We strongly believe that having a thorough and meticulous hiring process for our Dallas dog walkers and pet sitters is essential because of the trust our clients place in us when they hire us. We don’t want a client for just one set of visits, we want a client for life!  Because we often have unsupervised access to a client’s home when providing pet services, in addition to the fact we are caring for their beloved pets—we do not take that responsibility lightly.

Unfortunately, not all individuals or businesses providing Dallas pet sitting and dog walking services take the same amount of care and precautions as we do when selecting staff, so we highly recommend that you inquire about the screening and training of anyone that will enter your home has received. Ask them for details on how they were selected, whether screening was done in person or electronically, and whether they received training prior to beginning work with the company. If a company says they have a thorough screening process, ask them what it entails–don’t just take their word for it!

The entire Park Cities Pet Sitter hiring and on-boarding process typically takes 1-2 weeks. We purposely have several “hurdles” as part of the process so only the best prospects are hired. We also make sure new hires interact with multiple staff members during this process to make sure they are a good fit for our team.

Here is what we do to ensure only the best candidates become PCPSI team members:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. In-Person Interview.
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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

Taking all of the steps above really matters when it comes to allowing someone unsupervised access to your home, and the responsibility of caring for a living being that is precious to you and your family. It is unfortunate that many companies don’t do even half of these steps, and the large Uber-style companies like Rover and Wag don’t do any of these steps in person. So buyer beware! If you are looking for a new Dallas dog walker or pet sitter, simply ask for a company’s hiring practices and how they train their staff.  Doing that before you hire them will ensure you have a qualified, well-screened and trained professional caring for your home and pets.