We all know that having a housekeeper can be sanity and relationship saving. No more conversations about whose turn it is to get to the bottom of the laundry basket, or empty the dishwasher.
With Spring just around the corner, we share our tried and tested tips and tactics to hiring and keeping a great new housekeeper.
1. Where to start? Begin the hiring process by posting a job on Care.com. Be sure to include all of the responsibilities that the cleaner will be expected to perform. Writing them down will also help you to get a clearer idea of how much time this may take, so how many hours you will need to employ the candidate for.
2. Shortlist your preferred candidates. When you have started to receive responses to your job, begin the shortlisting process by sending follow-up notes to the most suitable candidates asking about availability for interview either via 'phone or in person. Don't forget to send a polite but swift "no thank you" to the candidates you are not interested in.
3. Interview stage. After an initial 'phone conversation to establish that you are aligned on pay & conditions, you should always interview your favoured housekeeping candidates in person. Relevant questions include how long they have been with former employers, their approach to house cleaning (do they bring their own equipment?) and any relevant experience they have in additional areas, such as laundry care or pet care. Ask them to bring ID, references and any other checks such as DBS checks at this point. The Care.com safety centre can help you with guidance on hiring safely.
4. Proper employment procedures. The best candidates will want the best pay & conditions. When you are ready to offer the job, ensure that you are offering the fair rate for your neighbourhood by checking the local job postings on Care.com. Also show your housekeeper you mean business by offering to pay via direct debit with holidays and sick pay agreed in advance. Most housekeepers will be self-employed, but check their status in case you need to calculate tax & National Insurance payments as well.
5. Trial period. Suggest to your favourite candidate that they commit to a trial period. This can be either on a time basis, or as a one off clean. If you are both happy with the working relationship, then commit to regular hours and days. Don't forget that good cleaners are always in demand!
6. Praise and feedback. Everyone likes a job well done, and providing praise and feedback when things are done well keeps everyone motivated. When your housekeeper has been with you for long enough, don't forget the occasional bonus and gift for birthdays, Easter and Christmas.