Quick Guide: Finding and Hiring The Right Housekeeper


Published on July 14, 2016

Hiring a housekeeper shouldn’t be stressful or time-consuming. After all, you’re hiring a housekeeper to make your life easier, not harder! When starting your search the task may seem overwhelming, but with a clear outline and a few tips from the professionals, you can save time and make sure you hire a great housekeeper the first time. To help, here is our quick guide for finding and hiring the right housekeeper.

What to do before finding and hiring the right housekeeper?

Before you start your search for a housekeeper, identify key aspects of your requirements. This will speed up the recruitment process by helping you make quick and accurate decisions about your hire.

Determine the benefits of hiring a housekeeper

Why are you hiring in the first place?  Is it to save you time or make your life easier, or is it that you simply don’t enjoy cleaning?

Whatever the reason, define the reasons why you are deciding to hire a housekeeper.

Define your hiring timeline

Do you need a housekeeper urgently or can you take your time looking for one?

The shorter your timeline, the more you should consider working with a professional agency. Unless you have lots of spare time to do the search yourself.

Clearly defining your timeline for hiring will help narrow down the list of prospective housekeepers.

Work out a proper budget

Budgeting correctly is a big must! You should know how much you are willing to pay a housekeeper, be it an hourly or weekly rate or an annual salary.

If you search for a housekeeper outside of your budget, you’ll end up wasting your time and that of the housekeeper.

Look at your personal expenses and figure out the maximum budget you can afford. Then clearly communicate this to anyone helping you find a housekeeper.

How to look for qualities that make a good housekeeper

There are several key aspects as to the qualities that make a good housekeeper.  Quality housekeepers understand the depth of what it takes to clean and housekeep a house and know that cleaning is not just about a quick whizz round with the hoover. They know their tools of the trade and they consistently deliver results. Here are a few key things to look for in a quality housekeeper:

  • Equipment – A quality housekeeper will understand the tools they use and know how to maintain them to ensure they have a long life span.
    Quick tip: ask a potential housekeeper during an interview how they maintain and repair specific cleaning equipment to determine their skill level.
  • Direction – Another key attribute in a quality housekeeper is their ability to take direction. This might seem an obvious quality but it’s often overlooked. Being able to listen and learn, whilst being receptible to feedback is a skill only the highest quality housekeepers contain.
  • Honesty – Honesty and trust are the foundation of any quality relationship and should be major qualities in a housekeeper. If you can’t trust your housekeeper around your valuables, your children, your pets and private information which might be left around the home, then you shouldn’t consider hiring the housekeeper.
  • Attention to detail – Finally, in your search to find a housekeeper, make sure you find a housekeeper that pays attention to small details. It’s those finishing touches that separate the cleaner from the housekeeper.

For a more detailed overview and further tips on distinguishing an ordinary housekeeper from the absolute best, see our Qualities of a Good Housekeeper post.

How to decide between a live in or live out housekeeper

When you are hiring a housekeeper, having them live in or live out is obviously an important consideration. The answer is usually quite simple. For example, you simply might not have the space to accommodate a live-in housekeeper. But in case you hadn’t given it much thought, here are some considerations.

  • Lifestyle – Does your lifestyle encourage having a live-in housekeeper?
    If you travel regularly you may want to consider a live-in housekeeper as it offers more security whilst you are abroad.
  • Hours – How much time do you require of your housekeeper?
    If you are hiring a housekeeper for the first time this can be a tricky question to answer. If you need help figuring this out, you can get some free advice from one of our consultants.
  • Package – What are you willing to offer?
    Before hiring, think about what kind of package you can offer.  If the salary is relatively low then offering a live in option is appealing to candidates, as they don’t have to worry about the cost of living, and would likely accept a lower salary.

Employing a live-in housekeeper might give you more flexibility but ultimately it’s a personal choice. If you need some more help on this subject we recommend you read the pros and cons of live in vs live out housekeepers.

Should you have a full- or part-time housekeeper?

The final part in our quick guide to finding and hiring the right housekeeper, is finding out the working hours. When you hire a housekeeper it’s important to understand the difference between full-time and part-time.  The root of this question goes back to understanding how much time should be spent cleaning your property, which isn’t always easy to determine. Here are a few factors to consider:

  • The size and style of your property
    Obviousl a large property takes more time to clean but the style of your house or estate is also an important consideration. Modern homes are innately easier to clean than traditional estates, which may require more specific care and treatment.
  • The size of your family
    A bigger family means more traffic and more to clean. If you have young ones, a full-time housekeeper might be necessary, even in smaller properties.
  • Your lifestyle
    If you regularly welcome guests you’ll likely need to employ a full-time housekeeper. If on the other hand you are hiring for a seasonal residence you’ll likely benefit from a part-time housekeeper.

How can Polo & Tweed Help?

Did this quick guide on finding and hiring the right housekeeper help? If you would like more guidance, we are here for you! Polo & Tweed work with clients in London, across the UK and around the world. Making the perfect match between household and housekeeper.  We are always open to discuss your needs and requirements and help guide you through the recruitment process.  We take the stress out of the recruitment process and ensure you only consider high-quality candidates that match your needs and requirements.  Please do get in touch with us here, and one of our experienced recruitment consultants will be in touch to discuss your needs and requirements.

Still not sure? Read our full guide to full-time vs part-time housekeepers, or reach out to one of our professionals with your questions.


  1. Ruby Penrod says:

    I like how you talked about finding a good house cleaning service that possesses the right equipment. My friend is looking to hire a housekeeper for her new home and asked to see their equipment beforehand to determine the quality of the service. What equipment do you suggest quality cleaning professionals use?

    • mm LucyChallenger says:

      Hello Ruby, thank you for your comment. Depending on the housekeeping service you recruit will affect this. Most of our housekeepers would use equipment provided by the principal (client) in their home, as they can then be in charge of the quality and product type. Some clients prefer organic, eco-friendly products for example, whilst others prefer more abrasive cleaning materials such as bleach. If your friend hired a housekeeper who worked as part of a housekeeping company, then the company might send a housekeeper with their own equipment, but this isn’t an area in which we are specialising in. Our advice is to work with a housekeeper who will work with the individual client or family, ensuring that the cleaning products they use suit the families preferences, this can include all the hardware from irons and mops through to the cleaning products themselves. I hope this helps! 🙂

  2. Heidi Bookenstock says:

    My grandmother is a very well-off, old-fashioned lady. In the past few months, she’s gone through quite a few housekeepers and can’t seem to find one that she likes, and she’s having trouble deciding if she wants to hire a live-in or live-out housekeeper, or full-time or part-time. I appreciate this article going through all the options and detailing which option would be best suited for different lifestyles, like the size and style of property; my grandmother’s house is very large and very old and requires specific care.

    • mm LucyChallenger says:

      Hi Helen, I’m glad you found our article helpful for your grandmother – good luck with your search and do let us know if we can help you with any specific recruitment. 🙂

  3. Ken Hwan says:

    My wife is very protective of our dogs, and she would hate if anything bad happened to them, or if they got hurt in any way! I really appreciate the advice to find a housekeeping company that values honesty, especially towards pets and children! If my wife and decide to get some professional cleaning help, I will be sure to ask about the trustworthiness of the company from other past customers.

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