Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hiring "The Help"

Step One, the Job Description

While many of us hire babysitters, nannies, caregivers, cleaning ladies, housekeepers and maintenance workers to help us with our homes and our families, not enough of us manage the process well enough to achieve the goal we envisioned when we started our search.
We're complicated and so are our homes.  We have alarm systems, sound systems, computers and all kinds of paraphernalia.  We have fabrics and carpets that require special cleaners and we have children and pets with allergies.  Those of you just beginning the journey of managing domestic help can err by underestimating the work involved in a project or by overestimating the skill set of the person you hire.  Take a little time to learn how to manage these relationships successfully and before you begin your search consider the following:
What is your budget?
What is the best use for the money you allocate?
Do you need a housekeeper who only looks after children when you are out or a nanny who focuses on childcare?
What is the best schedule for your family?
If you are looking for someone to clean once a week, would you prefer it done while you are out or do you prefer to be present?
If you are hiring someone full time, what time does your day start?
Are you a family of early risers who like to manage your evening routine or is it the opposite, can you handle the mornings but want help in the evening with supper and clean up?
What experience level are you looking for?
Are you home to supervise or do you need someone who can take charge who also has a good grasp of English and a driver's license?

Before you begin your search, clarify as much as possible all aspects of the job in Writing.  Think about your lifestyle and what personality will mesh with yours.

This job description becomes your roadmap.  Now you can post your job, describe what you are looking for to an employment agency and go over the requirements with prospective employees.

Remember, the job description is your starting point but it is also a work in progress, to refine as you go along.