5 questions to ask a commercial cleaning provider – before you sign!

5 questions to ask a commercial cleaning provider – before you sign!

When hiring a cleaner for your workplace, you need to ask questions. Then ask more questions.

Choosing to partner with the wrong company leads to more than just fruit flies in the kitchen. It can harm your customers, staff and entire organisation.

You don’t want a gastro outbreak or damaged property. And you certainly don’t want to put your compliance obligations on the line. 

Well, we don’t want that for you either. That’s why we’re sharing our five insider tips on what to ask when you’re looking for a commercial cleaner.

1. How do they monitor their work?

Your provider says their staff will spend four hours cleaning each night.

If this four-hour period is after working hours – and no one is around to check – how do you know their cleaners aren’t leaving early? Like three and a half hours early (and only emptying the bins for show)!

Do their cleaners complete a check sheet each shift? And can the company provide a fortnightly report on time spent cleaning the facility? Finally, how often will the site be audited?

These questions can sort the wheat from the chaff.

A good commercial cleaner will have processes in place to remotely manage their staff and keep them accountable.

2. How reliable and well trained are their staff?

The person you sign the contract with, as charming as they may be, won’t be the one coming to clean your facilities.

Ask as many questions as you need to get to know their staff and how they are managed. This might include asking how their cleaners are trained and assessed – and how many hours they work.

And look for red flags. For example, if one cleaner is working more than three consecutive hours, their productivity will drop drastically.

3. Do they have the legal stuff down pat?

We’re not Ally McBeal, so we won’t try and make the legal jargon sexy and cool. It is very, very important though.

From 30 October 2019, it will be illegal to work with a cleaning company that doesn’t have its Labour Hire Licence. So, make sure any company you partner with has, or is in the process of getting, this licence.

Depending on your type of workplace, cleaners may also need a police check or Working with Children Check.

4. Who’s there to help?

HELP! I need somebody. Much like the Beatles, you want to know that you can troubleshoot your issues with somebody. (🎵 Not just anybody 🎵).

Make sure you know who you contact in management – and how to reach them if something goes wrong.

You also want to know how you will be communicating with cleaning staff. It’s a good sign if a commercial cleaner has a communication book that lets you note any requests and complaints.

5. Do they have (glowing) references?

Always ask for three references for work done in a similar facility.

When doing your reference checks, look for similarities in the cleaning tasks you’re asking for, as well as similarities in the size of the job.

It may be well and good that they can do a top-notch job cleaning the kitchen for a ‘mum-and-pop’ store. But these skills may not translate well if you have a large commercial kitchen.

Use your knowledge (that you’ve learned through our tips!) to make sure your potential new cleaning partner stacks up against their claims.

Here are some questions you can ask their references:

  • Are you happy with the job they are doing? Why or why not?
  • How do you receive reports on completed work? How often do you receive audits?
  • What are their cleaning staff like? Are they reliable?
  • How many cleaning staff come to your workplace?
  • How long do cleaners stay?
  • Who do you contact if you have any issues? Are issues quickly resolved?

The final word

Sometimes, it’s simply about trusting your gut. If the company doesn’t seem transparent or you can’t get answers to your questions, then listen to your instincts. And if the price seems too good to be true? Well, when you pay peanuts…

Here at iClean, our business is not built on sprays and soaps. It’s built on detailed systems – and a team of reliable, passionate people. But more than that, we fulfil our promises and won’t take your trust for granted.