Tag Archives: housekeeper services

A Few Quick Tips about Hiring a Housekeeper

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.

How to discuss Salary with your nanny / Housekeeper

When deciding on a salary you need to be fair and competitive but of course you should not pay more than you need to. You can think of the process as a balancing act.

To begin with, you must determine what your needs are. If you describe the job as just child-care and agree on a salary with your nanny but  then, in fact, expect her to do a considerable amount of housework, you will likely run into problems.

Decide how many hours you will realistically need for your nanny to work. You will run into problems if you offer a weekly salary for a determined amount of hours but say “occasionally I will need you to stay later,” and you end up increasing the time regularly  If for a moment you put yourself in the nannie’s place – think about what you might feel if your were being made this offer.

Once you are clear about the job description you should consult an agency regarding what a fair wage is for your job description.

In my opinion, the way to open this discussion with your prospective employee is not “ how much money are you expecting,” but rather state your salary and then see what he/she says.  You can negotiate from there.

I also recommend telling your employee that this is the starting salary and if things work out, she could expect a raise in a year (or 6 months).

Don’t hesitate to say no if you feel that your employee is taking advantage of you and asking for too much. For instance, you may feel it is fair to give her major holidays off with salary but are not willing to do the same for lesser holidays. You should be fair but don’t be a pushover.

What you need to know when hiring a housekeeper

If your household chores are piling up faster than you can keep up with them, it may be time to consider hiring housekeepers services.  Whether you are busy with work, children, or various activities, it can be wonderful to have someone to care for your home.

Below are some tips:  If you decide to try to find someone on your own, start by asking relatives and acquaintances if they could recommend someone.  If that fails, try to find a reputable domestic employment agency.  This can be done by asking for recommendations or by surfing the web.  Whether you do it on your own or whether it is done through an agency, it is a multi-step process.

Let me walk you through the process of what needs to be done when you are conducting the search on your own.  You will need to advertise in several newspapers with a specific description of what it is you are looking for.  You then must have a plan to be very organized about fielding telephone calls, which will  come in at all hours of the day.  If a candidate seems promising, you will need to have a lengthy telephone interview to determine whether the candidate fits your needs.  You must keep detailed information about all the candidates you are considering.  You can either meet with the candidates first to decide if you want to take the process further, or you can call their references first to decide whether you want to meet them.  When you feel you have several candidates in mind it is time to start setting up in-person interviews.

At the interview engage the candidate in some discussion about himself or herself.  Be clear about your expectations so that there are no misunderstands later.  Discuss specific matters such as when you expect the workday to start and end and how much time they would take for lunch.  Will you provide food?  And if so, what are the candidate’s food preferences.  Discuss salary, vacation, benefits, if there are any, and when to expect a raise, if there will be any.

Make it clear at the beginning that this is a trial period.  You may also want to try out more than one person before making your final decision.  Once you are fairly confident that you have made a good choice, you need to vet that person.  You should contact an agency that will do a background check to determine that this person has not been convicted of any crimes.  If the person will be using your car for errands, you should also have the agency do a driver’s check.

Be prepared to realize after a few weeks that you might have made the wrong decision and go back to your notes for the second choice person and see if he or she is still available.

If this process seems too time consuming and daunting for you, then the logical course of action is to contact a reputable domestic employment agency.

If you decide to use a domestic employment agency consider calling Europa Domestics.

Should you allow yourself the luxury of a housekeeper in Connecticut?

Certainly, not all people can afford to hire a housekeeper to clean their home, and while a housekeeper is not a necessity in life, just ask any busy working person or the mom of young kids how desperate they are to see that housekeeper arrive on her allotted day.

We live in a time when the pace of life for many people is quite hectic.

There are many demands, which are put upon people such as work and caring for children, as well as maintaining a good balance by having hobbies, exercise, socializing and networking.  So when do we mop that floor?

For most people it is difficult to live with disorder and chaos.  So if it is within your budget, it may very well be in your best interest to hire housekeeper to keep your home neat, organized and tidy.

So once you have decided to hire a housekeeper, where should you begin?  You can start by contacting acquaintances or relatives to ask if they have someone they could share or recommend who does this work.

If that fails you can attempt to find someone by placing ads in your local newspaper.  However I must caution you to be organized and thorough in your interview process and to always check candidate’s references carefully.

If you are unsuccessful or unwilling to conduct the search on your own you may choose to call a domestic employment agency and let them find you a suitable housekeeper.

You must also determine what your needs are.  Will once a week suffice, or is there too much to do in one day.  You may decide that you need someone for several hours every day, or 2 or 3 full days..  Decide whether you like the idea of being at home with this person so you can monitor their work or whether you prefer to be out of the house.

You should have an idea of what chores must be done. For example: would you like the person to do some meal preparation.  If so, possibly have cookbooks on hand so they can follow some recipes of your choosing.

Let your employees know if you expect them to do a deep thorough cleaning each time, repeating the work exactly the same, or leave them a list   of various chores each time   Should they do heavy cleaning such as moving the furniture to reach hard to get places at intervals and more surface cleaning at other times.  I find it is always best to be as precise as you can regarding  your expectations.

As I mentioned earlier, having a housekeeper may not  be the most important thing in the world, but it sure is nice.

I once had a friend in Darien Connecticut who said “when the cereal is dripping from the table while the baby is eating and crying and that housekeeper walks in I wouldn’t trade her for my husband”.