It is difficult to evaluate someone`s capability for performing household tasks if you yourself are unfamiliar with doing them. A housekeeper may come to your home intending to use cleaning products or instrument that are familiar to her while you may want her to use completely different cleaning materials. For example, many people today want only “Green” products, which are environmentally friendly used in their homes.
It is best to be familiar with the tasks which need to be done so that you can instruct the new housekeeper and get her started in a manner which is acceptable to you.
If at the time of the interview the applicant seems reluctant about any of your requests or demands, it is best not to hire this person.
For instance, certain days or hours may be important to you and the applicant states that these days or times don’t really work for her. She agrees never the less to take the job. It has been my experience that this person will not last very long. She will stay only until she finds what better suits her needs.
If a housekeeper asks you to loan her money, which she agrees to repay by partial deductions from her salary, it is best to refuse. I have often heard stories of a housekeeper becoming indignant and claiming to the employer that the loan has already been repaid when it has not. The situation can become very muddled and usually will not work to your benefit. Do not pay the salary in advance and make sure there is a very clear understanding of what her benefits and paid vacations are.
Do not settle for what you feel is mediocre work. Employers usually give a person a trial. If after several attempts to show and explain to the housekeeper how you want things done, it remains unsatisfactory, you should let that person go. Usually housekeepers do their best work when they start a job and become less enthusiastic as time goes on.
I have been running a housekeeper / nanny service for the past 40 years, and because of my qualifications in this field, I believe that I am an expert in finding the best help for people.
The single biggest mistake that people often make is in the way that they narrow down the field of possible candidates.
Very often an employer will call me to ask my assistance in finding a housekeeper or nanny for their home and say, “ my last girl was in her 20’s, from Poland and she was great. Please find me the same thing.” After further discussion I realize they will allow no latitude. They do not want anybody younger or older or from any other country of origin.
Conversely, I may get a call saying,” I just had the worst experience. I had a woman in her 50’s from Trinidad and she was awful. Don’t send me anybody in that age group and definitely do not send me anybody from Trinidad.”
I certainly can understand somebody’s personal experience in this type of situation, but as someone who has dealt with thousands of employees, I am confident that these people are compromising their chances of finding the best possible worker.
The best applicants can come from anywhere and be of almost any age. Preconceived ideas based on limited experiences are simply counterproductive. I have found the best and worst applicants coming from the same country.
Another suggestion I would make is for am employer to consider an applicant for housekeeping or child-care who has been out of the work force for a while.
Sometimes I interview a woman who has been a mom and homemaker and would now like to do the same type of work and get paid.
If an employer is at home and can monitor the ability of the person they hired, they should consider someone who does not have references in that field but has plenty of personal experience.
If your goal is to find the very best candidate to watch your children or clean your home, you should keep an open mind and make an effort to expand the pool of people from which to choose.
Domestic couples are usually, but not always, married couples who live on the premises of an estate and care for the inside and outside maintenance of a large property.
Before hiring a domestic couple you should consider certain factors.
Do you have a formal home, which requires sophisticated culinary skills and knowledge of proper serving at a dinner table? Will it be acceptable to you if the couple has children living with them? Obviously young children who require care would be unacceptable but you should decide how you would feel about teenagers living at your estate.
Would you hire a couple that is not married?
Do you want a real “hands on” couple who do most of the work themselves or employees who act in a more supervisory role?
Would you consider people who are experienced with the duties you require but have not worked as a couple before?
In order to broaden the pool from which to choose, would you consider a couple who live nearby and would sleep in their own home a few nights a week instead of sleeping at your estate every night?
Another thing to consider is whether it would be acceptable to have a couple with one outstanding worker while the other one is just average.
Once you have clearly defined what your needs, expectations and possible compromises will be, the next step would be to call a domestic employment agency.
Once you have made your choice you should be very clear about your expectations and what you are prepared to offer. Many couple will demand medical benefits and a retirement package. If you expect the couple to be on call any time you need them, rather than set hours, that should be clearly stated and agreed to before the couple is hired.
Finding the right couple can be quite challenging but with the help of a good domestic employment agency the stress of this challenge may be avoided.
When the responsibility of housekeeping is totally up to you, it is not unusual to sometimes feel overwhelmed by your numerous responsibilities. In addition to a demanding job and caring for our children, we also have to manage our homes.
When it all seems to get beyond our control, our frustration may be expressed towards our family as loss of patience or even anger.
One of the easiest ways to ease a burdensome schedule is to get help to maintain your home. However, some people feel that having a stranger in the house is
Intrusive and would rather just do everything themselves regardless of the burden which they are assuming.
This concern can be alleviated, at least in part, by careful screening of the candidate at the interview process. Finding someone who is discrete with a calm and sensitive manner can make a difference. When getting references ask the former employer if the housekeeper is chatty and “in your face”. Let the employee know that you are not interested in having much conversation during the workday.
Another common concern with getting a housekeeper is the assumption that nobody is going to do as thorough a job of cleaning, as they would do themself. Regardless of whether or not this is true it is still possible to get a very thorough housekeeper. You have the option of trying several people before making your ultimate choice, and you can show them exactly how you like things to be done.
Another cause for reluctance to hire housekeepers is the often-erratic schedules of the employer who may not want someone in the house when they are not there. A possible solution to that is to share a housekeeper with someone else. If you or they are away it may be possible to coordinate your schedules to your satisfaction.
Still another concern is the expense. Cost can be lowered if you work together with the employee so that the workday is shortened by one half.
I suggest that you experiment with having household help for a while in order to see for yourself if the quality of your life is improved.