Chapter 2: Where are all the good candidates?


Finding employees can seem like a really daunting task. There are so many avenues to try and find candidates, how do you know where to look? And when you do start having interested applicants, how do you know if they’re right for your team?


Before you start sorting resumes and scheduling interviews, here is some advice from Michael Hinderliter. Over his 30 year career employing people in the power wash industry, he has tried many different ways to recruit employees. But he usually finds the most success when he returns to the basics.


  • Place an ad on online recruiting sites
  • Offer employee referral bonuses
  • Carry business cards and ALWAYS be on the lookout


Place an Ad Online


Take advantage of social media, job listing services, and even Craigslist to get the word out there that you are hiring. Spread your net wide because you are trying to catch A LOT of fish so you can find the RIGHT one.


Try These Online Services

  • Craigslist
  • Your own social media
  • FB Groups relevant to your business
  • Job listing sites (Ex: Monster, Indeed etc.)


An important factor in catching the “right” one is to be completely honest about what the job entails in your ad. This will help you automatically filter out people who aren’t right for the kind of work you do, if you are honest up front. While you may be worried it will scare off potential employees, this may actually be a good thing! With some job descriptions, what some candidates consider a negative, others may consider a huge bonus. For example, in Hinderliters case, letting candidates know that the work involved for his company is primarily independent work and outdoors is really appealing to certain people who appreciate that kind of work.

Tips For A  Better Job Posting

  • Have an attractive job title
  • Use an emotive introduction and tell your company story
  • Sell the position!
  • Use bullet points for long lists and complicated information
  • Use a call-to-action at the end to encourage them to hit ‘Apply’
  • Remember to write it like an advertisement and not a textbook


Offer an Employee Referral Bonuses


One of the best ways to find talent is to network with your own team. You have a strong group of talented, motivated people right next to you. Utilize their network and grow together!  Employees who are highly invested and motivated within your company will generally not give a bad recommendation and risk their professional reputation. Make sure and compensate them for valuable hires either fiscally, with time off, or other rewards.


Ideas for Compensation

  • Cash bonus
  • Extra time off
  • Gift cards
  • Special recognition at company events
  • Personalized gift


Carry Business Cards


Did you get great service somewhere?

Did somebody really impress you with their knowledge or other skills?


“Whenever you find someone who you think would be a good fit,” Hinderliter says, “give them a business card and let them know, ‘We're hiring!’ Maybe they won't think of you at that moment because they're content, but things are always changing.”


Always Have These Elements on Your Business Card

  • Name and basic contact info (phone number, email, address etc)
  • A short description or graphic that describes what you and your business does
  • A website or text service that they can use to find more information.


Even if they are not looking for new employment right now you could be planting a seed in their mind and they will remember you when they are looking for work.

The Take-Away


Good employees ARE out there! A little hard work at the beginning will pay dividends as your company grows.


Remember, utilize online services and the existing network within your organization. Don’t forget to compensate employees for bringing in the right people! Lastly, always carry your business cards with you and keep your eye out for the right people regardless of what industry they are currently in.


Up next in our four part series, “Training Once, Training Twice…”, advice on how to train your new-found employees for long term success!

Finding and Keeping Great Employees in a Hectic Industry

Bad Hires by the Numbers

Your employees are your team. They wear your company name and represent its values and ethics, especially when you aren’t present. With so much at stake, the responsibility of finding the “right” team members can be daunting. As a business owner, you need people who not only represent your company well but also fit with your company culture, have good work ethic, and exhibit the technical skills required to do the job. In this 4 part series, “Finding and Keeping Great Employees in a Hectic Industry,” we refer to Michael Hinderliter a 30 year veteran in the power washing industry for expert advice on recruiting workers and best practice for keeping them for the long run.

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What does it take to become an expert?

By some, I’m considered an expert in rust stain removal. What did it take for me to become such?

It started in August 2000. When I was trying to get rust stains off canvas awnings in Omaha, Nebraska. My awning cleaner didn’t touch those ugly rust stains.

What to do? I knew I could be a hero if only I could clean those off.

I started asking questions of other contract cleaners. Finally, a carpet cleaner told me how he removed rust stains from carpets. I immediately went to a carpet cleaner supplier and bought 16 oz of their rust stain remover. They charged me $20 for those 16 oz.

I went to those rust stained awnings and applied a few drops of this precious fluid. I followed the instructions on the bottle and within 10 minutes I knew I could fix rust stained awnings!

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I’m calling BS on ‘It’s not personal, It’s just business’.

We’ve all heard it. Maybe we’ve all said it. Sadly many of us may have had it said directly to us. And of course ‘it’ is, ‘it’s not personal, it’s just business’. Well I say BS. It’s a lie.

I say everyone should stop saying it. I say everyone should quit using it as an excuse. Because the fact is, it is personal. Maybe the ‘business’ or specific ‘leader’ doesn’t see it that way, and if they don’t, then they are part of the problem as well.

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Pressure Wash Maintenance

You should always use the engine manufacturer's suggestions as a minimum standard for maintaining your pressure washer. Consult your owner's manual for specific information such as capacity, type, and viscosity. You should Always your oil prior to starting your engine. Check the oil daily, or after every 8 hours or more if recommended by manufacture. Most engine manufactures have a website where you can find this information if you misplaced your owners manual. If you require more information about an engine that is not listed contact the manufacturer of your pressure washer or the distributor from which you purchased the machine.

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Roof Cleaning Market Profitability

To get a feel for the roof cleaning market in your area, just take a drive around your community. In most parts of the country, you will notice ugly black streaks on residential and commercial building roofs. Those are your potential customers! Homeowners, apartment buildings, commercial buildings, property owners, HOAs – all are great potential markets.

Marketed correctly, roof cleaning can be a particularly profitable service. That’s because those ugly black streaks are not only unattractive, they are downright destructive and need to be removed for the health of the roof.

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Why Roof Cleaning Is Important

Did you know those ugly black streaks on roofs are not only eyesores, they are downright destructive? Left untreated, those streaks will literally eat away at shingles until the only remaining option is to replace the roof.

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The PowerWashU Phil Ackland Kitchen Hood Cleaning Boot Camp Had a Big Impacted On One Company’s Bottom Line

John Suggs of Clean Stripe in Howe, Texas, holds many titles, but one he never expected to have is that of disabled veteran. However, sometimes life takes unplanned twists and turns. John’s happened to lead him to pressure washing and a dream of eventually helping other veterans get back on their feet. And PowerWashU’s Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Boot Camp is playing an important role in John’s journey.

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Efficient Use Of Chemicals

In the world of power washing, soft washing and really any kind of cleaning, different types of soap, detergent, and chemicals are required to get the best results in an efficient manner.  But, where do you start?  If you have done any research at all then you probably recognize that there are thousands of cleaning chemicals on the market.  Dig a little deeper and you’ll find all kinds of opinions on those products that can usually lead to even more confusion.  For years most contractors probably didn’t use an exact science to choose the cleaning agent they wanted to use.  Just grab an all-purpose degreaser or perhaps just a regular old dish soap off the shelf at the local hardware or grocery store.  However, there is a ton of studies and research that has gone into making specific chemicals for specific types of cleaning.  

To simplify things for those of us that do not have a chemistry background and just want to get our chemicals and go clean, I suggest starting with a reputable supplier that you have or can develop a good relationship with.  A good supplier should be able to provide you the input, suggestions, and right chemicals for the job.  Not only that, but be able to walk you through how to most effectively use the chemical once you receive it.  It is very important before you quote a job that has stains you are unfamiliar with, to have a resource to discuss options and know how to get the best results for your potential customer.  

On top of that you will want to know how much you will have to spend on getting a product that will work and get those results.  That is very important information so you can charge that customer an appropriate amount. For example, you go to a customer’s house and tell them you will clean the house and driveway.  However, there are rust stains all along the driveway.  It is important for your customer to know that removing those rust stains will cost extra to remove.  And to remove those stains you will need a special chemical to get them off.  Rust can be very easy to remove with the right product, but be very frustrating if you do not attack it properly.  

That is just one example, you have probably experienced or will experience hundreds of other situations that require something special to get it clean.  Is the stain organic, inorganic, is it grease, or even tannin from the leave or acorns?  Do you know how to recognize these things?  If not take some pictures both up close and far off.  Share those with your chemical supplier and let them help. Is it on wood, painted surface, vinyl siding, concrete, or something else? Do tests spots, depending on what type of surface the stain is on can make a difference too.  These are also very aspects to look at.  My point is there is not a one bullet approach to stains.  A do it all cleaner is not typically going to do it all.  

I would never want to insult anyone’s intelligence and I know some reading have much more experience than others.  I recognize there are tricks and workarounds that have worked for some of us for years.  You can study chemistry and learn different types of stains, and I absolutely encourage you to do that to better hone your craft.  But for many, no matter the level of experience the right chemical supplier, the knowledge and service you receive is invaluable.  When you are out making money and washing, in my opinion my time is valuable so using the quality resources available makes more sense, even if it cost money.  

If we at can help you, please do not hesitate to reach out, we work very hard for our clients.  You will find we have a wide selection of chemicals, detergents and soaps for just about anything you are cleaning.  But, we want to help make sure you get the proper choice for your job.  
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