Think in-house is more cost-effective?

Your time is precious. You need to be able to focus on your business – without distractions. Unless your business is in the janitorial industry, you probably don’t know the ins and outs of janitorial operations: efficient work flow, cleaning chemicals, equipment, best hiring practices, proper training, and inspection procedures. You also don’t have access to industry insider news and reviews, tips, specialized education, and product discounts.

 3 big reasons why you need to outsource your janitorial duties: cost, quality, trust and dependability.

 1.      Cost

“We’ve looked at outsourcing our janitorial services before and found it was much cheaper to do it in-house.”

We hear this from companies who are using in-house staff. While it may seem more cost effective, it’s highly unlikely when all costs – obvious and not so obvious –  are considered.

These costs are easily recognized:

  • Wages
    Payroll burden: taxes, benefits, and other overhead. Note: the payroll burden for an outsourced vendor is typically 18% to 22% compared to as much as 30% for in-house employees.
  • Cleaning supplies: chemicals, mop heads, cloths, etc.*
  • Equipment cost and maintenance: new purchase, repairs, and replacement*
  • Other direct expenses: staff uniforms, cost of drug and background screens

*Professional janitorial service providers have knowledge of and access to state-of-the-art equipment and resources. They will also have fully trained staff for correct use of these resources.

These costs are not so obvious, yet they certainly impact your bottom line:

  • Vacancy costs: People working in these positions rarely provide a 2-week notice. Those who quit without notice are the most frustrating. You’ll need to consider the cost of overtime, of temporary labor to complete the tasks of the departed worker, and of back up options.
  • Recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and training costs: Turnover in custodial positions can be rather high for a variety of reasons. You’ll need to consider the frequent cost of new job advertising, application screening, interviewing candidates, onboarding new hires, and training new team members.

Reduced productivity costs: Outsourced workers in almost every profession work more efficiently than in-house workers. Competent janitorial companies use cleaning techniques and equipment that are designed to improve efficiencies. Tasks that take an in-house team member 6 hours per day to complete, might only take 4-5 hours per day to complete for an experienced and professionally-trained contracted custodian. This cost can be significant if you have multiple team members.

Additionally, don’t leave out the cost of lost productivity. You and your staff must take valuable time to provide oversight for your entire janitorial program. Doesn’t it make sense to have human resources, facilities maintenance, and management working primarily on your own core business functions?

When you consider all the costs, it’s easier to see how outsourcing can be a cost-saving solution for your janitorial needs.

2.     Quality

Research proves that a professionally cleaned facility influences the morale and health of your valued staff. This in turn has a positive, welcoming impact on clients and customers. Competent and respected janitorial companies have the right tools, training, and processes to keep your facility clean and sanitized on a consistent basis over the life of their service agreement. Check out: The Value of Clean.

A word of caution: Choosing a janitorial vendor solely on their proposed contacted cost might be a recipe for frustration and decreased quality.

3.     Trust and Dependability

Reputable janitorial services companies understand the importance of establishing trust and dependability with their clients. You should ask these questions of any potential vendor:

  • Do you conduct pre-employment background checks?
  • What types of things would disqualify someone from working for your company?
  • What are your pre-employment and ongoing drug testing policies?
  • Are you fully insured, including general liability, worker’s comp, umbrella, bonding, EPLI?
  • What is your turnover ratio compared to industry averages?
  • What sets you apart from other cleaning companies?
  • Do you offer a money-back guarantee?

Dependable, trustworthy janitorial companies are more than willing to be transparent with you. They will happily share how they hold their staff accountable, and what measures they have in place to protect your team, their team, and your property. Companies that are confident in their processes and procedures will offer full transparency of costs to you the customer and even a customer guarantee.


Companies and organizations could achieve cost savings and other benefits by outsourcing their janitorial tasks. Be certain to find a competent, reputable vendor who understands your quality and dependability concerns and can work with you to overcome them.