Hire the Best Staff for Your Pet Business
We are going to talk about hiring strategies and specifically post COVID hiring strategies, because if you are like a lot of the folks in the industry, not even just in the pet industry, but a lot of the hospitality industries, restaurants, hotels, but even some other non hospitality industries, you're seeing a challenge with hiring people right now. And I think there's a lot of reasons for that. I think, the unemployment process right now gets blamed the extra payments get blamed. But I also thin that there's a little bit of reality in that people who were laid off of their job or furloughed or whatever, and were at home, got a totally different lifestyle, which I actually think people like. I think now they're questioning if I'm going to be away from my house and away from my family for a long time, what's that gonna look like? And I don't, I feel like people are reassessing their work-life balance and I think that's coming into play as well as just the job itself and the pace. That is what we're going to talk about today.
If you have questions, just go ahead and leave those in the comments. So we do have some folks. Ambers here. So hi, Amber, Nicole, Merritt. Lisa. So thanks for joining us.
And what do you want to kick it off with Susan? I think initially we were going to say, let's just start with the foundation. So you don't want to cover a little bit of that. I think one thing is to, we want you to hire great team members, not just the warm body.
And so everything we're going to talk about today is in this really tough hiring environment, how do you still find the A-team players that are going to contribute and that you're going to want to keep and make a part of your team long-term. And so those people are looking for businesses and opportunities where they feel like they're organized and well set up and have that foundation in place, which to me, starts with your job descriptions that are up to date, that you can give them as part of the hiring process. And that employee handbook and SOPs that you use to train on. So I feel like those are the foundational things that every small business, if you're wanting to hire and compete in a tough job market needs to have that foundation in place.
With those core documents. Yeah. And I would say we have talked several times about hiring and about the hiring process itself and the process you should go through. If you haven't seen those, definitely check out our YouTube channel. I'll put a link in there in a minute, but we have a whole playlist on hiring and training staff.
And I think no matter what we are going to talk about today, if you implement any kind of new thing, but your documents are not in place and your hiring and onboarding process is not in place, you're probably going to lose people anyway. So everything does start with that foundation of making sure that employee stuff is set up for success. And I was just, I just had a conversation earlier with somebody today telling them that just as Susan mentioned, those A-team players, the people you really want on your team, they are not going to be satisfied with a crappy onboarding system or feeling like they were thrown to the wolves and don't really know what they're supposed to be doing or getting hired and then everything's disorderly, and there's not a formal training process. Like those people don't like that kind of system and they're going to leave anyway. Definitely check out our other Facebook lives that are now on YouTube as well.
And you can learn a little bit more about that. So assuming you have those processes in place, some of the things I know, I would say probably the number one thing we're seeing right now is salary issues. So you want to talk a little bit about that, Susan, of what we're seeing in terms of not just states that are requiring a higher minimum wage, federal laws are being put into place to require minimum wages. But what is that going to look like for even the places where you're not required to increase your minimum wage? It's interesting that we're seeing more and more of our members increasing and going up and trying to get that entry-level job at $15 an hour. I think it's becoming a expectation to hire people that you would trust to do the job and care for the pets. And I think it can be actually spun as a positive that you are committed to providing that living wage and supporting those entry-level workers.
I think a lot of these people that worked through the pandemic at lower wages and risk themselves are just not willing to do it anymore when there's more job opportunities out there. So I think you really have to focus on how you're going to keep employees safe and look to increase those wage ranges. And so I know a lot of people are like we can't afford to do that. You may have to raise your rates to ensure you can't afford to do it. And that's what we're seeing some of our members do, and they're having more success hiring as a result.
Yeah. And I would say that even. I just think the culture now, because there's a lot of places, a lot of the bigger stores, not even in the pet industry, but like Home Depot, Walmart, some of those bigger stores, they have already changed to a $15 minimum wage. So now what you have is an entry-level position where it used to be most entry-level positions in any industry were in the minimum wage, maybe a dollar over minimum wage area.
Now you have entry-level employees that aren't really sure what they want to do, but they need to make money. Their choices now are they could go to doing something in pet care for minimum wage, or they could go to Home Depot or Walmart or any other stores that are offering something higher. And although we really want people who want a career in the pet industry, a lot of people don't know that yet.
They have no idea what that even means or looks like. So if you can't even get them in the door, you don't even have the chance to help to turn them into somebody that might stay with you as a career, which we're going to talk about careers in a minute, but going back to the minimum wage. I think we are at the point where we have to look at increasing minimum wage for those entry-level employees. And for many of you who are in states that this is already dictated and is already in the works, you have to start forecasting anyway. To start increasing maybe, and I wouldn't recommend anyone go from $7 to $15 like overnight, but it may be over the next year or two or three, depending on your state.
They're dictating that for you. But I think it's going to be a reality, I think in order to compete for those entry-level employees that are looking for jobs, the pet industry is going to have to increase their entry-level wages to bring those people in. And that's just the reality. I don't think even you're going to get anybody very serious about working in the pet industry, if you don't. And so that's probably the number one thing that we are seeing across the board.
And I would like to say that's just a temporary thing and once COVID is over, that's going to go back. I don't think it will. I really don't think it will, I think we all need to start planning on higher minimum higher entry-level positions, which means that there needs to be some adjustment possibly for your management level positions as well. Because right now, for what we typically see team leaders and people that are in a more of a supervisor position, those are right now, the people that are making that $15 wage. And so now if we're going to bring people in at $13, $14, you may have to also plan on increasing. And again, it doesn't have to all happen at the same time, but you need to start forecasting and planning for that with increasing in prices.
Yeah. I was talking to a member this morning that was taking entry level to $15 with her managers on salary. But what it equated to was about $22 an hour, up to $26, I even know another member said that they had some managers leave. And so instead of replacing every position, they took the money that some of those managers were made and boosted. And I think they took one manager from like low thirties, up to $42,000 a year.
That used it with money to positions they didn't fill. So I think you may, you could look at your org chart. The key thing is if you pay more, often you can get better talent and with better talent, you may not need as many people. Same thing about your entry-level staff, if we hear a lot of times that, you're having to micromanage maybe if you pay more, you don't have to micromanage and then you don't need as much supervision staff.
So I think, it's a way to test this out is if you are running ads now and not getting interest, take that deep swallow and say, let me add a dollar to my range and see if I get more applicants. And we read articles about people that's happened to. That once they did increase the range, they saw a lot more applicants and they saw better quality applicants. So you can test it with your ad rages and just see what happens because the problem is you can't continue to work your current staff as hard as you're working right now, or you continue to step in and take shifts because your team is going to burn out and you're not going to be able to work on your business and you're going to burn out and it's not going to be, it's not sustainable.
All right. So Lisa said McDonald's in her area in New York is starting. At $14.75 an hour, which is, that's what we're seeing pretty much across the board. And like I said, I don't think that's going to go backwards anytime soon.
I think it's just going to continue that way. So you're in urban areas. Maybe some rural areas where cost of living is lower, it won't happen as quickly.
But I do think if you're in an urban area, you're going to have to get pretty close to that $15 and, look and see what, the fast food places, like you say, Home Depot. Keep your pulse on what people are paying. So once you start looking at, and cause I know a lot of people, as soon as we say this, they're like, there is no way.
I mean I'm barely making it go as it is. And so those are things, couple of things you need to look at. One is, as Susan mentioned, increasing your prices.
It's very understandable that if your wages are going to go up and pretty much in every industry around that starting to happen, that prices are going to go up. Go shopping for groceries right now. Prices are higher than they were a while ago.
So that I don't think that's too much of a surprise, but I think we have to be making sure that we do know our numbers and we are making good decisions about the pricing. So pricing has to be in line with what you're paying. And your payroll. We want your payroll to be less than 50% of your revenue, not including management.
So that's just including your payroll for the actual workers who are there, not your salary as the business owner either. So if it's under 40%, that's even better, we really would love it at 30%, but it does depend on what your service mix is. So we're just telling people, if you're running like a 60% payroll right now, you're going to have a hard time making any money. So you have to look at what your salary is going to be, and then what your revenue is going to be obviously, and do that percentage. That's a one quick way to say am I priced the right way? The second thing to look at other than pricing, the second thing to look at is cutting your expenses.
So are there ways that you can reduce some of your expenses? And most of the time we do find that most facilities are running pretty lean in terms of they're not counting payroll, but in terms of other expenses. So I'd be hard pressed to say you could find tons and tons of money there because most pet care services do a pretty good job of keeping our expenses down payroll normally being the highest expense. But the third way is what Susan alluded to, which is becoming more efficient.
So all the talk that Susan and I always do about, you have to have standardized processes and you should have everything documented and everything written down. The more standardized you can make your business, the easier everything is and the more efficient everything is because everything's, everybody's doing, seeing the same way. If someone finds a way that is better or faster or more efficient, you build that into your SOPs and teach everybody the new way. So you're constantly evolving to make sure that things are not being done haphazardly. And just, even if you just did small increments to say, okay, every day we could save 30 minutes if we did ABC and D.
Well add that up 30 minutes over your staff every single day, every single week, every single throughout the year, that's going to add up a lot. So if you've never really looked at are we doing things in the most efficient way, now is the time for efficiency to come into play. Because efficiency and Susan said, if you have better quality staff, because you're paying a higher wage, you may get that staff member that's a lot more efficient that can help you with that and then cut down some of your staffing. A lot of stuff that we do like how many of you have ever just bring in somebody extra, just in case someone calls out, like those types of things we need to think through because that you're not going to be able to afford them. You'd have to really make sure that your business is running effectively and efficiently. Which means you have to take a really hard look at how all the processes are working across your business.
Yeah, I think actually coming up, I'm a big KPI fan key performance indicators, know, how many labor hours it takes based on the number of dogs that are in your center and, hopefully then by service so you can help forecast. And that's another reason to ask your clients to make reservations. So that you can forecast and staff to what you need and not that in case somebody calls out. Also having alternatives of how you manage the business or operation in the event someone does call out.
Maybe there's more rest periods for dogs and so you can do smaller groups and rotations as some of the dogs rest. But finding those types of things and knowing your numbers so you can plan and having policies, even for your clients to set you up for success. So Mandy was asking, what is the industry standard for labor percentages? Do you want to talk a little bit about that? Survey that a lot in the industry and it runs between 45 and 50% on average. And it's, I always tell people it's hard to compare apples to apples because people have different service mixes and do things differently. So I would know what your percentage is and try to get that down.
And what we see overall is the most profitable businesses run 40% or less like Robin said. That is going to depend on your services. So if you're doing training has a much higher profit percentage, especially private lessons. So you can, you might be earning, 70% profit margin on private lessons with a smaller ratio in terms of payrol.
Lodging a little bit more. Daycare, a lot more because daycare is heavy on staff. So it does depend on what your services are that you're offering. But. I can guarantee you that if you're paying 60% or higher in payroll, you're not making any mone. Because just think about it.
If 60% of your revenue or even 50% of your revenue is paying your staff, that leaves 50% of your revenue for everything else. So just assume 20 to 30% is your expenses. And now you still have management to pay and you to pay you're the business owner.
That doesn't leave you a lot of money. So we really, our goal is to say, every pet care business can actually make money. The business owner can make a living salary that is comfortable for them to live in, but you have to know your numbers and be able to charge the right amount for the services that you're offering. So it's definitely doable, but we do find that in the pet industry, most people could do a lot of work on their payroll percentages to get them down lower. And a lot of that goes back to how efficient is your business operating.
There's whole experts out there on the area of efficiency, but every you want to look at everything you're doing. How long does it take you to open? How long does it take you to close? What processes and procedures can you implement to make things better? Even something as simple as your cleaning routine. So do you just tell your staff, pour some chemicals in and measure it out and most of the staff has dumped it in? Something as simple as installing a system where that's all done automatically can save thousands a year in wasted chemicals. So just really taking a hard look at some of those things that you're doing, how much time your clients are spending, checking in or checking out or whatever it is.
It's just, there's just a ton of ways you can shave time off of things. Yeah. Absolutely. So Rich is here.
Hey Rich, from New Jersey. Mandy says thank you. All so pricing that's the sad news is pricing, you're going to have to pay people more, which means your pricing should be higher.
We do have a tool called pet profits. I would definitely take a look at that if you've not, if you're not sure where to even start on how you're pricing yourself. I'll put a link in a second in the chat box for that, but the pet pricing, the pet profit tool actually helps you to see by service where your generating the most revenue and where maybe you're not. And one of the things, and I point this out every time we talk about money, but one of the things that is not uncommon for us to see when we do the pet profits document, because one of the things we want you to do is understand your service expenses and revenue based on the service, we, it's very common for us to see a multi-service business that is profitable overall. But when you break down the revenue streams, what we typically see most commonly is trainings making money. Groomings making money, boardings, making money, daycare, losing money.
And a lot of times we'll look at that, but the business overall is profitable. But what that means is daycare actually is losing money and the other services are basically paying for the daycare. So maybe it's not that you have to change all of your prices, but maybe you have to identify what service do you have that may not be making as much money as it should be to pay for itself because every service within your business, every revenue stream should be profitable on its own. Otherwise you're basically just making money from one area to pay the other area, which is not a good way to run your business. So it really is valuable tool to go through and it's $40.
It's really an inexpensive tool to help you get these decisions down. All right. So then the next thing we have started seeing bonuses for interviews, for people getting hired for retention.
Do you want to talk a little bit about some of those strategies for hiring people? Yeah. I've definitely seen this in food service, a lot of restaurants because they have, marquees and billboards, have put $300 hiring bonus that might be split $150 when you're hired on, and then $150 when you're there for 90 days. So depending on what's going on in your marketplaceand how challenging it is to find staff, you might consider that. You might also consider bonuses for employees that refer someone to you that stays. I would split it up to where there's an immediate portion and then a portion for staying longer.
I think it's just really important to be creative to get people right now. So I would definitely be trying that. If you again, posted, and I've been trying to find people and just can't and you can't handle the volume, I know a lot of people have capped the number of dogs that are coming in. So they're taking in less revenue than they potentially could because they don't have the team members to handle it. So paying some bonuses, as long as you're finding quality people, and that allows you to bring in that revenue that you're missing out on, will pay for themselves pretty quickly. Yeah.
And I would say I had started seeing this within the daycare industry, within the pet care industry, actually the bonuses for someone coming on. But you do want to remember that as we talked about in the very beginning, for those of you that are just joining us if your onboarding and training process is not very good, then make sure that's really strong to begin with so that you have, you are setting that new staff member up for success so that hopefully you do retain them. And then if you do retain them, then they could potentially get another bonus, after being there 60 days or 90 days or whatever you want.
We, I think that's something I would put into play to see if that helps to strengthen your whole hiring process, especially now in this post COVID world. I would put some parameters around it though. Like they'd have to be meeting certain parameters, whether it's you're training them, they have to get through X amount of the training, or they need to have finished the training or whatever it is. I don't want to just pay somebody literally that's a crappy employee that is just there for three months.
Hopefully you have a process to weed them out if they're not any good. So you want to have some kind of parameters around it, but the idea is that you're incentivizing them to get in and get the interview quickly to hopefully get hired on quickly and then hopefully to stay with you. You're incentivizing that whole process. And if that incentivizing method sits on top of a really good.
Hiring process and a really good onboarding and training process, you're going to probably drastically increase the amount of the above quality of person you get and the quality of person that stays with you. So I definitely think that those bonuses are something to look at and you are, we are starting to see that. And the great thing is if it, you can try it. It's one of those things that you could offer a hundred bucks for a sign on bonus and. If nobody takes you up on it. At least she tried to see if it would even work.
So I wouldn't rule it out right to begin with. Cause we are, that's something totally new I feel like for our industry, but it is something we're seeing a lot more of right now. All right. I would also be very upfront with your clients, that you're having challenging finding and hiring quality staff to take care of their pets and ask them to refer you people.
They want you to stay in business and be able to take care of their pets. So this is not the time to be shy about the challenge that you're having. And the other thing we've been researching this a lot that they say top candidates find a job within 10 days.
So you have to be responsive and fast and efficient and making decisions with your hiring process. If you feel like you could do better watch some of our earlier recordings on this, that Robin and I talked about the hiring process that your best candidates do go fast. They find jobs really quickly. Yeah.
So this, so looking at how your, who you're hiring, how you're hiring, what you're going to pay them, what bonuses you might give them. Those are all going to be strategies to consider right now that might just make your whole onboarding hiring process look totally different than what it looked like in the past, but that's where we are. I feel like we are in, at the exact opposite place of where we were a year ago. So a year ago we had, we were laying off staff because we didn't have enough clients. Now, the flood gates have opened for many places, at least in the United States. I know Canada and some other internationally, not everybody is in this place, but it's going to come for you guys too.
When things start opening up that flood gate opened. And now we are hearing more of our clients who are actually, like Susan said, restricting the number of people because they don't have the staff. They have way too many dogs and not enough trained staff now.
So being open with your customers, first of all, to just tell them we might not be able to take new clients. I actually, I was trying to find a holistic vet this past week for my dog. And I've called three different places on all three of them said, we're not taking new client's calls back in July. And so I finally did find someone, but do you maybe having that conversation with people that are calling you right now. So you want to make sure that you can get this unlocked as soon as possible, so you can call those clients back and say, okay, we have room now because obviously if they really need care, they're going to just call around until they can find someone.
But you may be in that situation where you've got to say, there's a cap to what my current staff can do. The other thing is like Susan said, you need to take care of your current staff and not burn them to the ground. So these things are definitely worth trying so that you can get people in there and get them training and then start taking some of the stress off your current staff and also start opening up your business to take in more dogs as well. So all of that, I think part of the issue is definitely people are traveling, going back to work, but I do think some businesses didn't make it through the pandemic, so there's less supply out there.
And so people are trying to find, new providers. And so if you do have long time loyal clients that you haven't seen, you may want to let them know that you're booking up and that they need to get reservations in. Maybe that you do require reservations just because you're so short and staff when, before they could drop in.
Communicating a lot right now is really important because what you don't want to have happen, that one of our members talked about with clients get frustrated and then they take that out on your staff. So someone who's already stressed is now being yelled at because the client's unhappy because their dog can't get in. That doesn't help the situation either.
Yeah. So then the third thing that we have looked into in terms of incentivizing and encouraging people to work for you other than increasing the salary and looking at those bonuses. The other thing to really take a hard look at is what benefits are you providing? And I know when for a long time there were, there's probably still exist a lot of facilities that for part-time employees, especially, and maybe even for some full-time employees, they don't really offer anything. They're like, ah, they're young. They don't need health benefits. Most of my even my full-time employees, when I had my facility, most of them were in a situation where they didn't require health care either it was covered cause they were young and they were covered by their parents or they were married and they were covered by their partner.
So health benefits didn't appeal to them. And a lot of other benefits sometimes we just never offered and it never seemed to be a problem in the pet industry. But I am starting to see more and more creative ideas, that you can offer for a relatively low price that might appeal to today's worker. I know one of them obviously is also looking at, are you going to offer them to part-time or a portion of benefits to part-time or do you just avoid part-time altogether? I was even looking at some of the big box stores like Walmart and Home Depot, where they are offering Starbucks as well, they are offering some benefits to part-time employees as well.
Maybe not exactly the same as what full-time get. And for most of the ones I looked at, they had to work there a little bit longer before the benefits kicked in as opposed to how long they had to work as a full-time employee before benefits kicked in. So that was sometimes a difference.
But I think looking at what can you provide and things like one of the most popular things I provided when I had my daycare was a hundred dollars towards veterinary care. And Susan just disappeared. So hopefully she'll come back, but I don't know if she will or not.
So a hundred dollars I paid to a vet for whatever veterinarian services that employee wanted. And it could have been that they were getting vaccines for their dog. It could have been that they were getting the dog spayed or neutered.
It could have been that they were just getting a checkup, whatever. I didn't care what it was for. If they brought me a receipt, I would pay up to a hundred dollars for that care. And my employees love that.
So I think really looking at what are some creative benefits that you can give to your staff? I know. One of the most creative things that I saw a couple of years ago, actually I went to Starbucks cause I love Starbucks. And I actually went into the bathroom and they had a flyer in the bathroom about hiring. And one of the benefits that they gave and they, one of my friends just told me that this is still happening now is they would pay for a premium Spotify account for the employee that was working there.
And so again, like I didn't, I don't use Spotify, so I would have never thought about that, but my kids both d. My kids are in their twenties and I was talking to them about it and they were like, I would love that I pay for my Spotify account right now. So you can actually offer that as a benefit or subscription services to Netflix or subscription services to any of the online streaming services. So I think there's a lot of creative ways that you can really offer that employee benefits that might be out of the box, so really get creative.
And what I would do is talk to current employees to say, what's important to you and it might not be health benefits. It might be something totally different. So those are some ideas in terms of benefits to offer. All right, hang on.
I got to see Susan said she's coming back. I think she got kicked out or something. If any of you guys offer any specific benefits, definitely put those in the comments, things that are more creative or out of the box thinking.
But I think that's the other way to look at how do I keep those employees that want to be here and are interested in working here? What can I offer them? So I think, definitely look at that as well. All right. Let me just text something to Susan real quick.
All right. Now I'm multitasking. All right.
So then the last piece that we were going to talk about, so you've got increasing your entry-level salaries. You've got bringing looking at those bonuses you could possibly offer as incentives. You've got creating those extra benefits that might appeal to your staff that really might not even cost you that much. And then the last one I would say is looking at making sure that you have a career progression of some sort in your business.
And what I mean by that is if you hire someone as an entry-level employee and then they work for you six or seven months and then they can't go anywhere, there's no way for them to increase salary or increase responsibility or increase what they're doing, whether it's a promotion or a career, a title change, or a job change or whatever, they're going to leave. That's just the basic fact of life, especially if they are those A-team players, those people that really are driven to do better, to do more, to learn more, to be more responsible. Those are the people we all want to hire. But then we hire those people and we don't give them any of that. There's no way for them to do more, learn more advance at all. So you have to build into your system a way for that A-team player to get more responsibility and more of a purpose, so to speak in your business.
So looking at how you're bringing people on and what it looks like as an entry-level and what it might look like. And a good example is when we talk about people doing enrichment that are, that have that opportunity for the dogs to do enrichment. You might bring somebody on an entry level and they have to work there a certain amount of time, which is good practice anyway, to make sure they understand canine body language, and they understand how to manage the dogs and that kind of thing, before you promote them to an enrichment counselor position. So that's just one example, but a lot of times we just say, oh, we're going to cross train people, but maybe you need to consider that if you're going to cross train and now this employee knows three jobs instead of just one, maybe there's an accompanying title change or a promotion in terms of an increase in salary. Maybe it's their benefits change, whatever.
You just need to make sure there's some way for that person to progress or otherwise you just need to assume that at some point they're going to leave because there's no way for them to advance in your business. So you really have to take a look at that as well as what career path so can you provide to people to help them? And some of that might be part included with your benefits. So an example would be if you have someone that's really interested in grooming and maybe you've hired them to work in the kennels, but they really are interested in learning more about grooming. Then maybe you bring them in and say we can send you to bathing school. We'll pay to have you go to Paragon school of pet grooming and learn how to be a bather, and then we'll give you that responsibility.
So then I know people go did you pay for that? And what if they leave? And so I'll just say for that, we would look at similar bonus situation where maybe you do pay them to go to grooming school. And then there's a bonus when they complete it. And there's a bonus for working with you for two months or six months or whatever.
So that there's an incentive again, for them to continue working at your business after their schooling has done. The same thing with something like a dog trainer. So you can get somebody, maybe they start as an enrichment counselor and if they really like learning about dogs and training dogs and working with dogs.
Maybe you can arrange for them to take some education to where now you can have them doing some dog training for you as well and give them that education as part of their benefits. Okay. Hang on. I think season's back.
We're going to see in a second. All right. Susan's back. So I told them all about benefits Susan, unless you have other benefits.
And then I was talking about creative benefits for employees. And then we are talking about making a career path available for folks who come on because otherwise you're going to hire entry-level people that can't go anywhere and they're going to quit because they want to advance, especially the A-team players want to advance. So then, and then I talked a little bit about even training people to be like groomers or trainers that you can hold your own in your facility. So I don't know if you have other thoughts on just that whole idea of bringing someone on and making sure that built into your system, whether you're a huge facility or a tiny facility, you have to build in some type of obvious path for advancement for that employee.
Yeah. And if you are smaller, it can be like more responsibility. It may be helping with, some marketing or communication projects with clients, but with some of that should be the ability to earn more, as well as grow into more responsibility. So just because you're small doesn't mean you can't think about all the things that are on your plate that you would love to have help with and let people help where they have interests. And I think that's the other thing is you really need to know each of your employees and where they have interest and find opportunities for them to work in some of their interests.
Maybe their hobbies, even if it's not part of the core job description, you always have those other duties as assigned. And sometimes if you can assign them based on the employee's interest in hobbies, that helps. Like I had an employee that was great at photography.
And so we let her take the pictures. I even let her put some on canvas and sell the clients because it didn't hurt me and made her happy and gave her some extra income. And our clients loved it. So finding those wins situations, doesn't always take a formal position. Yeah.
And I think I go back to what I said earlier in the Facebook live was there's a lot of entry-level folks that will start working in your business that have no idea that they can make a career within the pet industry. And it's great to be able to share that with them. And then within the pet industry, there are so many. There's marketing, there's sales, there's financial stuff, there's everything within the pet industry that exists in any business.
And so maybe that person's end result is not necessarily, I want to work with dogs all the time. Maybe they love being around dogs, but they really, like Susan said, maybe they love taking pictures of dogs. Maybe they love the social aspect of it in terms of social media. And honestly, I just talked to someone who was actually Courtney, who was talking about, she just hired someone with, within her team that does her TikTok. And because I was like, I don't do Tik TOK. Like not ready for that yet.
So for me to do TikTok would not be the best thing, but your, most of your staff probably is on that all the time and understands it a lot better than you do. And it probably a lot better time spent to give one of your employees that responsibility with an accompanying salary or pay increase of some sort and maybe a little bit more responsibility and let them run with it. Who's going to save you time anyway. You don't have to learn it then. But I think really looking at, if you have somebody that's very organized, we've, I've had people that are like, they love to get in there and look at SOPs and right. SOP, just because you might not like doing it, there's someone else that might love it.
There might be someone that really gets excited about posting and engaging with people on Facebook. So figuring out from your team, what they want to do, I think is a great way to incorporate some of that into their job with you. And that falls to me in the category of the benefits, but also in the career path, because if they can do something that they find really fun and they get paid for it, it's gonna, it's gonna make them want to stay with you even longer. You find somebody who really likes numbers and they become your bookkeeper because Zack, like being around dogs makes bookkeeping a whole lot better.
I can tell you that. Oh, okay. So Meredith said, I'll know if all of this will show up, but. Love that you're promoting creative benefits.
I've tried to promote this at various workplaces. There has been little to no interest in taking this on. I think it could greatly reduce turnover. I definitely think so too.
People need to see a path or see possibilities and see their employer is invested in their individual growth and potential in order to stay. I love that. That's a really good point.
And I think that makes the point. Susan you used to talk about this a lot where you can't just hire somebody and you're like, they're here to serve me. Like they're my employee. That attitude I can tell you that attitude probably was never great, but I can tell you that my generation dealt with that. We didn't think that was a problem. So we were like, yeah, I guess I, should I just do this job because this is my job.
I'm just telling you right now, the culture has changed. And that attitude for today's employee is not going to fly. Today's employee really wants to have, they want to serve a purpose. They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They want to see the difference they're making in the world.
And they want to know that you really care about them. And frankly, you should really care about them because if you take care of your employees, that should be your, that's your, one of your number one assets, right? There is your employee. So you need to take care of them. And if you do, your business will be taken care of as well. So I do think that's a huge really good point, Meredith. Yeah.
And I think tagging onto that you will save money if you reduce turnover. Turnover costs you a lot of money in labor hours, that of people that have trained. And now you don't have that staff member anymore, where, which is why we're like find the A-team players that are going to stay and reduce turnover.
It's a big way to save money. Every frontline staff member costs you at least $4,000. And if you look at how many people turned over in a year, that's the potential that you can save by improving your hiring process and doing the career path, having the good training and onboarding system can save you. Yeah, I definitely think, and if you talk about efficiencies, not having to keep retraining new people makes you a lot more efficient in the longterm.
And it does. That's part of the savings of that $4,000 is just, you're not having to spend all the time doubling up on everything. So you can get somebody trained or having the time for them to go through all the training material or whatever it is. Yeah, and again, the, I often laugh because the people that we all want are those really driven A-team amazing people.
But then we don't set up a system that actually draws those people in or encourages them to stay with us. So it's like we've set up the system for the warm bodies to just turn over in a revolving door when, and then we get mad cause we don't get really good people. And then it's your system's totally set up for getting the people that you're getting.
And so looking, I think all of the things we talked about, the pricing is huge. Looking at those bonuses to get people on, what benefits are you offering and really go out and compare. Do some research to find some of those places. If Starbucks is offering Spotify accounts, I got a venture to say they must be good benefits because Starbucks is a huge hiring company. A company that hires a lot of people. So look at other benefits in your area of what people might be offering and go in and talk to them.
Perry, one of our coaches, she owns Dog Tired. She actually went in and talked to the baristas and they were like, Spotify is like the best thing we get from Starbucks. So you might not think it's that important.
And honestly, if you can actually set up a company account or a corporate account with Spotify, so it's really not that expensive for you. Look at what other companies like that, the companies that have your target staff member in terms of age and demographic, find out what they're offering, be creative. And then looking at that career path. I think those four things are going to help you to bring in the right type of person. But then, as Susan mentioned at the very beginning, we'll go back to that is you also do have to have a good foundation. You have to have those job descriptions.
You have to have that onboarding process that makes sense. So I did put our YouTube channel in the comments earlier. Definitely check out the playlist we have in there on hiring and retaining staff because that'll give you some ideas on how to build those foundations.
Because you can do all the things we talked about in this Facebook live, and if you still have a crappy onboarding process, it's not still in a, going to fall apart a little bit. So we want to make, yeah, you want to make sure you have that foundation, that strong foundation, and then the stuff we talked about that today can sit on half of that foundation and hopefully do a much better job of getting you a really good team. And that's what we want for you. Exactly. And I think the last thing I want to say is, we've also sometimes been very strict on the hours we have to work and holidays and all weekends and, being available to serve.
I think we're going to have to try to be a little more flexible and offer, maybe some split shifts or flex schedules. And just keep that in mind if you can't hire, because it's not a desirable job when you come out and say, you've got to work every weekend, you'd never have a holiday off. Is there a way to figure out to where you can get in a rotation for that? Yeah. Again, I would look at industries where that is a requirement. So my daughter is a CNA, and so she works in a hospital where they don't close either on the holidays.
Bu they're, they have a rotation where she does get she knows this year she's probably gonna have to work this Christmas because she was off last Christmas. So they've built in a system where you do know in advance what your holiday is going to look like. You are going to have to work some holidays and you are going to have to work some weekends, but it's no longer a requirement that everybody's going to work every holiday. And so look at some of those, first responder type of jobs in your area and talk to them, find out what do they do to make sure that people aren't constantly having to miss every single holiday with their family. And I think you are going to have a little bit of flexibility to, to work through those, some of those, and that's, I think, a different, a new change for the pet industry as well.
What we try to do is talk to, because you've talked to your employees again, when do you celebrate the holiday? Some people do it Christmas Eve, some do you know, a noon meal, some do dinner. So we would do shorter shifts and try to give everybody their preferred time away when they were celebrating with the family. And some people, didn't care. But I do think you're going to have to open yourself up to some flexibility and your staff may have ideas on what they would think was fair, because they do understand that the pets have to be taken care of, but they also want to feel like you care about them and want to take care of them too. Exactly. All right.
So hopefully this has given you some ideas for those post COVID hiring strategies.