How To Hire Household Help

by Lisa Woodruff

Nov 11, 2016 | Episode 128 | 34:31

Let me read your mind. Have you ever wondered…. should I hire help?

Why do I need to hire a housekeeper, babysitter, professional organizer…?

I thought so. Let me try to explain.

YOU only have 24 hours.

You can’t do it all.

I am sure you have had weeks where it feels like all you did was cook, clean, and work. Isn't there more to life than this?

Hiring help will reduce the work load on you, but it will also provide a tangible reason to prioritize.

Have you ever had a cleaning service for your home? What do you do the day before they come? You run around like a crazy person straightening and organizing your home.

You work like crazy so they can work like crazy for you.

How long would it take you to do both your side of the cleaning and theirs?

For me, I can get ready to have my house cleaned in 1 hour. If I do that PLUS the whole house cleaning, it is 8 hours... every time.

AND if you cancel the cleaning service and “do it yourself,” do you do it every 2 weeks? I don’t. I have toilets and showers that can attest to that fact.

By PAYING for a task to be done by someone else you are saying...

  1. I can't do it ALL.
  2. This is important enough to me at this time to make sure it is done and done regularly.
  3. I am going to use that time that is freed up to do.....

Let's break those down one by one.

You can't do it ALL.

Three things. I wish I could remember where I heard this, but it is true. You can focus on only 3 things at a time. Mine are being a wife, mother, and business owner.

Did you notice the house is missing? I can't focus on cleaning and organizing my house if I want to grow my business. Because I am not willing to not be a wife or mother.

And even in my business, when I have more than 3 goals I am trying to achieve, none get met.

For quite a few years, I was a great housekeeper, mom, and business owner, but the marriage piece got very little of my time.

Maybe for you, you want to train and run a marathon. Maybe your parent’s need you to care for them. You may be responsible for a loved one’s estate.

Three things. What are your 3?

This is important enough to me at this time to make sure it is done and done regularly.

I don't know about you, but there are lots more than 3 things I want done around here. :)

The first step in hiring help is deciding that you want the task done at all. And if you do, to what standard do you want it done?

Outsourcing my house cleaning is the easiest task I delegate. I want it done on a regular basis. I don't want to think about it. But there are 3 things I want that are not standard house cleaning tasks.

  1. Wash the kitchen floors with a rag, not a mop.
  2. Empty ALL the trash cans all over the house.
  3. Change the sheets on the primary bed.

Once you know what you want, it is a matter of what you are willing to pay to have that done and how often.

I am going to use that time that is freed up to do.....

WHY are you considering hiring help? When I hired out our house cleaning a few years ago, I was specifically looking for a way to find TIME to spend with my husband.

The time you free up does not necessarily need to be used to create an income. Often when we hire help, it is so that we can "go to work," but hiring help to add more free time to my life has benefited everyone in my family.

A relaxed mom is a GOOD thing. :)

While it is obvious that being a parent is a drain on your flexible time, I feel that most people minimize or completely ignore the amount of time home ownership sucks out of the average family’s week.

28 hours a week is the time spent by the average American cooking, cleaning, shopping, paying bills, and doing home maintenance. That is a more than part-time job!

hiring help

Hiring help is NOT for everyone

I completely understand not having funds to hire a housekeeper or childcare. I do not think everyone should hire help, but I DO think it is a real solution for many people.

The source I have used for the last decade to find household help is Care.com

Care.com is an online directory of self-employed providers in your area who are available to do many different household related tasks. I have hired multiple babysitters, housekeepers, and tutors using their services.

I like the ability to look at the profiles and availability of potential hires before reaching out individually for interviews.

I use the professional level membership to have access to background checks and direct messaging.

In addition to child care, tutors, and house cleaners, Care.com is a great resource for senior care, pet care, and general errand help.

How to hire help

  1. Make a job description. In your dream world, what are ALL the things this person would do? When I hired babysitters for my daughter, I specifically looked for people who liked to cook and liked pets, two of my weaknesses and my daughter's strengths.
  2. Invite 10-20 people to look at your job description. Many people will not respond, so reach out to between 10 -20 potential good matches. When you get a yes... The LESS hours you need, the more candidates you will go through.
  3. Schedule an in-person interview at your house on the day you want regular service. If you want a babysitter every Friday night, interview people on Friday night. If they can’t make the interview at that time, they won't be able to accept the job.
  4. Be flexible. The best employee/employer relationship is a win-win. You win by getting the task done. Know what you want done... no matter what... and what would be a great addition, but not a deal breaker if it can't be done.
  5. Hire for a long-time relationship, not a one-off task. Working in your home with your family is an intimate relationship. Trust your "gut feel" when interviewing and go for the candidate you feel most comfortable with.
  6. Remember this is a job. Don't get too chummy too fast. Maintain your role as employer and have safe boundaries.
  7. Negotiate. Be fair with what you are willing to pay. If you are wanting just a few hours or a specific day and time, be willing to pay a little more for them to work around your schedule.
  8. Start with a trial. When you have picked your winner, start with a 30-day trial. Having a trial period of time allows you both to get to know each other and the expectations of the job. At the end of 30 days, you will be able to clarify any tasks that need to be changed, modify hours, and solidify the agreement going forward.
  9. Be a good employer. I LOVE being an employer. Appreciate your hired help. Treat them like a valued member of your team. Remember important events in their lives. Pay them fairly and ethically. Pay the taxes you know you should.
  10. Enjoy your new found time! 

I use and recommended Care.com for household employment needs. By using this link, I will earn an affiliate commission at no additional expense to you. Thanks!

 

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