One day, one of my business associates met up with me after conducting a day of interviews with several high rise window companies and asked me this question:
"How do you know when the company is the right one before you hire them?"
My quick answer was “you don’t” Our company has had to let a few Window cleaning companies go because of ongoing neglect of safety for our clients, themselves and pedestrians on the street.
When you are looking at credentials and impressive jobs a high rise window cleaning company may have, the bid might be better than the company really is and I am a firm believer that the interview needs to be a good judge of character; Know what overall safety and moral demands we are looking for; Etc...
I think it helps to first ask yourself what you are looking for in a good window cleaning company. Yes, the window cleaning skills are important. Safety is important. But the right mindset to manage their employee’s in safety and technical skill. I like to see crew leaders and managers that are detail-oriented, constantly inspecting their crews work.
Another thing I ask myself is what type of person do I want representing my company? This has to do with their people skills, their attitude, their work ethic, their ability to be humble enough to recognize when they have made a mistake, when they need to ask a question, while having the determination to make it right.
what I look for in a High rise window cleaning company
I want them to be hard workers, but not past the point of being safe. I want them to be open-minded, flexible, and able to make rational decisions that need to be made while on the side of the building. prioritize and re-prioritize depending upon changing situations. It is my opinion that leaders need to have good time management skills. I want to know that they feel comfortable enough to ask questions.
Even though a high rise window cleaning company, are sub-contractors, they need to reflect our company's professional image, while working on the property. Here are a few tips of what I look for before conducting an interview.
1. Talk to several high rise window cleaning companies and narrow down your bids to those with comparable rates. Then, you need to determine whether they have an upstanding reputation or bad track record with customer service. An easy way to find this information is by checking with the better business bureau (BBB) and Angie’s list comes in handy as well, since most high rise window cleaners also handle residential clients and store front businesses.
2. Get references from other managers with buildings comparable to yours. Consider using a service that pre-screen contractors in advance so you know your choices are reputable.
3. Ask about travel time expenses, cost of supplies, ongoing training, OSHA inspections and any other "extras" you might find on your final bill. Often times, there are ways to reduce the price you pay. For instance, you can lease your maintenance scaffold to the window cleaning company in order to insure safety and lower cost.
Questions you should ask during the interview:
The Interviewing Process
When I am interviewing an owner or project manager I ask a several questions the most important ones that come to mind are:
· Dress code. This is important not only to our image but to our clients as well. If an window cleaner comes into the building and is dressed in shorts with holes in them and a grease stained t-shirt, this is a bad image to present not only their company as a whole but ours as well. I like have employees in uniform, even if they dress like spider-man.
· Professional conduct among all employees is really hard to find. I have seen window cleaning employees make very nasty gestures while outside on the building. Even though they couldn’t see in we could see out.
· Customer service is another issue all together. I like to ask what if questions just to see what they will do in different situations.
· Company equipment. We generally like to lease our maintenance scaffold to the high rise window cleaning company. All the equipment is in place and inspected on a weekly basis, and is large enough to hold four people. So, if they lease the equipment I want to know from the contractor how they plan on leaving the equipment when they are done using it. This is when I check all licenses, insurance and certifications before making a decision.
William Cato is a freelance copywriter specializing in the building trade’s, home improvement, real estate and service contractor collateral.
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