Best Practices for Hiring a Housekeeper
Updated: Feb 3, 2018
Between work, caring for your family, and other commitments, you already have precious little free time. It's understandable that you don't want to spend part of every weekend cleaning your home. A professional housecleaner can take over this task for you, but choosing the right one to hire isn't always easy.
The best place to start is by making a list of the areas of your home you want to have cleaned. For example, you may need help with laundry or just basic chores like picking up and dusting. Knowing what services you want helps narrow your list of candidates because not all services will offer what you need.
Ask for Referrals and Start Making Calls
If you know that a family member, friend, or co-worker already uses a cleaning service, start by asking them for a referral. Searching online is also a good idea because it gives you the chance to read reviews from other customers. When you call to inquire about services, cross any company that isn't licensed, bonded, and insured off your list. That is because not having these protections in place leaves you liable for housecleaner injuries but doesn't provide you any recourse in the case of theft.
You also need to make sure that the housecleaner you choose to hire is a legal American citizen without any criminal history. A professional cleaning company should expect customers to ask about background checks for their employees.
Request a Consultation in Your Home
Once you have narrowed down your list of candidates, request that the company send a representative to your home for a consultation.
Many professional cleaning businesses offer the initial consultation at no charge. That is the time to review the work you would like the house cleaner to complete as well as how often. You should also ask for a written cost estimate. It's better to work with an agency that charges a flat fee for each cleaning session than one that charges by the hour. You don't want a house cleaner to deliberately work slowly so he or she can run up a higher tab.
While everyone likes to save money, it's essential to investigate the reason one estimate is unusually low compared to the others. The company could have an adverse reputation and not be able to get enough business by charging the going rate. It could also cut corners and not provide you with the cleaning quality you would expect.
Ask for a Satisfaction Guarantee
A company that feels confident in work performed by its employees won't have a problem standing behind their work with a satisfaction guarantee.
That means that you may not have to pay if you're not satisfied with the quality of the work. If the company does offer this protection, make sure that you get it in writing before scheduling your first housecleaning session.
By following these tips, you should find the house cleaner that works best for your family. However, you can always repeat the process if he or she just isn't a good fit despite meeting your initial criteria.