Hire Employees with a Tender Touch To Earn Trust from Pet Parents
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Hire Employees with a Tender Touch To Earn Trust from Pet Parents

Hire Employees with a Tender Touch To Earn Trust from Pet Parents

The American Pet Products Association projects that Americans will spend more than $150 billion this year on pet-related expenses. This includes an estimated $12.6 billion on services such as grooming, training, boarding, daycare, and dog walking, and nearly $67 billion on food and treats.

Franchising has taken notice of how lucrative the pet space is, and franchises that provide these services and sell these products have emerged and are growing. Franchisees building a staff tasked with caring for people’s beloved pets must take the time to make wise hiring decisions.

Clients depend on franchisees to hire gentle, compassionate, and trustworthy caregivers—just as they would if looking for someone to care for their child or a senior relative such as a parent or grandparent. In fact, a Pew Research Center survey shows that 51% of pet owners consider their pets to be as much a part of their family as a human member.

One such franchise, among many, is Woofie’s, a mobile pet service provider that offers grooming, pet sitting, and dog walking. Founded in 2004, Woofie’s has grown to 38 locations in 20 states. Authority Brands acquired the brand in 2022. Recently, president and co-founder Amy Addington became a franchisee of the business she created 20 years ago.

Addington, currently in the process of hiring animal-loving team members for her Woofie’s of Delray Beach location, provides insight on green lights and red flags to look for when reviewing applications and resumes and interviewing candidates.

“A franchise owner should look for someone who is passionate about animals, reliable, and pays close attention to detail. Pet sitters and groomers are trained to recognize pet body language, signs of illness or stress, and notice any differences in the pet,” she says. “Sometimes the smallest change in the pet can be a sign that something is not right. A franchise owner also wants an employee who is adaptable, fun-loving, and dedicated.”

Qualified candidates don’t necessarily need to have a formal background in pet care, but it is certainly a plus if they are pet tech certified, have worked in a vet’s office, volunteered at an animal shelter, been a dog trainer, done pet sitting, or have been responsible for pets of their own. These credentials will provide pet parents with assurance and peace of mind that they are handing their dog, cat, or feathered friend to someone who has experience with a wide range of breeds, personalities, behaviors, and health conditions.

When interviewing potential employees and training new hires, Addington wants to see their interaction with animals firsthand. “It should be natural and easygoing. Dogs and cats are very sensitive, so it is best to look for someone who can get on their level and understand them as an individual,” she says. “You want to look for a sitter who greets the pet by name, interacts with them, and pays attention to their personality and likes/dislikes.”

Paige Feigenbaum is a freelance journalist, PR specialist, and TV producer in South Florida. She has written for The Palm Beach Post, Jupiter Magazine, Stuart Magazine, The Boca Raton Observer, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, The Hollywood Reporter, TMZ, ABC News Radio, and Smart Meetings magazine. She can be reached at paigemara.news@gmail.com or on LinkedIn.

Published: May 2nd, 2024

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