We take pride in hiring and training the best pet sitters and dog walkers in the Greater Waterbury area of Connecticut. We love serving our clients from Oxford to Thomaston and everywhere in between! Ever wonder what it takes to be a Pet Care Specialist at RCO Pet Care? Here’s a look at all the amazing things our pet sitters and dog walkers do to make sure your pet has the best care out there!
The Hiring Process
To ensure we hire only the best pet care providers out there, our hiring process involves multiple levels of screening by our team.
Phase 1 – The Application
The first step in joining the RCO Pet Care team is submitting an application. Our application screens for basic qualifications such as applicants’ location, availability, an overview of animal experience and goals. This gives our team a general idea of who the person is, how they would like to contribute to the team and if they would be a good fit for the open position. Applicants are encouraged to submit a cover letter and resume.
Phase 2 – More Questions!
If someone’s application catches the team’s attention they are put into Phase 2 of our hiring process. This phase involves the completion of a more extensive questionnaire focusing on knowledge of animal care. For example, applicants are asked questions about handling pups that pull on the leash, entering a home to find a pet has vomited on the floor and the biggest challenge they have faced in the animal care industry or with their own pets.
While we do not expect an applicant to be fully trained on our policies and procedures for the scenarios described above, posing these questions allows our hiring team to learn more about the candidate and their basic knowledge of animal health and behavior.
Phase 3 – Let’s Chat!
The next step in picking the best pet sitters and dog walkers to provide care for your pets is in a phone interview. A phone interview allows our team to verify information from the candidate’s application as well as ask questions about answers that peaked our interest. The candidate also has the opportunity to ask questions regarding the open position at this time.
Phase 4 – The Interview
If a candidate has successfully made it to Phase Four of our hiring process they are offered an in-person (…or Zoom thanks to COVID!) interview. At this time, the applicant will finally meet our team face-to-face where the position is discussed in detail. Further questions are asked to learn more about the candidate’s work ethic, pet experience, long-term goals (and how we can support them!) and more. The questions asked at this time will help decide if this person will fit in well with our team and give your pets the best quality of care possible.
Background Checks and Paperwork
All job offers are made contingent on a clean background track via our partner, Acutraq. We only hire trustworthy, professional people with a passion for animals and people to enter your homes. Upon completion of the a criminal background check at a county and federal level and a sex offender search, employees are welcomed to the team with the completion of tax paperwork and hiring documents. (We only hire W-2 employees for their benefit as well as yours!)
RCO Pet Care has developed its own thorough training process to teach new Pet Care Specialists how we provide the best possible care and experience possible to every client (furry and human!) in our care.
The Employee Manual and Standard Operating Procedures
We take our jobs very seriously and expect the same from new team members. Each new hire is provided with our employee manual and standard operating procedures to outline their rights, the expectations they will be held to and how our management team is here to support them. These are the foundation of our employee experience and business.
The Training Module
New hires then partake in a 14 chapter module developed by the owner of RCO Pet Care. The topics covered here range from how to fill out our client journals to how to safely and properly walk a dog. Information regarding common canine and feline diseases, CPR, First Aid, how to clean up vomit and so much more are all outlined with photos and videos. Questions are encouraged and the module is updated on a monthly basis to keep our team continuously learning and up to date
Our Pet Care Training Module wraps up with a quiz summarizing everything the employee has learned thus far. Employees cannot advance their training until full comprehension is demonstrated.
After a new Pet Care Specialist has demonstrated an understanding of RCO Pet Care’s goals, culture and pet care standards, they begin in-person training. During this training, the new employee shadows RCO’s president, Jessica, on numerous visits ranging from cat sits and dog walks to special need visits. The amount of time spent training “in the field” depends on the employee, their experience, comfort level and demonstration of skill and understanding. New employees must be deemed fully trained by RCO’s president before being allowed to handle visits on their own.
Safety and excellence are two of RCO Pet Care’s core values and we take them very seriously. The best way to stay up-to-date on everything pet care and pet safety is through continuing education. Our president is constantly seeking to learn new ways to bring you the best dog walking and pet sitting services through her certifications with Fear Free Pets and Pet Sitters International, for example. Because of this, our team is constantly learning new things ranging from the best way to understand a dog’s body language to how to approach a nervous cat.
When something important needs to be added to our teams’ repertoire, it is addressed individually with each member as well as added to our training module for reference and for new employees to learn and grow with!
Our Commitment to Our Clients
The most important piece of being the best dog walkers and pet sitters in the Greater Waterbury area is our dedication to our clients – both two-legged and four-legged. We are constantly tweaking, learning and improving based on your needs and feedback. Our team is fully dedicated to providing you with an outstanding customer experience and your pets with the safest, most compassionate care possible. This is what sets us apart more than anything we can do in the office!
To learn how RCO Pet Care Care can help you with your dog walking and pet sitting needs, check out our services, contact us or call us at (203) 641-2428. If you’re outside of our service area we’re happy to help you find a reputable, professional pet care provider. We’ve got your tail!