesn’t have what you really need. Don’t be tempted by the, “Wow, she really has a wide range of skills,” candidate. If she doesn’t bring the one or two attributes you really need she may turn out to be a good employee, but she’s not likely to be great.


Then set aside every candidate with an attribute on your "no way in hell" list. She won't be great either.


4. Conduct highly focused interviews.
Spend 10% of your time assessing general qualities and 90% of your time ensuring the candidate truly has what you need. Dig in. Ask for examples. Ask lots of follow-up questions. Write everything down.


Then check references and use your notes to help you ask specific questions. Sure, some companies won’t provide any information, but many -- especially small businesses -- will.


Many will say they are not allowed to share information about previous employees. When that happens, try saying, “I understand. I’m just really worried I might a mistake. Can you just say, if you were me, whether you would hire him?”


You'll be surprised by how many people will want to help you out with a whispered "yes" or "no."


Then you can...


5. Assess the “total employee.”
If a few candidates seem relatively equal in terms of what you really need, then decide which one best meets your more subjective criteria. Conduct a second interview if necessary. Or let other employees interview the remaining candidates.


At this point you can afford to evaluate “nice to have” qualities because you’ve done everything possible to identify candidates that have the attributes you truly need.


What do you think? Do you hire people who have that one skill you most need, or do you try to hire candidates who appear to be the total package?

Visit for complete event schedule and to take advantage of the early bird pricing. Register now to take advantage of Early Bird Pricing!  



Take the HCT in Phoenix in January

The first House Cleaning Technician (HCT) 2018 is set for sunny Phoenix in January!

The HCT Certification differentiates you from other residential cleaning companies in your market as professional and knowledgeable.


The House Cleaning Technician (HCT) certification program teaches cleaning technicians how to go about doing just that. Becoming certified gives you the knowledge to be the best cleaner possible. Certified House Cleaning Techs understand all the surfaces they will find in clients' homes, how to clean them and (almost more importantly) how NOT to clean them.


Offered by the IICRC accredited school, the Institute for Service Excellence, the course is taught by Bruce Vance, ISE.







The Top 10 Ways to Get Your Best People to Quit

By Mel Kleiman


Ever wonder why one of your best people really quit? The following list is even truer today than when we first published it as a Hiring Hint in 2013!


10. Don’t make each new hire feel welcome and valued. Employees are most impressionable during the first 60 days on the job. Every bit of information gathered during this time will either reinforce your new hire’s “buying decision” (to take the job) or lead to “New Hire’s Remorse” — especially if you shunt them off to fill out reams of paperwork and watch training videos while you do “important things.”


9. Treat everyone equally. While this may sound good, your employees are not equal. Some are worth more because they produce more results. Some prefer hands-on management while others would rather take the ball and run with it. The key, then, is not to treat them equally, but to treat everyone fairly and with respect.


8. Enforce dumb rules. I did not say enforce no rules, I said don’t enforce dumb rules. Great employees want to have guidelines and direction, but they don’t want to deal with rules that get in the way of doing their jobs or that conflict with the company’s stated values.


7. Don’t recognize outstanding performance. Remember Psychology 101 — Behavior you want repeated must be recognized and rewarded immediately.


6. Don’t keep your people informed. If you don’t tell them what’s up, the rumor mill will. You’ve got to communicate not only the good, but also the bad and the ugly.


5. Don’t develop an employee retention strategy. Employee retention deserves your attention every day. Make a list of the people you don’t want to lose and, next to each name, write down what you are doing or will do to ensure that person stays engaged and on board.


4. Tolerate mediocrity. A-players don’t have to or want to play with a bunch of C-players and they will come to resent the need to carry the load for any slackers you keep on payroll.


3. Don’t do employee-retention interviews. Instead, you wait until a great employee is walking out the door and conduct a posthumous exit interview to see what you could have done differently to keep them on board.


2. Don’t have any fun at work. Where’s the written rule that says work has to be serious? The notion that work cannot be fun is actually counterproductive. The workplace should be fun. Find ways to make work and/or the work environment more relaxed and enjoyable and you will have happy employees who look forward to coming to work each day.


1. Micromanage everything. Squash creativity and innovation in the bud by telling them what they need to do and exactly how to do it. Don’t tell them why it needs doing or why their contributions are important. And, above all, don’t ask for their input on how it might be done better.


For more from Mel Kleiman, visit the Humetrics blog.





Case Study: Increasing Profitability per Job

How to increase profits without getting bigger: Derek Christian coaches Mary Rundquist of Reliable Maids


At the ISSA/INTERCLEAN trade show in Las Vegas this past September, business coaches Liz Trotter, Tom Stewart, and I sat down with cleaning business owners from all over the country for in-depth talks about problems they faced. These free one-on-one coaching sessions were recorded on video. In the months to come, they will be presented here by Cleaning Business Today as case studies. Today's case study focuses on how to increase profitability per job. 


Read the full article at 







ISSA Foundation Provides New Opportunities for ARCSI Members


The ISSA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of ISSA, helping the cleaning industry attract and retain employees by connecting ISSA member firms with college students. The Foundation also promotes the well-being of the general public in several ways.


The mission of the ISSA Foundation is to raise and provide funds for scholarships, research grants, and other programs that promote the welfare of the general public as it relates to the sanitation, cleaning, and maintenance industry.


This mission is accomplished through generous donations from individuals and companies, most of whom are ISSA members. Contributions to the Foundation support the annual scholarship program and are tax-deductible. Members can easily make a donation to the ISSA Foundation when they renew their annual memberships. In 2018, residential members are eligible for ISSA Scholarships. Deadline to apply is March 1, 2018.


Visit the ISSA website today to learn more about the Foundation. 







Welcome to

Residential Members


  • Tara Brown, AT&Z Cleaning, Charlotte, NC
  • Kellie La Belle, La Belle’s Affordable Cleaning, Merritt Island, FL
  • Adriana Maia, ACM Cleaning & Property Maintenance, Hyannis, MA 
  • Anna Pawlik, Anna Maids, Lake Zurich, IL
  • Amanda Smith, Amanda’s Pro Cleaning, Lebanon, NH
  • Laura Srocki, LLS Quality Home Cleaning, Pittsburgh, PA




Be Thankful for the Simple Things, for Everything


Why Most Companies Never Hire the Perfect Person for the Job


Take the HCT in Phoenix in January


The Top 10 Ways to Get Your Best People to Quit


Case Study: Increasing Profitability per Job


ISSA Foundation Provides New Opportunities for ARCSI Members


Welcome to New Members





















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