Last Updated: November 24, 2023 • Visit Blog Homepage

As a dog daycare or boarding kennel owner, hiring the right staff is crucial to the success of your business. Good staff can be the make or break between having a successful boarding kennel and having one that needs to shut down. Your staff are the face of your business, so if you're not putting in the effort to hire the best staff, you're putting the success of your business in danger. Not only will the right staff provide exceptional care for the dogs in your care, but they will also help create a positive and professional atmosphere for your customers.

Here are some tips on how to hire the right staff for your dog daycare business:

1. Define Your Company Culture

Before you begin your search for staff, it is essential to define the culture of your company. What kind of values and goals does your company have? What is the work atmosphere like? Knowing these things will help you attract employees who are a good fit for your business. Your employees are going to be the ones embodying the culture of your business, so you need to make sure you know what that culture is. Are you a dog daycare that's super young and fun or a more sober boarding kennel for hunting dogs? Figure out what your culture is first; that'll make it easier to hire employees that fit the culture.

2. Write a Detailed Job Description

A well-written, detailed job description will help you attract the right candidates and also give them a clear understanding of what the job entails. Make sure to include duties, responsibilities, and the qualifications you are looking for. If you're hiring front-desk staff, but you're expecting them to also help out with taking dogs out on bathroom breaks and chaperoning the pets during daycare playtime, make sure you list that in your job description. The last thing you want is for an employee to say, "This wasn't part of the job description." when you them to go poop-scoop the pet play area. Try your best to find good all-arounders; employees that are happy to any job that needs doing.

3. Utilize Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool in the recruitment process. Post job openings on your company's social media platforms and utilize job listing websites such as Indeed or LinkedIn. This will give you access to a wider pool of potential candidates. While LinkedIn might be pushing it for dog daycare and boarding kennel job postings, Facebook is perfect. If you're looking for a new after-school helper at your business, put out the word on your personal Facebook page, as well as the Facebook page for your business. There's a good chance that one of your clients has a niece or nephew that is looking to make some spending money. Having your client vouch for their referral is already going to help you during the applicant-filtering process.

4. Conduct Thorough Interviews

During the interview process, it is important to ask the right questions to determine if the candidate is a good fit for the job. Ask about their experience with dogs and how they handle challenging situations. Also, ask them to give examples of how they have handled difficult customers in the past. Lay some some possible scenarios for your potential new hires and see how they respond to each one. What will be do if a dog gets injured and they need to call the owner? How would they react to an angry client that isn't happy with the late pickup fee (that they knew about but are still angry about paying)? These kinds of questions will give you a good idea of how your employee reacts on their feet.

5. Check References

Before making a hiring decision, be sure to check references. You are checking references, right? This will give you a better understanding of the candidate's work experience, reliability, and professionalism. If you don't believe the references are strong enough, you can always ask for more. If your employees are school-aged, you can ask for a referral from a recent teacher or other school staff. If they're older, try to get referrals that are not related to that person. Getting a referral from Aunt Kelly isn't as worthwhile as a referral from the school principal (who doesn't have a reason to give you a false referral).

6. Consider a Trial Period

If you're not sure about a candidate, consider offering a trial period. This will give you a better idea of their work style, their compatibility with the rest of your staff, and if they are a good fit for the job. Most businesses will do something like a 30-day trial period. During this trial period, make it a point to have bi-weekly checkups where you talk with the employee about what they don't understand about the job and about how you can help them do their job better. They'll appreciate your input and you'll get a better employee as a result. At the end of 30 days, if the employee just isn't working out, at least they knew it was a possibility.

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