One of our regular clients, Megan, said when we first met her in 2003, “We’ve hired many people to carry out household cleaning over the years and could tell you some scary stories.” It doesn’t have to be this way of course, and you can avoid all the horror stories and being another Megan by making a few quick and simple checks.
Your biggest enemy in this is assumption. We tend to assume that anyone who has been cleaning for years is a professional cleaner. But are they really? Do they know how to clean stone, wooden and steel surfaces? Are they aware of the different types of cleaning products and what to use them all for? In addition, are they conscious of the potential damage they can make with an everyday and innocent looking household sponge?
Private individual cleaner or company?
Many individuals find it safer to source a cleaner through word of mouth whilst others search on the internet. Then, of course, there are some who look in the window of the local shop. Whether you work with a private individual cleaner or a professional cleaning company it is sensible to make sure that the person you let into your home is capable of looking after your most precious belongings.
If you employ a cleaner yourself make sure you ask for references. Clarify whose responsibility it is to pay tax. Do not expect them to know what actual work you would like to have carried out on each visit. Take the time to walk through the house with them and write a list of duties. Do not forget the additional tasks you would like to be done occasionally.
If you hire a professional cleaning company they would do most of this work for you. Ideally, your chosen firm should do the following as a bare minimum:
- vet and train the cleaners
- have a quality control procedure in place
- organise the replacement cleaner if your regular help is away.
It is worth discussing how they handle complaints, exactly what their insurance policy covers and how to make a claim. They should have a job description specific to your home to hand to the cleaner which is largely prepared on an initial meeting with you.
Our 10 Top Tips for hiring the right help for your home
- If the cleaner or the company did not come from a recommendation, you should ask to see references or existing client testimonials.
- Are you employing the cleaner yourself or hiring the company?
- Confirm who will be responsible for paying their tax
- Is the company or the cleaner insured and how do you make a claim?
- What training does the cleaner have?
- Have you prepared a job description and a rota for extra jobs?
- Have you agreed on the time, day and frequency of the cleaning?
- What are their cancelation policies?
- Who covers on holidays?
- Do you have a point of contact if there is ever a problem?