Hiring your next dog walker could be one of the biggest decisions you make in 2020. As all dog walking businesses emerge from the COVID-19 stay at home orders, client lists are finally rebuilding and previous dog walker employees are slowly returning to work. I have discovered that in some instances, not all dog walkers that were furloughed will return. As demand starts to build up, it is important to think two, three, or even four weeks ahead relating to capacity and staffing. Your next dog walker could be the keystone member of your new staff, it is important to always be recruiting.
This article will discuss five easy ways to use your pet business’s website to attract the best talent in your market, ensuring your growing dog walking team is the best team possible and you can continue saying “Yes!” to returning and new clients.
When attracting new candidates, you need to ensure that the application process is as simple as possible. Look at candidates the way you look at clients. As your website’s new client signup is easily identified by the new client, in turn, you need to ensure it is just as easy to locate the section of your website for new candidates to apply. The way a new client goes through a sales funnel, a candidate will go through a hiring pipeline. Most candidates will not simply email the company with their cover letter and resume. They are expecting a hiring portal. As an added bonus, most consumers see a company making a strong effort to hire new staff, as a problem created by high demand for their services. Do not be shy about your desire to find the best candidates possible.
Taking the concept of a hiring portal even further, if you are taking advantage of an ATS (applicant tracking system), I encourage the use of integrations within your website. Popular services such as JazzHR have simple ways to incorporate their application system within your website. To the candidate, it will be a seamless experience. The best part about this integration is the time saved. Without taking this step, candidates that apply directly through your website, and not with the ATS, may need to be manually moved over to the larger candidate pool. They also might need to answer additional application questions not present on your website, delaying their application and potentially losing their interest. In the same way that client leads are only valid for a limited time, so are candidates. As each candidate could represent your next all-star dog walker or even next manager, you must leave no stone unturned.
When candidates apply, they often want to know how they compare to other dog walkers already on staff. An “About Us” page can share company history and act as a brief biography section for your team. This will answer the candidate’s curiosity about a company’s team and at the same time help a prospective client learn more about your staff. As dog walking companies grow, less emphasis should be placed on the owner and more emphasis needs to be placed on the team and company brand. This page should have a positive tone, welcoming all candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds. Remember, as a dog walking company has no special product, asset, or service that another company cannot replicate, your defining element is the quality of the people that make up your team.
Modern and Professional Websites
Having a website with modern technologies and design built-in is critical with today’s browsers. Many, if not the majority of website viewers are visiting through a mobile browser. You must have a website that is built for performance (regardless of bandwidth), flexibility (regardless of device) with optimized SEO (search engine optimization). Your website is most likely the “front-door” of your business, as most dog walking and pet sitting companies do not have a physical location that is customer-facing. The benefits of having a professional website will trickle down to your dog walking candidates. The top tier candidates want to work for leaders in their market. No one wants to work for a company that can be perceived as outdated or less professional than their peers.
When possible, highlight your strong consumer reviews, vibrant social media content, and local community connections. Working with animals is fun! Share that atmosphere with both potential clients and candidates. One last note regarding the new website design, I strongly discourage stock photos – professional photoshoots are more valuable and worth the investment. But premium stock photography is better than poor quality images that you took. Make your website imagery as unique as the dogs we walk. Candidates and clients will appreciate the transparency.
A modern website is a big difference maker but adding new relevant content makes the visit even more compelling to the viewer. With the proper content, your website can be used as a resource for candidates in a job search. How do you become a dog walker in your city? How much does a dog walker earn in your city? Is dog walking a career? How are dog walks performed while maintaining COVID-19 safety guidelines? You can build an FAQ, which with the proper SEO, can lead to results on Google and other search engines. This will help candidates look at your website not only as a trusted resource but as the first place they might apply as they begin the job search. Higher tiered candidates will research before applying. Provide them with as much information as possible. An FAQ, employee testimonials, links to Glassdoor and Indeed company reviews and even video content focusing on your staff or the employee experience can help them make their decision.
In summary, each of these five elements can help your dog walking business attract top tier candidates and also some new clients. One change can make a difference but by incorporating all five, you ensure that you have done everything possible to build your best team. Some of these changes can be made by a novice but I would strongly suggest using a vendor such as Barketing Solutions to ensure that the website functions properly on all browsers, with all devices for any user. Barketing Solutions can ensure your website works on every platform. Barketing Solutions is also the ideal solution for this particular challenge as they focus on websites built from the ground up for the Pet Care Industry.
Need help with recruiting dog walkers and pet sitters? WalkerScout can help!
Please stay safe as we start walking with our canine companions again,
WalkerScout is a recruiting service designed for the pet care industry. It provides customized solutions to maintain, grow, and improve your team. WalkerScout will absorb all recruitment responsibilities including multiple interview phases. After candidates have been selected, WalkerScout will communicate with references and verify employment history. Additional services include performance reviews and exit interviews. The team at WalkerScout has hired hundreds of candidates to work in a variety of roles nationwide. WalkerScout offers permanent solutions for your pet care industry staffing problems.