Franchise owner with her phone working

By Brenda Pantano, CFE, Authority Brands


The Cleaning Authority has put a focus in 2022 on bolstering recruiting efforts by activating the network and sharing what it is really like to be an employee at a franchise of The Cleaning Authority.

Inspiration can truly strike anywhere.

For Leanne Stapf, Chief Operating Officer of The Cleaning Authority (TCA), a residential housecleaning franchise in the Authority Brands family, inspiration came to her during a trip to New York City with her stepdaughter and stepdaughter’s friend.

“As we sat in the back of the taxi zipping around the city, both young women were simultaneously on their phones and looking out the window. Excited about the experience, they would point out interesting things and one thing that caught my attention was that they would mention social media,” Stapf said. “My stepdaughter said she saw such and such restaurant on Snapchat. Her friend said she’d seen the boots a woman walking down the street was wearing on Instagram.”

It didn’t stop there. Throughout dinner, Leanne witnessed her stepdaughter and her friend on social media. Clicking links, sharing, tagging, posting — all while carrying on a conversation with Stapf. During that dinner, things clicked for Stapf in a way they hadn’t before. “I know about social media, but the impact of social media really and truly stood out in that taxi and at the dinner,” she said. “They already recognized many of NYC’s sights and sounds, and already had formed deep opinions of them, from what they had seen on social media.”

Over the last two years, the hiring market has been growing more competitive than ever, and like so many companies, The Cleaning Authority was feeling that pressure. After the trip to NYC, Stapf thought that maybe social media was the answer, “If quality candidates saw what life at TCA was all about — our culture, celebrating the achievements (both personal and professional) of our team members, the fun times we had — Would they click on the link? Would they share? Would they tag? Would they talk about it with their friends in the back of a taxi?”

The first step to make this a reality was to bring on additional staffing. Gabby Loielo joined the team in January in a newly created role, Social Media Recruitment Marketing Strategist, to lead the charge. Loielo echoed Stapf’s comments, “We needed to zag when others zigged,” she said. “We asked the important question: How can The Cleaning Authority stand out in a sea of job opportunities?”

After a lot of discussion, the team moved forward on the path of building a new, social media focused recruiting campaign, called Life at TCA.

Developing a Fun and Relatable Recruiting Campaign

This program was the first-of-itskind within Authority Brands, so Loielo had the fun, but challenging, task of building the roadmap from square one. “It took equal parts strategy and collaboration. The planning process was uncharted,” Loielo said.

With joint employer laws in place, navigating recruitment efforts in a franchise environment can be difficult, so The Cleaning Authority team worked closely with the legal department right from the beginning. “I think when all parties come to the table with a common goal, hurdles turn into opportunities. We created the opportunity of building an employee advocacy program. To accomplish this, we needed approved messaging, disclaimers, media release, infrastructure, and process,” Loielo said. “Once those elements were in place, we were ready to rock.”

It was also important to involve franchise owners in the planning process. They’re the ones ultimately creating the culture in their offices and hiring the employees, so their input was critical in building this program. The owners called on for help offered insight about their employees and shared photos and videos for the project. This also helped build the foundational knowledge of Life at TCA’s target audience.

The team landed on building an employee advocacy campaign with honest messaging and the proof to back it up. The messaging for Life at TCA is simple: get more than a job, get appreciated. Through Social Media channels including Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, Life at TCA provides an authentic point of view into what it’s like working for a TCA franchise. “The Life at TCA social media channels are the proof of that appreciation, culture, and belonging,” Loielo said.

Once Life at TCA was ready to launch, the next step was to educate franchise owners on the program. Information was shared about the program with franchise owners through webinars, newsletters, convention presentations, and individual phone calls to owners.

The Impact of Employee Advocacy

Launching a program like Life at TCA cannot be successful without getting franchise owners engaged and involved. “Our franchise owners care about their employees, and we’ve just created a channel to tell the world about it,” Loielo said. “The Cleaning Authority franchise owners celebrate big and small wins like anniversaries, birthdays, life events, awards, outside achievements, and more. All we asked was that they take pictures and videos while celebrating.”

Since the program launched, franchise owners have understood that the minimal effort of capturing photos and videos and sending them to Loielo has huge benefit. The team has seen great participation by franchise owners, helping to build out assets to keep the social channels populated.

“Employee advocacy is certainly a long game but we’re off to a great start,” Loielo said. “Our network total of employees continues to rise, employee engagement committees have been created, and hundreds of photos and videos have been submitted.”

The main goal of this program is to inspire employees to become advocates for The Cleaning Authority as an employer. Loielo feels this goal has been achieved this year. “When an employee sees their photo on Life at TCA, they’ve been inclined to share that post on their own social media,” Loielo said. “The Life at TCA social media ripple effect has begun!”

Continuing to Grow the Program

An Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report found that 63 percent of people ages 18-34 will trust a brand advocate more than the company itself. So, it’s fair to assume that employee advocacy needs won’t be going away anytime soon. “In a world filled with social media influencers, employee advocates aren’t much different,” Loielo said. “Social media content that is shared by an advocate is considered more credible and trustworthy than traditional advertising. Life at TCA is the ultimate employee referral tool that provides a win for franchise owners, a win for customers, and a win for employees.” Employee advocacy is still untapped across most industries, meaning The Cleaning Authority can continue to be a leader in the space. “We’re happy to be among the first franchise networks to adopt this recruitment strategy and plan to scale it for other Authority Brands,” Loielo said.

For Stapf, she sees such value in Life at TCA compared to the traditional recruiting channels where you have limited space in a job ad. “Recruiting quality candidates is so important to the success of our Franchise Owners,” Stapf said. “The Life at TCA program gives us the opportunity to help them by showing off what working for the company is really about, ourculture and our people. I see the future of Life at TCA as building out advocates within our own network of 6,500 employees and to celebrate our greatest asset — our people!”

Through positive storytelling, Life at TCA will continue to build The Cleaning Authority brand as an employer of choice.

You can check out Life at TCA on Facebook ( LifeatTCA), Instagram (@lifeattca), and TikTok (@lifeattca).


Brenda Pantano, CFE, is the director of communications for Authority Brands and is a communications professional with seven years of experience in the franchising industry.