A housekeeper can bring much relief, but only if you have done your due diligence. There are several things you must consider before you take the housekeeping route. The following tips will allow to make an informed decision.
1. Do You Really Need a Housekeeper
You need to find out why you really need a housekeeper. Is your problem clutter? If that’s the case, all you may need is to get a little more organized and there are ways to do that without spending money on a housekeeper. The case is the same if you only need seasonal cleaning. However, if you have lots of cleaning work, then you should definitely hire a housekeeper.
2. Housekeeper vs. Cleaning Company
If you have considerable cleaning work, you may want to hire a company that provides professional housekeepers. This is because they take care of lots of paper work such as taxes, insurance and references. An independent housekeeper may be cheaper but also leaves you with lots of paperwork to do. But, one of the pros of an independent housekeeper is that you can develop a good working relationship over time to the point the individual almost seems like a member of the household.
3. The Law Is your Friend
Find out everything you need about employment laws. Make sure the person is legally able to work in the country. Housekeeping jobs attract lots of migrants so you have to make sure their papers are in order before you employ them. You also need to pay all payroll taxes.
4. Flat Fee vs. Hourly Fee
Paying by the hour may see the housekeeper deliberately extend tasks which would otherwise take a short period of time. Paying a flat fee may mean that the housekeeper rushes through work and does a poor job. This leaves you in a catch 22. But, labor experts suggest you pay by the hour and figure out a fair rate. A reputable housekeeper will not jeopardize their job to make a few extra bucks.
5. Get Referrals
Family, friends and colleagues are always the best place to start looking for a good housekeeper. Ask them what their experience was, you may end up finding a gem. Cleaning companies can also send you referrals of multiple people they have worked with in the past until you find a good march.
6. Interview Prospective Candidates
Formulate some interview questions and be thorough during the interview. Ask probing questions such as why they enjoy their work and how they get along with employers. Ask them why they chose housekeeping as a career option. Check references, confirm work history and do a criminal background check.
7. Demand a Trial Period
Even if the interview stage goes well, you should demand a trial period from the candidate. This period is typically 2-4 weeks during which the candidate is on probation. This will give you time to assess the quality of their work, attitude and general performance. Protect yourself before you commit fully.
8. Set Clear Expectations and Boundaries
To avoid misunderstandings, you need to concise with your instructions. Set clear expectations and establish boundaries that should never be crossed. For example, you may not want the housekeeper to use your electronics or you not want them to access certain parts of the house during specific hours. Be clear and specific.