Individual Cleaners – Do You Screen Them?

Choosing an individual cleaner is an complicated process. There are many steps that must be taken to ensure that the person being hired is both hardworking and trustworthy — after all, you’re opening your home to someone, in the hopes that they will clean it and do a good job, not walk off with your expensive things. While it is possible to be home to keep an eye on things when a first-time cleaner is working, you don’t want to hover and make him or her feel self-conscious or as though you have trust issues. You can also set up hidden video cameras, like nanny-cams, but that can be expensive. Instead, it’s less expensive and simpler to do a thorough check before hiring someone. For example:

– Do a background check. Run the cleaner’s name through your local county or city court database. Make sure that you have the right person, as someone with a common name can be tricky to distinguish in these types of records. If you still have doubts, do a quick web search on the name and your city, state or county. Note what pops up. While this may not be a thorough as you’d like, hiring a private investigator to do a professional search can be costly.

– Check their references. Ask plenty of pertinent questions, especially those involving attendance, attitude and general behavior. Was she friendly with her colleagues? Did he not show up for work without calling in? Why did he or she decide to quit working for the person or company that you are calling? Look for things that send up red flags, and trust your instincts.

– Do a drug test. Believe it or not, there are home drug kits that can be purchased on the Internet that are actually pretty accurate. While they will show only illegal drugs, since they’re designed for parents to give their kids, they will weed out potential cleaners with drug problems. Of course, nothing compares to a professionally administered and checked drug test, but, like a series of nanny-cams, those can be expensive.

The main thing to do is find and individual cleaner with a clean background check. You need to be able to trust the person that you’re letting into your house daily or weekly, and this is the best way to go. Remember to follow your gut — if you feel that something is fishy, it probably is.

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