Get It Done Cleaning Services


Derek Cowan, founder and Managing Director of Get It Done Cleaning Services knows a thing or two about cleaning. He literally wrote the book on it: The Book on Cleaning: 9 ultimate steps to a cleaner home, to be precise.

The knowledge and experience that went into writing this book are evident in the company’s success: Get It Done Cleaning has won various awards for its domestic, commercial and specialist cleaning services since it was founded in 2008. Derek puts this down to the fact that the company’s biggest strength is its ability to attract and retain high quality staff with great attitudes. As he says:

“People are at the core of any business. Some people might not like that, but it’s the truth. If you don’t put your people first, then you’re not going to be successful, and you’re not going to run a successful business.”

The Recruitment Problem

Unfortunately, recruiting those high quality people is sometimes easier said than done. The cleaning services industry is a very transient one, with people coming and going all the time.

In the past, Derek has tried all different sorts of ways of recruiting people, with varying degrees of success.

The Job Centre website route meant that he had to deal with mountains of enquiries and CVs, “which isn’t very much fun and is very time-consuming” as he says, ruefully. “You also tend to find that people just don’t tell the truth in their CVs”.

Not so good, then.

Derek’s experience with recruitment agencies was, if anything, even worse:

“To be honest,” he says, “it was a horrendous experience. Most of the agencies had the attitude of ‘it’s just a cleaner’ and thought that they could throw anybody at you and it would be acceptable – but it wasn’t and it’s still not. I don’t want just anybody – I want people who have the right attitude, and who care about cleaning”.

Point noted, recruitment agencies?

Perhaps more successful is Derek’s policy of welcoming people who have had the guts to come in off the street, knock on the door and introduce themselves to him. He says:

“I like the fact that they’re not just sitting in their house, complaining about life. They’re actually doing something about it. They tend to be the best people”.

But people like that don’t come in off the street every day. So how do you navigate your way through the recruitment process to get high quality staff?


The Recruitment Solution

Luckily for Derek, the solution came when he met Nik Plevan, the Managing Director of e-Talent at a networking event. He says:

“We got chatting about Nik’s software, and the fact that it could help you to recruit the best person for the job without you having to look at a single CV. I thought: ‘that’s a really powerful piece of software he’s got there!’ And I thought I would give it a try: recruitment was becoming a real pain for me – I was spending more and more time on it – so it couldn’t have come at a better time.”

So what issues and challenges did e-Talent solve for Get It Done?

“It took out that initial pre-qualification stage for me. It took away all the hard work. Applicants would fill in a form, they would be sent a link, they would put their details into e-Talent and complete the test. All I then had to do was sift through the applicants that the software had selected for me, and make a decision about whom I wanted to bring in for interview. So it took away the whole ‘let’s-go-through-hundreds-of-CVs’ and ‘let’s-answer-lots-of-phone-call-enquiries’ stage.”

Derek also points out that it’s comforting to have your gut feelings about people confirmed by a software package that is completely objective and logical and won’t allow people to tell lies as they can do in a CV:

“You know that intuitive feeling that you get with people sometimes – the feeling that makes you think to yourself, ‘this person is probably going to be a bit lazy’? The software usually confirms that feeling. But it also takes the emotion out of the process, and stops you making wrong assumptions.”

Perhaps the most powerful feature for Derek is the report about the person at the end of the process. It contains a bar graph that shows the key skills and traits of the person, with a score out of one hundred.

Is it possible to improve an already great product? Derek has a few suggestions:

“If you take a few steps out, simplify it and reduce the questions, then that would really streamline the process for people. It would also help if the user knows where they are in the test – for example, having a ‘you are now at step one of seven’ or a progress bar would be useful. And a version for mobile phones would be great. Most people now have mobile phones and they use them for the internet.”

Derek would highly recommend e-Talent to other businesses:

“It’s a great product, a great piece of software – it really is! It’s so powerful. It would be particularly good for customer service or management roles, where applicants are used to applying on-line and are adept at using technology.”

“I’m all about being innovative and trying out new things. I wanted a system that would prequalify people and that would do the hard work, the thinking for me. E-Talent is a powerful tool. It streamlines your business so you’re not focused on recruitment all the time.”

‘When I met Nik at the networking event, I already knew I had to change something to make sure I got the right people. This helped. This really did help.”


Why not speak to us today to find out what e-Talent can do for your business?