Last Updated: April 3, 2023 • Visit Blog Homepage

If you're like most dog daycare owners, you probably started as a sole proprietorship working out of your house, watching a few dogs during the day and maybe doing some overnight boarding for clients. However, as your business has continued to grow (congrats!), you've probably come to terms with the fact that you're going to need to bring on some extra hands to help take care of the increased number of daily pets. This requires a team of talented, passionate, and dependable staff members who are committed to your mission. But how do you find these individuals and ensure that they are the right fit for your business? It's not an easy process, but it's something that you're going to have to figure out one way or another.

Step 1: Create a Clear Job Description

The first step in hiring the right staff for your dog daycare or kennel is to develop a clear job description. This should outline the duties, skills, and qualifications required for the position, as well as the working hours and compensation package. This will help to attract the right candidates and ensure that everyone is on the same page from the start. You're going to want to sit down and create a list of all the tasks that your future employee(s) are going to have to do. This could be things like running the front desk during check-in, cleaning kennels, walking dogs, giving food and medication at certain times, etc. An easy way to create this list is to mentally walk through your entire day, thinking of everything that you have to do from the time you "punch in" until you lock the door at the end of the night.

Step 2: Sift Your Way Through Various Applicants

Another important factor to consider when hiring staff for your dog daycare or kennel is their passion for working with animals. This includes a genuine love and respect for dogs, as well as an understanding of their unique needs and behaviors. Staff who are passionate about their work are more likely to provide high-quality care and create a positive and engaging environment for your guests. If you post your job publicly, you're going to get an onslaught of applications, many of them from people completely inappropriate for the position. It might be better to post your job on social media and let your network of clients and friends help you find the perfect employee. There's a good chance that one of your clients might know a dedicated high schooler that's looking to make some money for their college fund. These are the kinds of young employees that are great hires. You also might get lucky and find some older candidates. Perhaps a local retiree that wants to stay busy and mentally active. If so, you might have just found a great manager that is trustworthy and dependable.

Step 3: Conduct a Thorough Background Check

Next, it’s important to conduct thorough background checks on all applicants. This includes verifying their references, checking for any criminal records, and conducting interviews to gauge their suitability for the role. It’s also a good idea to include a trial period, during which new hires can demonstrate their skills and get to know your business. Running a criminal background check might not be suitable for all candidates, but you're going to definitely contact each of the references on the job application. It's a great way to get a 360 view of your potential new hire. You're obviously only going to be hearing the best things about the candidate, but if you keep your ears sharp and ask good questions, you should be able to figure out if the person would be a good hire.

Step 4: Provide Thorough Training & Onboarding

Once you have a team in place, it’s essential to provide ongoing training and support. This includes regular performance evaluations, opportunities for career development, and a positive and supportive work environment. By investing in your staff, you can ensure that they are motivated, engaged, and equipped to provide the best possible service to your clients. In the best case situation, you're going to find someone that already has ample experience taking care of jobs and working at a dog daycare. If not, you're going to need to train your new hire to become that very person that you're looking for. Investing in employees without previous knowledge can help create a strong sense of loyalty from your employees. If you've invested in them, they're willing to invest in you.

Step 5: Give Employees Clear Expectations & Guidelines

Finally, it’s crucial to have clear expectations and guidelines in place for your staff. This includes policies and procedures for handling emergencies, dealing with difficult customers, and providing top-notch care for the dogs in your care. By having a clear set of guidelines, you can help your staff to provide the best possible service, while also protecting your business and ensuring compliance with industry regulations. Take your time and write up a FAQ for the various questions and issues that will likely arise during their time working for your business. You might want to even have a little test after a week or so and ask them about different situations, to see if they know the proper response for each question or situation.

Hiring the right staff is critical to the success of your dog daycare or kennel. By developing a clear job description, conducting thorough background checks, providing ongoing training and support, seeking out individuals with a passion for working with animals, and having clear expectations and guidelines, you can create a talented and dedicated team who will help your business to thrive. Hiring staff is never easy, but if you put in the effort to find good employees, it can pay dividends in the long run. There's nothing better than having a team of trusted employees that give you the freedom to take a little vacation, knowing that your business is in good hands while you're away.

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