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Why is it so difficult to find employees?

(153 Posts)
GillT57 Tue 11-Feb-14 17:38:09

I own a very successful domestic cleaning business and have a problem finding new staff. At present I have one staff member off on SMP ( seriously out of pocket as still waiting for HMRC to re-reimburse me) and another one off on SSP having had planned surgery( again out of pocket). I am trying to employ temp staff to cover the gaps, need a couple of people to work 16-18 hours a week and there is a distinct possibility of job becoming permanent. I pay quite well (£6.64 per hour plus generous car expenses) and we are a nice company with lovely clients. No weekends, no bank holidays, no evenings, no horrid early starts. When I offer people an interview, they either don't turn up angry or talk as if they are the ones doing me a favour! I try to be as flexible as possible, and my current staff have all been with me for ages and are lovely, but I cant keep asking them to do extra hours all the time. I don't use agency staff as cant afford to pay their rates, and besides which my very expensive public liability insurance precludes the use of casual or agency staff. I have listed the job with the job centre on Universal Jobmatch and on the Indeed job search site. Also got a company who work for Job Centre, but they keep ringing me with unsuitable candidates.......she is very nice, but can only work 9-1, or really great but cant work in a house where there are cats ( not much good as a cleaner then).....sorry to rant, and I truly am not an awful UKIP Daily Mail type ranting about benefit scroungers, in fact I read The Guardian, but just finding it so frustrating!!!! I just want to give someone a job for heaven's sake

MiceElf Tue 11-Feb-14 18:03:04

Perhaps all the good cleaners are working privately. The going rate where I live is £9.00 an hour.

JessM Tue 11-Feb-14 18:28:20

What part of the country are you in GillT57 - recruitment varies a lot between areas.

absent Tue 11-Feb-14 18:28:39

Obviously you are not in London but I have to say that I haven't paid a rate for a cleaner that low for over 20 years.

Riverwalk Tue 11-Feb-14 18:34:06

These figures really highlight how people must be struggling on low wages and rising prices.

12 years ago when I was still married and could afford such things I was paying my cleaner £10/hour.

The going rate is still £10/hour.

glammanana Tue 11-Feb-14 18:35:50

MiceElf its a similar rate where I live on The wirral,my downstairs neighbour pays £9.50 + half of her cleaners travelling expences for 2hrs twice a week and the lady is fully booked with regular clients.I feel sorry for youGill that you are having a problem and do think it is bad manners when people don't turn up for interviews where about are you in the country ?

Iam64 Tue 11-Feb-14 18:36:43

Yes, £10 an hour in the poor north west as well. But, as Riverwalk says, we were paying that 10 years ago.

Mishap Tue 11-Feb-14 18:39:05

I do not have a cleaner but I must say £6.64 looks a bit meagre. I looked up the legal minimum wage after I read the OP.

GillT57 Tue 11-Feb-14 18:44:46

The difference is that my staff are employed and have the benefits that everyone here who is employed would expect. They get SSP and SMP which I have to pay and wait to be reimbursed for, they get paid holidays. it is all very well to say that you pay £10 an hour for a cleaner, but it doesn't work out at much more than I pay when you add in paid holidays at 5.6 weeks pro-rata. With car expenses, my girls get paid more than £9.00 an hour. I also pay my girls every Friday, despite sometimes waiting weeks to be paid by clients! I do wonder why people think that £10 an hour on the black economy is morally superior to legal employment at around £9.00 an hour? I could also point out that I pay far more than many large chains such as M & S, BHS etc, and offer far better hours and flexibility, no 7 day working patterns and no zero hour contracts either. There is a limit to what people will pay and when you have to add vat at 20% it does make the margins very tight. And as to public liability insurance and the cost of eco cleaning products, none of these things come cheap. would be very surprised if any of the 'private cleaners' have liability insurance. It is not quite as simple as people think it is.

Riverwalk Tue 11-Feb-14 18:50:10

Who said it was simple - no need to be narky with those of us who were kind enough to reply!

We were just giving possible reasons why you are finding it difficult to recruit.

Why should people work for you for £6 when they can get £10?

The rights and wrongs of the black market wasn't your question.

GillT57 Tue 11-Feb-14 19:03:22

Riverwalk, I wasn't being narky, and I apologise if that is how it came across. Please get your facts right though before you have a pop at me;sad I pay £9.00 an hour, plus holiday which works out at another 10%, so it really isn't that different really to working for yourself for £10 apart from the guarantee that I will pay you and that you don't have to look for your own work! I know I can't compete with the so called black market, especially as I run a legitimate business and charge vat, but as you say that isn't the issue here. The issue is that I offer more flexibility, higher hourly rate than most major chains and I still cant seem to find staff.

Galen Tue 11-Feb-14 19:18:56

My cleaner charges £12.50

Galen Tue 11-Feb-14 19:22:26

She does have liability insurance as does her husband who works for me as a gardner. He charges the same. They both have full client lists

Lona Tue 11-Feb-14 19:28:26

Gill You actually said you paid £6.64 (plus generous car expenses), which is not the same as £9 an hour plus holiday pay.
Expenses are just that aren't they?

People were just trying to answer the question, and £6.64 doesn't seem much. smile

GillT57 Tue 11-Feb-14 19:28:29

£12.50 is a fair rate for someone self employed Galen when you work in the time spent visiting new clients, doing the bookkeeping,paying your accountant etc. Most private cleaners pack up because they underprice themselves, and don't appreciate that there is 'admin' time which you can't charge clients for. I get a lot of clients who come to me because their private cleaners let them down, or go sick for a long time, which can't be helped of course, but when you have one of my staff I provide a replacement in such cases. There are also cases where the cleaner almost becomes a friend, which is lovely, but can make complaining when a job is not done properly very tricky! It is not tricky when it is me you have to complain to. So what I meant, was it isn't quite as simple as it seems, not just a straight comparison of pay rates. I am sorry if it riled a few people, but it wasn't meant that way. It just isn't easy running a small business with all the associate costs and overheads.

Riverwalk Tue 11-Feb-14 19:30:23

I wasn't having a pop at you, merely metaphorically asking why someone would work for you when they can get £10/hour.

You still haven't said where you are located.

Mishap Tue 11-Feb-14 19:42:11

Yes - I can understand your situation with all the overheads. I wish you luck with your recruiting - it sounds a challenging area to be working in!

Galen Tue 11-Feb-14 20:08:10

So! That's what you pay. What do you charge?

gillybob Tue 11-Feb-14 21:57:30

There is a massive difference between paying "your" --lady who does--cleaner £10 an hour for an hour or two's work (usually cash in hand) to running a legitimate business and paying employers NI, employers liability insurance, business rates, corporation tax etc. I think it is unfair to even begin to compare the two. I run a business (granted not a cleaning business) but can totally understand that working and hour or two here and there for a bit of cash in hand cannot in anyway shape or form be compared to running a legitimate upfront company.

gillybob Tue 11-Feb-14 22:00:02

Oooops lady who does that'll teach me not to preview message. Although not sure what I did differently confused

GillT57 Tue 11-Feb-14 22:18:28

Thank you gillybob, you managed to get my point across far better than I did, I just seemed to rile people and come across as an hard nosed employer, which I most certainly am not!. I pay NIC and Tax, VAT and Corporation Tax, Office rent, power, BT, broadband etc and business rates and if the whole country was run by people being paid cash in hand we would be in a sorry state. I spend hours doing the administration, payroll and learning whatever new legislation the government decides to foist upon small business and that is what I get 'paid' for, although not all of it. When the new Universal credit system came into force, it cost me several hundred pounds on a new payroll package and training on how to use it,shock you don't have that expense when you hand your cleaner cash.

Galen Tue 11-Feb-14 22:18:37

My cleaner and her husband run a legitimate 'up front business' they work hard. Are reliable. They work about 12 hours a week in total for me between them and it costs me over £500 a month. A sizeable chunk out of my pensions.

Grannyknot Tue 11-Feb-14 22:18:56

Gilly, you missed out a space after the -- in your first post, that's what confused it!

I agree with you 're comparing apples and pears.

Aka Tue 11-Feb-14 22:30:03

Yes, 'private' cleaners can command higher wages, but many don't contribute in taxes, NI, etc. and it's a cash economy they are supporting. This affects their pensions etc.

gillybob Tue 11-Feb-14 22:43:01

Thanks Grannyknot I see my mistake. smile

Yes GillT57 there is a lot more expense to running a business than just paying the hourly rate. I know from over 20 years experience! It is being an unpaid tax collector and having to keep 10 steps ahead of legislation that gets me the most! I wonder , are your lady and gentleman self employed with only each other to worry about Galen ? I have often said to my DH over the years that we would be rich if it were only the two of us. No office, premises, factory, VAT, corporation tax, liability insurance, building and contents, employers NI, holiday pay, sick pay, maternity pay, paternity pay, gas, electricity, telephone, internet, rent, rates, van insurances, fuel, boiler suits, work boots, health and safety, tea, coffee, sugar, cleaning materials....................... Blimey why do we do it again?