Making Your Hiring Decision

Make your Hiring Decision

Reflect and discuss the candidate with your partner. If you feel the candidate is an A-Player, advance this candidate to the reference check interview. 

If you are unsure whether the candidate is a good fit, you may want to screen that person out, or gather more data. If you have the time, go ahead and call the candidate’s references. See what other people have to say, and postpone your decision until then. 

If you are truly on the fence, it is usually best to screen that person out.

A perfect candidate will come around eventually. It always takes longer to hire the best people, but you are always better off waiting for an A-Player to apply. Great hires make you money, they don’t cost you money. On the other hand, a bad hire will waste your time, waste your money, and cause headaches for everyone on your team. 

Fill out the Hiring Scorecard

The scorecard (as with all forms is available in your downloadable document pack) is easy to fill out and is a good way to objectively score a candidate’s performance. Reflect on and answer the yes or no questions. For the next set of questions, give the candidate a score of 1 – 10, with 10 being the best. 

On the back side of the scorecard, give the candidate a score of 1 – 3 for each section. Add up the score you gave in each box, and divide that number by 93 (the highest possible score). This will give you a percentage. 

If the candidate scored 80% or better, they could be a good candidate. If they scored lower than 80%, you may want to think twice about hiring that individual. 

It’s important to note, the hiring scorecard is not foolproof. It is possible to have a candidate who scores very well on the scorecard, but still turns out to be a bad hire. It’s also possible (but less likely) to have someone score poorly, but still be a good pet sitter. 

The scorecard is helpful for taking the emotion out of the hiring decision. Still, it’s just another data point, and the candidate’s score should be considered within the context of the entire interview process. As you interview more people and make successful hires, you may find the scorecard is not necessary. Eventually, you will get a good gut feeling for candidates as you practice the hiring process. 

How to Decide if You Should Hire a Candidate

Advance candidates who:


  • Are good with both people and pets
  • Show they are willing to help others
  • Have strong attention to detail and problem solving skills
  • Can follow detailed instructions and work with little direction
  • Are willing to accept feedback and criticism 
  • Give real and consistent answers to your questions
  • Have lots of animal and pet experience
  • Have a modern take on animal training (no fear or pain-based training)
  • Have previous career experience
  • Have a track record of being reliable 
  • Were trusted with real responsibility at previous positions
  • Have a professional attitude 

If you’re struggling to make a decision, it can be helpful to look back at the candidate’s phone interview form and application to see:


  • How many hours they were looking for each week
  • How much they want to make each month
  • Obligations they mentioned
  • Which shift they prefer
    • Does the candidate want what you can offer?

Look back to see what the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses are:


  • Are the candidate’s weaknesses manageable?
  • Do their career goals line up with the job you have to offer? 
  • Are you left with unanswered questions?
    • If so, take note to get more curious and ask more follow up questions in future interviews
Dog walking online training and certification

Why You Should Use a 90-Day Probationary Period

Even after all of the work you have done up to this point, It can still be difficult to know if you should hire the candidate. If you are having trouble with your decision, remember your offer letter includes a 90-day probationary period statement. Whenever you bring on a new hire, you can think of it as, “I am just trying this candidate out”. 

You can always let the new hire go if:

  • The reference interviews or orientation process do not go well
  • There are problems during the shadow visits
  • Another team member spots red flags about the new hire
  • The new hire turns out to be unreliable or problematic in any other way

Most of the time it will be obvious if the new hire will work out within the first 90 days of employment. So, be sure to include a 90 day probationary period with any offer of employment. 

If you let someone go for poor performance within their first 90 days and you made it clear the first 90 days are a probationary period, there is almost no chance they will qualify for unemployment, or be able to file an employment lawsuit against you. 

This is built into employment law to protect employers. When you use a 90-day probationary period, the only risk to you when bringing a candidate onboard is the financial cost of training them. 

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