📢 The Future of Finding House Cleaning Workers with Miguel Zabludovsky CEO of Heystack

February 15, 2022

I had the pleasure to connect with Miguel Zabludovsky a couple of months ago and was blown away by the synergy and shared vision we had towards improving the experience of hiring cleaning employees and, in general, a better job board for our industry.

He shared his vision for a better, a way better way to find house cleaning techs, and I believe his new startup, Heystack, could change the game for the good. I’m excited to share with him more of how Pipehireand Heysstack could redefine de future of HR and Hiring.

In this webinar, we’ll learn more about his story of growing Slate as one of the most extensive cleaning services in NYC and his full vision for Heystack; also, you will be able to do early registration for your company.


So Miguel, welcome. Thank you for coming


Miguel Zabludovsky:

Thank you, Juan.

Juan Chaparro:

It’s a pleasure to have you here. And I see that you’re having a lot of fun in that room. Looks very bright. And I want to get started with a little bit about your story, and if you can tell us how you got started in the cleaning business, kind of the pains, the successes, and just really we want to hear all about it.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

Yeah, sure. So I’ll give you the three minutes short summary of the last 15 years of my life. I’m originally from Mexico. I moved to New York City about 15 years ago or so, and I started a business, a laundry and dry feeding pickup and delivery service. This was way before all the on-demand revolution. And so I started picking up clothes in my bicycle, going around the streets of Manhattan, picking up clothes, taking them to dry cleaner. And so I built that business. I ended up building a dry cleaning facility and built this whole huge infrastructure with a lot of fixed costs. And then the recession hit in 2009 and I said, “What else can I sell to Juan or to Louis who already trust me with their clothes?” I’ll send them a cleaning lady. The cleaning ladies are Mexican, I’m Mexican should be an easy business to manage.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

And so I launched that and I combined it so that when I would deliver your clean clothes, I would send a cleaning lady who would clean your place and put the clothes away. All throughout this time, I was building the software to run both businesses. And then about a few years after that, about 2015 or so, I ended up closing the laundry and dry cleaning business, focusing exclusively on house cleaning. We were doing at some point about 50,000 cleanings a year. It was all based on having online booking and doing great customer service. And then I launched a really unique service, which is still kind of our bread and butter, which is daily cleaning, where I would send a cleaning person to your place for about an hour a day. Instead of five hours on Friday, she would go one hour every day and tidy up, make the beds then focus on a different area each day.

Juan Chaparro:

Right

Speaker 3:

[crosstalk]

Miguel Zabludovsky:

Anyway. So that’s kind of my core cleaning business in New York City. And about two years ago I turned that software that I built to run my cleaning business into a SaaS product where any-

Juan Chaparro:

Oh, hold on a second. You got muted for a second Miguel.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

That’s okay.

Juan Chaparro:

I was trying to mute everyone that was getting into the conversation. So go ahead again.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

Oh, good. So about two years ago, I turned that software into SaaS product where any cleaning company could use it to run their business. And it had everything from the online booking, the app for the cleaner, the whole package of software. And I’d been having conversations with cleaning business owners, trying to sell them the software for two years, hundreds of cleaning business owners. And throughout all these conversations, I realized that software was kind of a solved problem. If it wasn’t my software, it was another software. There’s software out there. And some are good for some things and some are better for others, but that was sort of [inaudible]. And the real big problem that I heard from everyone was, “I can’t find good cleaners.” And that seemed to be a constant no matter the size, no matter the location, the stage the business was in.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

And so that was really striking to me to hear that kind of feedback. And as I dug deeper into what’s the problem, I realized that there’s some structural issues that we can’t do anything about in the labor market, in the economy and so on. But for those job seekers that are actually looking for work, the line between a job seeker and an employer, a cleaning company business owner, was going all different ways because we’re all using tools that are really not made for the type of hiring that cleaning companies need to do. And so what cleaning companies do now is they’ll post on Indeed they will make a job post and then they will get 500 applications. And the problem is that companies like Indeed make their money by sending you more applicants or putting you higher on… You know. And so you don’t need more, you need better. And you want me to go now into what the solution that I came up with?

Juan Chaparro:

Hold on. So you mentioned this daily cleaning in New York City. Obviously that is possible because the condensed city that Manhattan is. The density where you would just take the metro and just drive to… Or not drive, but you will go to any building and you will be there instantly.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

I got to a density situation where a cleaner could just walk from one apartment to the other, and she could clean five apartments in a day and have just a 10 minute walk between each one of them.

Juan Chaparro:

That’s amazing. Yeah. That’s definitely only possible there. Most US cities it’s impossible to really do that. All right, so keep going. I just had that question on how you accomplished that, because it was impressive. So what’s the solution you came up with?

Miguel Zabludovsky:

Yeah, so as I was thinking more about why is it so difficult to find cleaners, I thought, “Look, a similar problem happens when you try to find a partner, a girlfriend, a boyfriend.” And so online dating kind of solved that in a way. And so I started looking more at what’s the online dating model. And if you think about online dating, if you need to put a job post to find a girlfriend and then get applicants and sort through the applicant resumes, it’s bananas. That would never work. And so Tinder, Bumble, all these apps solved that by having an app where you could see profiles of potential partners. And based on that decide do you want to reach out to them or not. And Bumble, which is a dating app that grew tremendously, their innovation was that it was the girl who started the conversation.

Juan Chaparro:

Oh, wow.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

So that was Bumble’s big innovation. And Bumble by the way is a public company with hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. And I sort of took that as well and said instead of having cleaning companies reject applicants and out of 500 applicants that you get on Indeed you like five, and so basically you’re going through spam and you’re wasting your time going through spam.

Juan Chaparro:

And paying for those leads.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

And paying for those leads. Exactly. It should be the cleaning company who’s the first one to reach out. So the solution that I came up with is called Heystack. And Heystack is an app. You download it to your phone, you create your profile, and you say, “I’m looking for cleaners in Dallas,” as an example. And you can further filter that with industry specific filters. So you can say, “I only want cleaners that have experience cleaning hotels,” as an example. Or that you want to work as W2. Or want to work as 1099. So you’ll filter your list. And then you present it with a video profile. You can see the video, there’s actually four videos for each profile where the job seeker answers four default questions. And then you can see the work history. You can see whether they’ve been vaccinated or not, whether they’ve been identity verified or not and so on.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

And if you don’t think it’s a good fit, you’ll swipe left and get presented with the next job seeker. If you are interested and want to connect with them, you can swipe right and you have the opportunity to chat with them. And just take the conversation from there. There’s no job post, there’s no applications. It’s just connecting. It’s the straightest line between a job seeker and an employer. And once you connect with one or with more than one, you don’t necessarily need to hire them right away. Because another thing that I’ve learned in the cleaning business is that you should really build up a bench of talent that’s available to work when you need it and to have that bench ready. So you can have this list of job seekers that you like, but don’t necessarily need to hire them right away. But when you do want to hire someone, you can send them a job offer, and then just bring them into your system. If you are using pipehire or whatever you’re using to continue that onboarding process into your company.

Juan Chaparro:

Wow. That’s amazing. So we could say this is the dating app for the cleaning world.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

That’s exactly right. That’s right.

Juan Chaparro:

Okay. Wow. I mean, sounds simple. Like it’s a simple concept, but it really took time for it really to come out to that solution. All right. So that is amazing. Now what are some of the problems that you are seeing in general with the employment market and in general, where the US is heading as far as employees and labor market? I’m sure you have a lot of insights in your research and why don’t you share more about where that is going and how your product really fits into becoming one of the solutions towards that problem?

Miguel Zabludovsky:

Juan, to be honest I feel like I’m not labor market expert yet because we just came up with this idea and we built the app and we just building the supply side. We have about almost a thousand cleaners already in the platform ready to get work. And then we’re going to start opening up for the cleaning companies. But what I can see from where I’m sitting is that there is a ton of supply. There’s a ton of job seekers that are particularly Hispanic. So if you’re looking to hire Hispanic employees in the US, I see job seekers in pretty much every market that we go after, whether that’s California or Texas, or the Northeast Florida. I think the way things get tricky is in the fit, in making sure that that job seeker is a good fit for that particular company.

Juan Chaparro:

Yeah.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

So the knowledge that I can share about that is the cleaners are out there, the job seekers are out there, and it’s just a matter of finding a good match. And I think part of the problem that employers see and small business owners see is that finding that job seeker that’s a good match is really difficult because there’s so much not good matches out there.

Juan Chaparro:

Yeah, definitely. I recently wrote a blog post about Indeed being that companies focus really on sending you leads and not sending you an applicant. And making it so easy, because people literally download the app and just click apply, apply, apply, apply, apply. But they don’t take the time to read into the job what’s required and then really apply to a company that fits their needs and the company’s needs. And I got a lot of people commenting on this, that definitely all the cleaning companies in the US we’re paying tons of millions of dollars to Indeed for sending us unqualified people, just numbers and resumes and emails and phone numbers. But we don’t really have an application on hand that we can say, “This person is really serious about working here.”

Juan Chaparro:

And tons of my customers are in Indeed spending money. And then they go to the candidate section and just start messaging people, “Hey, please come to meet me, come to the interview, please come to a Zoom call.” And they are spending tons and tons of time trying to reach people that don’t care. And they just apply maybe because while they’re watching Netflix they’re just applying.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

There’s no cost to apply. Right?

Juan Chaparro:

There’s no cost to apply. Yeah. I mean, there is no skin in the game. Especially because when you have your resume on Indeed uploaded and you have everything set up there, literally it says, “Click to apply,” and it’s just one click.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

Yeah.

Juan Chaparro:

Yeah. So is this person applying to a hundred jobs in a day? I mean, what are the chances of your cleaning business getting that person to your work? It’s impossible.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

Yeah. Yeah. One of the things that I noticed that is different or could produce a different pool of applicants is that creating a video profile is a point of friction in the job seeker registration process.

Juan Chaparro:

Definitely.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

So it’s easy for somebody to create an account in Indeed and fill out a few fields and boom, that’s a job seeker. In Heystack you are not a job seeker until you have created your video profile. And that in itself is sort of a filter for someone who is really motivated to get a job, serious about it and willing to do the work.

Juan Chaparro:

Definitely. I mean I’m personally not so good on camera. For me to make a video or one of those Facebook reels or watching myself on my own cell phone recording for me it’s very… I’m not that type of person. So it is definitely a filter and a commitment. Somebody wants to work cleaning and they want to do their video and so that’s impressive. So a lot of people ask me why Indeed just sends us leads and not applications. And I explain that a lead is a name and an email and a phone number that’s interested in something that you have to sell. House cleaning or a house cleaning job. But an application, a real application, is somebody that filled a form and completed series of questions and then submitted the application and took time and effort to complete it.

Juan Chaparro:

And most people nowadays say, “Well, I just need names and numbers,” but in reality you don’t need a lot of quantity. You need a lot of quality people. And I think that’s where Heystack is going to allow to solve of that. Because to really to be a million plus cleaning service, you don’t need a hundred cleaners. You need 20 people, that’s it. So we don’t need hundreds and hundreds applicants. We just need couple of good people that we can hire every month. That’s it. I mean, if we can hire two people a month, that is 24 people at the end of the year. If you do that over several years, you have a 40, 50, 60 employee company and then you’re at three, four, five million revenue.

Juan Chaparro:

So I always insist to people pipehire or Heystack will help you in that process of screening and putting the best people in front of you. And Indeed is simply a lead generation side that sends us leads and we have to screen them, process them. But you’re going on the other side, which is really a different way to really attack the same problem.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

Yeah. Yeah. And I think the other hiring practice that a lot of cleaning companies try to do but may not do very well consistently is having a bench. So fine. You have the cleaners you need now, but you have one or two that you already know you have vetted. And if tomorrow Margarita can’t come to clean, you know that you can tap Sonia to come and fill that spot. So I think that’s kind of a quirk of the cleaning business that you can have a bench of cleaners ready to clean. And it may not be the same cleaner because that cleaner that’s not cleaning for you might end up getting a job somewhere else because you didn’t hire her. But as long as you have some consistent pool, like maybe Margarita was on your bench for a month and then she got a job, but you have somebody else. So as long as you can have someone in that bench, you make your company more resilient and less susceptible to losing customers because you couldn’t fulfill bookings and so on.

Juan Chaparro:

Yeah. I really like this concept of bench. I’ve never heard of that concept. And I think it’s genius because we’re always expecting everybody to show up, but that doesn’t happen always. And I think applying that comes to really help us. And especially right now, because there’s so many people looking for workers, not just cleaning companies, just everyone. We are really on the losing side that they don’t want to show up tomorrow there’s nothing we can do. And it’s really impacting sales. It’s impacting company reputation. So I’m telling my customers now that the fight is really over employees now, not over customers. Before it was over customers, now is who whoever has the best crew, the best team, is the one who has the clients and has the revenue.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

Yeah.

Juan Chaparro:

So the fight is now over people, over finding workers. And it’s everyone looking for, not just cleaners. I mean, all these blue collar workers is just tons and tons of places need these type of people. I mean, just look everywhere around you. These jobs, these positions are fulfilled mainly by blue collar workers. And it’s really challenging for everyone. And that’s why I brought you in this webinar today to really explain the difference and your product and what you’re doing to really solve this problem.

Juan Chaparro:

And I’ve heard a lot that you can only solve a problem that you experience, that you lived, and that you felt the pain. And Indeed clearly doesn’t understand our industry to solve this problem well, they are just interested in selling you leads. That’s why we all keep spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars every week for leads that are no good. And that is really the main problem. And I think that’s where Heystack really flips the thing and now puts the company with a person or matches the person in a company that really make it. And I think that’s what’s going to be a huge game changer for everyone.

Juan Chaparro:

Cool. Let me check here some of my questions. Now you mentioned about your supply side, and what is right now or when companies can start to experience this product and start using it for their own companies?

Miguel Zabludovsky:

We’re going to start opening up a couple of markets at the beginning of March. So over the past maybe month or two, we’ve been building up the supply and in the next two or three weeks we’re going to reach out to cleaning companies that are in our top markets to say, “Hey, we now have a supply of job seekers that you should take a look if you’re looking to hire.”

Juan Chaparro:

Got it. Can you share which are those main cities, if that’s possible?

Miguel Zabludovsky:

It is about 20 markets, the top cleaning cities, obviously New York, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Denver. We can share it after the webinar.

Juan Chaparro:

Got it. Okay, cool. Yeah. So yeah, definitely. I guess the releasing city by city will help you really get traction for everyone involved in this process. I want to ask if anyone in the audience has any questions that you want to have or ask Miguel. You’re free to unmute yourself and just ask any questions. I’m going to check here on my Facebook, see if I have any questions that any person has. Okay. Have a question here. Is there any cost to use the app?

Miguel Zabludovsky:

Great question.

Juan Chaparro:

How is that going to work?

Miguel Zabludovsky:

Great question. Yes, of course. So Heystack is a hundred percent free for job seekers. So there is no barrier to a job seeker to come and create a profile. The first iteration of our pricing structure is a monthly subscription that is dependent on how many job seekers you want to have conversations with. So you’ll register as an employer, you’ll be able to see a profile of a job seeker for free, obviously. And when you want to connect with your first job seeker, that’s free. So you can also see the experience, the chat experience. So connecting with one job seeker is free. When you want to connect with more than one that’s when we have I think the first year is… I can’t remember 75 or $99 a month. So that gives you I think up to five job seekers, which for many cleaning companies that might be enough.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

But the idea is to make the pricing structure based on how many job seekers you want to have conversations with. It’s not how many you hire, so there’s no per hire fee. You can hire all of them, you can hire one. So we’re funding this by charging you for connecting you with-

Juan Chaparro:

Making the connection. Making the connection. That’s genius. Yeah. Because right now, mostly… And I’ve seen Indeed has two models to charge, per applicant or per day. And I’ve spoken to Indeed several times and I ask them, “Hey, why some cities is per applicant and some others per day or per budget?” And they say, “Well, we’re testing the markets so we can get the most revenue per each market or per city.” And definitely they’re making tons of money, but at the expense of us just paying, paying, and paying for leads that are no quality. And today, for example, I had somebody that requested a demo and she asked me to take a look at her hiring process. And I found two mistakes on her hiring process. She said, “I don’t have people. Nobody’s applying to my jobs.”

Juan Chaparro:

I said, “What is your problem?” And I look at her site. She had no jobs page to begin with. Nowhere in her site explained what are the benefits of her work, how much she was paying, nothing. And so she had basically no way to communicate what was the job about. And second problem was she was not having any budget in any of the systems to generate leads. So this person was literally just expecting calls from people that are interested in a job. And I said it’s impossible. You need to pay to get people in the door. Because remember, a good cleaner will make between 50 to $60,000 in revenue for every year they are employed with you. Obviously that’s a number around my area, but probably changes a little bit in there depending on the market.

Juan Chaparro:

But think about this, that we have to pay really to find people. They’re not going to find us. It’s not that way anymore. Before, yeah. People looking for jobs will come to us, “Please give me a job.” But the market shifted completely. And now we, the cleaning businesses, we have to go out there and find the people. We have to spend the money. We have to make our job attractive. We have to give vacations, awards, I mean anything that helps people come and apply to our jobs. Because now the fight is over cleaners. So those are the very common mistakes I find in a lot of people. And there’s something else I mention to most cleaning companies. And I tell them, “Look, we are not in the cleaning business. We’re in the staffing business.” It’s like, “No, I’m not into staffing business.” I said, “Yes, you are in the staffing business, you just happen to clean homes.”

Juan Chaparro:

But we are in the staffing business because if you look at your schedule where you spend most of your time, it’s hiring, interviewing, firing, disciplinary actions. I mean, we spend the most of our times is working with people directly. And when they think about that, it’s like, “Yeah, you’re right. We are in the staffing business, I never wanted a staffing company.” And I said, “You have to be an expert at hiring people. You have to be an expert in connecting with people in making sure they fit with your job.” Before, yeah, it was very different. But after college people really took a look at their life and decided to quit those jobs that didn’t mean anything to them. And then we have to really at this point be experts at hiring. And if we don’t love hiring and talking to people, we’re in the wrong business.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

The wrong business. Yeah. Juan, I want to mention something. You were saying with Indeed you have to pay first and then you get the candidates. And then it turns out that out of 500 maybe five of them might be good.

Juan Chaparro:

Correct.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

And I think that’s screwed up. And the reason why Heystack is different in that sense is that you only pay or you only start paying once you see a candidate that you like and that you want to speak to. So it’s not you have to put money out first and then you hope you get someone you like. Here it’s flipped. So if you first see the candidate, you like it, great. Pay so that you can connect with it.

Juan Chaparro:

There you go. There you go. That is a great analogy. Definitely. You are really switching the game here. And yeah. I was telling a customer of mine today, you have to spend 250 a month minimum if you want to get any people in the door. That’s it. I mean, minimum.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

And that doesn’t guarantee you that you’re going to like who you see.

Juan Chaparro:

Nothing, nothing. It’s just 250, just start to throw money in Indeed and see what you get back. But that is really a game changer what you’re doing, because I think this is going to make the problem and the frustration that cleaning businesses have of finding people and hoping and praying that somebody shows up to the interview. I mean that dating model is just completely wrong now. So I really like that what you’re doing and I’m glad that we connected and I’m sure a lot of people haven’t heard about you yet. And I mean, I think you have some really revolutionary ideas in your head and I really am expecting to see it work and expecting to connect the most that we can. Ideally some of the ideas that we’ve discussed privately is to be able to help those people that find a cleaner on Heystack to then integrate that process with pipehire so people will then completely funnel those people through pipehire and then finish the onboarding process, background checks, all the HR documentation that needs to go through.

Juan Chaparro:

So I think between you guys and us, I think we have a really good solution that’s going to make this process for cleaning companies a lot easier and better. And I think just you and me are… I’d say we’re revolutionizing this industry, because something has to change. This cannot stay like this forever. And this business is beautiful when you have the people. I mean, I always think about is I enjoy this business when we have the people working, but we hate this business when we don’t have the people. And my dad always told me, “Hey Juan, this is a cash machine.”

Juan Chaparro:

You just have to have the people, you don’t have to have a warehouse full of products. You don’t have to have a dealer out there with cars parked out. You don’t have to rent a store in a mall to wait people to come. You just have to be patient and you just have to keep finding people. And that’s why we are in this business. It’s daily cash flow. You don’t have to wait 30, 60 days to get paid.

Juan Chaparro:

So the cleaning business has so many advantages over a lot of the other home services. The recurrent model, you get paid every week, every two weeks, every four weeks, and this need will continue. People will continue to make dirty homes and this is not going to change with robots yet. It’s going to take longer. So I really want this to work for everyone. And I think Heystack and pipehire together can make this process of finding, hiring, onboarding, all of that a lot easier for everyone. So glad to hear that. Do you have anything in mind, Miguel? Do you want to share anything, do you want to invite people to sign up to your product or register? What do you have for pipehire user out there or anybody looking at this webinar?

Miguel Zabludovsky:

Yeah. Look, sort of a closing or summary, I think that hiring gets a really bad reputation. Nobody’s happy with that part of the business. And I think it’s deserved because it’s hard and it can be disappointing and so on. But it doesn’t need to. And the end result of a good hire is having a new connection with another human being. And I think that’s really, really valuable, despite COVID and Zooms and all of that. Personal connections are so important. And I want to bring that to the surface that and say, look, there’s another human being that you can connect to and you don’t need to spend $300 on Indeed for it and so on.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

So besides that benefit of making things easier, life easier, and finding a connection with another person that’s also going to make money for your business, maybe in the webinar notes, we’ll add a discount for any listeners who want to take a look and sign up. We’ll do probably somewhere around 20% for the first three months. You’re already saving money from what you would pay on Indeed, but-

Juan Chaparro:

Oh, definitely.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

… it’s an additional incentive to… See, the most important thing right now I think is to really get some feedback from all of the employers who are on the other side and saying, “This works, this doesn’t work, tweak it here.” So that’s going to be really, really valuable to continue building it to best serve their needs.

Juan Chaparro:

Definitely. I already went to your website and signed up a couple of months ago. So can you spell the website for them to go there and start to pre registration?

Miguel Zabludovsky:

Yeah. I see that Louis already put it on the chat. It’s Heystack with an E, heystack.jobs.

Juan Chaparro:

Perfect. All right. I looked at the website a couple days ago and it’s like, “Shut up and take my money.” There’s definitely so much value there, so much good visuals. And I feel this could really change the game for everyone. And especially I see a lot of people still trying to run this business, waiting for people to come the door, put an ad in somewhere and just waiting them to come to their office. But it has changed. After COVID this has changed completely. And I don’t think it’s going to be… It’s not going to be the same as before, that we have a lot of people wanting to work and apply. This is just going to be a completely different game. And I think this matchmaking or dating app for cleaning services is really a great solution for that.

Juan Chaparro:

I’m really excited to see. So this is going to be in March. And Miguel, thank you so much. It’s been really a pleasure connecting with you today. We’ll keep chatting on how to connect these services and how to make it easier for everyone. And I hope that you have a great time, wherever you are in the world. And whoever needs some advice as well, as house cleaning company business owner. I’m sure Miguel can help you guys, especially those in New York City, that market quite unique to the rest of the US. I know a couple of people in that market and they definitely have other challenges that no other people have in the rest of the US. So thank you Miguel again, and have a great day.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

With pleasure. With pleasure, Juan. Thanks for having me.

Juan Chaparro:

All right. No problem. Have a good one. God bless you. Bye-bye.

Miguel Zabludovsky:

Bye.



🤔 Questions on managing cleaning employees? Email us at support@pipehirehrm.com or visit us at pipehirehrm.com/ to learn how better to manage all your cleaning employees with our hiring software.

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