This week has been great for sit-stay-play because our newest pet care provider completed her first couple of dog walking and pet sitting jobs successfully. Her charges were cared for while their mums and dads were gone, and I could rest a little easier because she communicated well and has the potential to be a great worker.
Speaking of Julie and our other new pet care providers, I wanted to share some behind the scenes information on how our new pet care providers learn the ropes and get started in this business.
How Our New Pet Care Providers Learn The Ropes
First of all, all potential applicants fill out an application for any position they are seeking with our company. If, after looking over their application I think they have that special ‘something’ that would be a good fit to our team, I’ll set up a phone interview. If that goes well, we have an official interview, I tell them about the jobs we do, share potential problems they could encounter when dealing with pets and animals and give them opportunities to ask questions about what they’ll be doing. They’ll complete several forms (background check permission, non-compete clause, contract, fraudulent activities, etc.) and once those are returned to me, I review and at that point if there aren’t any red flags, we obtain a background check. On a side note: Our pet care providers are classified as independent contractors which means we do not actually HIRE them, we contract with them to do particular jobs. Independent contractors also have certain responsibilities i.e., tax withholding, insurance, etc., and we will discuss this at your interview.
Before any new team member or independent contractor is given they keys and client information, they go through a minimum of four ride alongs with me personally with different pets, at different homes. During these ride alongs, I show them the jobs that we do when we’re providing pet care visits and everything the client requests be completed.
Reviewing client information forms is highly encouraged so all the pertinent pet and house information is known prior to meeting the pet and entering the home. If there are any issues that I’ve had in the past with that particular pet, I relay this information. I share tips and give suggestions that can help the pet more comfortable and enable the new pet care provider to do their job effectively.
After these sessions, the pet care provider is given the opportunity to complete a visit on their own with me shadowing. If they need help, I’m not far away. Once they are completely comfortable then they’re ready to start on their own.
Independent contractors (IC’s) complete the pet care visits according to the client directions and their own judgment. Typically IC’s know how to take care of animals, have good common sense and can follow directions given by our clients. IC’s can do the job in any way they see fit as long as the job is done according to client wishes. If any IC performs a pet care service that our clients are not satisfied with, we will use the IC any longer.
I don’t give directions on HOW to do a job or pet care visit, only share my experience and give tips that help when I’m dealing with certain pets.
Communication Between Pet Care Providers and Company
In order to ensure all jobs are completed and no one is forgotten we ask our IC’s to either email, call or text the office after their visit. This lets us know everything went good or if any issues arose. Many times our clients want to know how their pets did during our visit so this communication is key and this ensures the IC gets paid for the work they did. All pet care providers keep a record of their visits, I keep a record of their visits and at any time, our clients can find out what time and what day we visited their home. At no time do our pet care providers communicate with clients. All communication goes through the office.
After the client visits are made, the IC arranges a time to deliver clients keys and client information. At this time I ask how they felt about the job and if they want to continue working with us.
As new jobs come in, I send a ‘jobs available’ message to the pet care providers and whoever has time, can handle the work and REQUESTS the work gets the job. Should a job come in that they aren’t sure about, I’m always available to assist or another IC can help.
We have a very knowledgeable group of pet care providers at sit-stay-play and I encourage you to try us out if you need pet care, pet sitting, dog walking, poop scooping, farm sitting, dog training or pet taxi services.
Visit our website or give us a call at 765-744-5688.
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We provide pare care to Muncie and all of east central Indiana 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.