(301) 251-1475 slhecht@comcast.net

Independent Workers vs. Staffing Agency
You can hire an independent housekeeper yourself or hire one through an agency. There are pros and cons to both. A benefit to hiring through an agency is that they do the screening to ensure that a background check comes up clean. The agency will also make sure the person they send has the skills and temperament to perform the job as promised. However, if you have the time to search and interview candidates, you can save some money.

No matter which way you go, make sure that the person you hire is licensed, insured, and bonded. Being bonded assures that if the housekeeper breaks or damages something in your home or if the housekeeper gets hurt while on the job you will be covered.

Find a Referral
A good way to start looking for a great housekeeper is to ask your family and friends if they have a company or person that they use. One of the great things about using an agency is that they have multiple people who might work out well for your needs.

Interview Candidates
If you hire an good agency, they take care of this. But if you are hiring an independent housekeeper take some time to come up good questions, and make sure that you’re thorough with the interview. Ask questions about what they enjoy about their work. Why did they choose housekeeping as a line of work? Most important, check references, work history, and criminal history.

Decide on a flat fee or an hourly fee
If you hire through an agency you will get a firm rate that will cover everything from wages to insurances. Most agencies offer their staff people on an hourly rate. However for live-in housekeepers they may offer a salary option. But if you are hiring yourself, one of the things that you should decide is if you want to pay by the hour or pay a flat fee. If you pay by the hour, a lot of people worry that a housekeeper will stretch out jobs to take more time. However, paying a flat rate fee might mean the housekeeper rushes through their work. Discuss the options with your chosen housekeeper.

Decide on Tasks
Certain house-cleaning tasks are standard, such as sweeping, mopping, and scrubbing the showers and toilets. However, you might have to negotiate any additional tasks, such as laundry or dishes, to be done regularly. Sometimes, you can also request to add duties a couple of times per year, such as cleaning the fridge or ovens. This is where it hiring an agency can make it easier. A good staffing agency will discuss what tasks you want done and recommend the right person based on your needs and budget.
A housekeeper’s insurance might limit certain duties; for example, house cleaners aren’t often allowed to clean the exterior of windows. Any tasks that require climbing on ladders to great heights, like cleaning chandeliers or the tops of cabinets might be denied, too. Again, this is an area where a staffing agency can help.
If you are considering hiring a housekeeper to free yourself up this year and would like more information don’t hesitate to give me a call.