Our Pet Sitters are Employees
In addition to being bonded and insured, our staff are employees – not independent contractors. Many pet sitting companies, including some of the new national, “uber-like” companies use independent contractors instead of hiring employees. Why should this matter to you? Well by law, a business cannot train or guide independent contractors, and they cannot specify exactly how the business of pet sitting is carried out. This means that it is the individual sitter’s responsibility to train themselves as little or as much as they see fit to complete the job. This means it will be up to you as the client to determine how knowledgeable your pet sitter is. Do you want that responsibility? In addition, independent contractors can substitute whomever they wish to do a job, without notice to the owner of the company hiring them, or to the client. That means that ANYONE can be entering your home, and they may not be bonded and insured. Lastly, if you use a national company that advertises individual sitters that are independent contractor—these companies have often never even met the sitters in person that they advertise on their site. Their screening process is minimal and done through an online application. If you have ever tried online dating, then you know why this type of screening process is not ideal when your chosen caregiver will be entering your home and caring for your precious pets.
As employees, our sitters are fully trained by us, following our guidelines, policies and procedures developed over the last 25 years. We provide ongoing training for staff, and workers compensation should they get hurt on the job.
OUR METICULOUS PROCESS FOR SELECTING STAFF
Our hiring and on-boarding process typically takes 1-2 weeks. We have several “hurdles” so only the best prospects are hired. We also make sure new hires interact with multiple staff members during this process to ensure they are a good fit.
Screen Applicants with the Right Skills that Fit Our Company Culture
We look for people 21 years of age or older that have pet care experience or have a clear passion for animals. They must have great character, are able to work independently, are detail-oriented, follow directions, communicate well and enjoy working outside. Park Cities Pet Sitter works as a customer service focused team, so we look for people that share this desire to be their very best every day and to make their clients happy.
Conduct a Phone Interview
We conduct a phone interview to confirm the skill set above, their availability for pet care visits and to ensure the character traits indicated on the applicant’s resume match our needs. If they do, we invite them in for an in-person interview.
Character Assessment Test
Prior to the in-person interview we administer a behavior and character assessment test to see if their values match our company values.
During the in-person interview we determine if they have the skill set required to be a successful staff member. We also answer all questions about what the job entails.
Background and Reference Check
Since our staff will be going into our clients’ homes—we do a thorough background and reference check prior to them being trained or on-boarded.
Shadowing a Seasoned Staff Member
Once the prospect is officially hired, they shadow a seasoned staff member on their pet care visits to get a sense as to what the day-to-day job looks like. This helps give them real-world context for the New Staff Member training they are about to receive.
New Staff Member Training
The new Park Cities Pet Sitter staff member undergoes training on our Policies and Procedures, our scheduling system, our email and voice mail systems, and on animal behavior prior to being assigned their first “solo” client visit.