Chioma Momah: Things to Consider Before Hiring a Domestic Help

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For many working-class women, one of their major struggles is coping with looking after their children, running a home, and being productive in the workplace. This is why many people choose to employ domestic assistants to help them at the home front. Here are some things to consider when choosing to employ a domestic assistant:

What is their job description?

A nanny or domestic assistant needs to know their scope of work, so sit down and come up with the exact tasks you need help with.  Do you need someone to help with the cleaning, the cooking, child care, or general chores? Do bear in mind that if you expect one person to do all the above when you have small children, the person may end up being overburdened and burnt out. Also, remember that you are employing them to help you, not take over all you do.

Mind your source

Now that you know what exactly you expect from a domestic assistant, it’s time to start your search. Try and ensure you use reputable agencies to find help or – my personal favourite – a good referral. The good thing about referrals is that if the referrer is someone who understands what you need, then the referred will, most likely, be a good fit for the job. For security purposes, persons that are referred by someone reputable are also safer.

Interview them properly

Irrespective of your source for finding your domestic help, ensure you interview them properly to be assured that they are a good fit for the job. Take time to ask questions about their work history, family life, motivation, and future plans. Note that the fact that a person has never worked as a domestic assistant before does not mean they may not do well, just bear in mind that it may take more time to settle into the job. While interviewing them, also pay attention to their body language and more. If you are employing a cook, then part of his interview should include a practical session, that is, making a few dishes.

Do due diligence

Apart from conducting an interview, ensure that you do your due diligence by carrying out the necessary checks – background check as well as health checks too. I usually ask for their pastor or relative to serve as a referee and try to find out where they live. Knowing where your employee lives is also a plus for security.

Give them their schedule

Once you have found someone suitable for the job, ensure that you take time to explain what is expected of them and give them their schedule. Writing it out is a good idea and also take time to show them exactly how they want things done. Do not assume they know how you do things in your home. I cannot forget when a lady I employed put an electric kettle on the gas cooker. I assumed she knew how to use an electric kettle and didn’t take time to ask her what she knew or didn’t know and put her through. 

Treat them well

This seems like stating the obvious but the truth is that some people are mean to domestic helps and have no idea how to treat their fellow man. Please remember how you want to be treated as an employee and ensure that whoever works for you is treated with kindness and consideration.

Also note that being kind does not mean that everything and anything should be allowed to take place in your home. Ensure that you set boundaries and are firm about how you want things done. A home run without rules and regulations will end up being chaotic so ensure that boundaries are set to guide the employees in your home and guard your peace of mind. 

Life can be stressful but when we have the right support system, it makes things so much easier. I do hope you find someone that’s a good fit for your home. All the best.

 

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Photo by Gabby K from Pexels





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