Tips on Hiring a Housekeeper


Published on August 16, 2019

So you need a housekeeper but who should you employ? Here are some expert tips on hiring a housekeeper. Click To TweetHiring a housekeeper can provide a huge resource and support for the home, individual or family.  Sometimes life can just get too busy!  So outsourcing the tasks can give well needed relief to those in need!  There are several reasons why you might want to hire a housekeeper. It’s not reserved for the super rich anymore!

So who hires a housekeeper and why do you need one?  What are the best tips to hire a perfect housekeeper for your home?

Why do you need a housekeeper?

There are many reasons why you might need to hire a housekeeper.  As the leading recruitment agency in London, we often hear stories of why people are hiring a housekeeper. Here are some lovely examples:

  1. A mum was in the late stages of pregnancy and couldn’t cope with the pregnancy and housework. She wanted support at home, before and after the baby was born.  The housekeeper provided much-needed relief, and loved bringing her cups of tea whilst she put her feet up waiting for the baby to arrive!
  2. A single, newly divorced father was struggling to manage his children, his home and a busy work schedule.  His new housekeeper assisted with all housekeeping and cooking duties, and even helped pick up the children from school – the ideal solution!
  3. A professional couple that travel regularly for work wanted to have their home and pet cared for whilst they were away at work. The new housekeeper walked the dog, and provided overnight care when the couple was away.  The housekeeper also made sure the house was aired and dusted when the couple were abroad with work.

Tips on how to hire a housekeeper

  • Decide how to recruit. You can use your own network and self recruit or go through an agency.  Both have their pros and cons so you should consider which option is the best for you.
  • Interview, interview, interview.  Having comparisons helps.  Even if the first housekeeper to walk through your door is the right one, ensure you interview a number of candidates to ensure your instincts were right.
  • Trial’s are vital.  A housekeeper’s skills are in practical application.  Therefore, they might perform well in the interview but if they can’t do the job to your standards then you won’t be happy.  A trial period is a great way to have a non-pressured test of the housekeeper before getting into formal agreements with them.
  • Reference checking and background checks are a must, particularly if you self recruit. You need to have peace of mind that the person working in your home and around your loved ones is who they say they are.

Find a credible referral

Getting personal recommendations from friends and family on a suitable housekeeper to hire is handy but this isn’t an option for many seeking home help. Their local network might not know anyone, or they are new to an area.  Here’s when using an employment agency is the best option for finding a housekeeper with the right attitude and approach.  Never pay up front for a service, no matter how good the deal seems. A  good agency in the UK (and around the world) should only charge once you trial or hire; never before.  So do your research and find a credible agency to work with.

Shop around before hiring a housekeeper to decide how much you should pay

In the age of smart phones, we can easily pick up our phone and see how much the product is sold for in other shops.  This is a great way for keeping the market honest and open, and consumers now have much more choice and power over what they buy.  Similarly with housekeeper salaries, you should look at local markets, and global markets, and note the market changes, and what the average salaries are.  Now you should consider your own housekeeper role and what standards you expect.  The greater the demands of the job, the higher the salary.  After all, the salary for this type of service reflects the housekeeper’s quality and standards, so don’t try to get the cheapest option. Otherwise you’ll end up having to repeatedly recruit new housekeepers each year, which can cause a great deal of stress.

Get advice from professional agencies as to the current market rates so you can base your decision on that.

Decide on housekeeper tasks

Hiring a housekeeper for the first time can be tough when deciding what tasks and duties you need them to do. This can evolve as time goes on but the more clearly you define the housekeeper’s role and duties, the easier it is to manage their expectations.  Write down a list of duties and create a rota or schedule. This will help ensure there are no grey areas and help you manage your housekeeper in the long-term, allowing the role to evolve and grow.

Prepare a list of interview questions

Interviews are about getting to know the housekeeper as well as determining any areas that might result in substandard work. If you err on the side of informality, your prospective housekeeper will relax, and you will get more from the interview in the discussions you might have.  Areas to consider are:

  1. Distance of commute if live out
  2. External commitments (other jobs etc)
  3. Discussion about future goals and longevity of the position
  4. Personal drive, interest and hobbies
  5. Skill related questions as to the type of duties you want them to do

How can Polo & Tweed help?

Polo & Tweed works with clients and housekeepers around the world looking for the perfect match to their household and needs. Whatever your needs, our consultants can help you find what you’re looking for.  Get in touch with us here to chat about your requirements.  

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