Once you’ve determined that you need to hire a cleaner, it is best to set up an interview with the candidate. The domestic help industry is known for scams. Take the time to discuss your expectations and requirements with the candidate. Also, ask the following ten questions to get a good idea of whether or not you’ve found a good fit for your job.
- Are you or your company bonded and insured?
Most cleaning companies will advertise this fact. It is quite attractive to property owners and takes away a great deal of the risk involved with bringing someone into your home or office. Most independent cleaners won’t have these credentials.
- Are you a member of any trade organizations?
There are quite a few trade organizations specifically for the cleaning industry. These organizations require that members follow certain guidelines as well as maintain ethical business standards. While there is no trade organization police, individuals and companies that are members usually follow the guidelines of their organization.
- Do you have proof of trade organization membership?
Make sure to ask for proof of membership. Some companies will not be truthful when asked about membership in trade organizations. Ask to see a certificate or badge and make sure it is up-to-date.
- What training have you undergone? What training does your company provide?
Anyone can claim to be a professional cleaner. The best cleaners are going to have undergone training. It cannot be assumed that everyone knows how to sufficiently clean a bathroom or kitchen. Companies that are concerned about their reputation will definitely offer training to their employees. Individuals can sometimes receive ongoing training as members of trade organizations. Ask what areas she considers herself an expert and which she has just attained basic proficiency.
- Do you have references that I can contact?
This is especially important. Don’t take her word for it. Ask for the name and number of any reference and actually call. If she doesn’t have references on hand, ask her to call you the next business day with the contact information.
- What is your physical address?
Much independent cleaning work from home. This is acceptable; however, you should still get the address of anyone working in your home. Just like any company, cleaning companies that don t provides an address present a red flag. Consider how you will reach them if their phones are disconnected.
- How long have you been in business?
This is a simple question; however it will help you determine if the company has sufficient experience.
- Has your company run a background check on you? Can I have a copy?
Most reputable cleaning companies will run background checks on all of their cleaners and should have no problem providing you with one. Independent cleaners almost never have background checks. If you’d like to proceed with an independent cleaner running your own background check is advisable.
- Will I be able to customize my cleaning or are there set schedules?
This question will help you determine whether or not there is any flexibility in the work that you have done on your scheduled visits. Some cleaners will allow for you to customize what work you’d like done at every visit. Others will follow a checklist that you selected at the start of your services.
- Will you wash windows, iron, fold laundry, etc.Are there specific tasks that you would like completed, but aren’t mentioned in the company’s literature. Ask about them. Independent cleaners are usually more flexible. Companies focused on customer service will often offer extra services that can be added to your job for free or a nominal fee.