Have you decided that it is time for your house to undergo a proper spring clean, or are you sick and tired of getting home after a long day just to face a pile of ironing and vacuuming?

Whatever your motivation for looking into hiring a domestic cleaning company here are a few guidelines to assist you with your decision around the Lifestyle Assistant that will best suit your situation and household.

1. Security

  • What key procedure does this company have in place to deal with matters of security? How cautious are they in handling your house keys and alarm codes, where are keys and codes stored and how is access controlled?
  • Neighbourhood watch – Is your cleaning company trusted by your neighbourhood watch, and do they have an attitude of cooperation in ensuring the security of the neighbourhood?
  • Theft procedure – Ask potential cleaning service providers what procedures they have in place to deal with cases of theft, and be VERY careful when the answer is “We have never had a case of theft.”

2. Legislation

  • Contract cleaning – If you are dealing with a company that contracts out cleaning services, does the company know that they are part of the contract cleaning sector and NOT the domestic cleaning sector? (different regulations apply to each)
  • Wages – Is the cleaning company paying their cleaners the minimum wage of approximately R2000 per month? This is not only a legal issue, but a deeply moral one…
  • Registrations – Has the company taken care of their workers’ Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and PAYE tax payments, and do they contribute to the Workers Compensation Fund?

3. Supervision

  • Onsite supervision – Does the company provide full time supervision of their staff or do they leave them unattended for periods?
  • Hands-on – What kind of supervision do they offer? It is important for the supervisor to be present exclusively for supervision and not doubling as cleaner!
  • Support system – Are there backup plans in place for when a supervisor is absent from work or unavailable? Supervision is only good if it is available 100% of the time!

4. Professionalism

  • Training – What program is in place to train staff? Do staff receive theoretical and practical training at all, or are they expected to learn on-the-job?
  • Uniforms – Does the company supply official uniforms with the business name printed on it as well as personal name tags? This is not only a matter of professionalism, but provides the security of identifying official staff.
  • Contracts – Do all workers, permanent and temporary, have contracts that adhere to the contract cleaning sector regulations?

5. Administration

  • Debt recovery – What debt recovery procedures does the company have in place? It is important to know that you are committing to a company with sound financial management. On the other hand, you do not want to be chased down by rude debt recovery agents if your own payment is one day late…
  • Weekly feedback – Does the company have a regular feedback system in place that is easy to use? It will be awkward if you have to ask for a feedback form when you are not entirely satisfied with the service…
  • Paper trail – Do they supply all paperwork as standard operating procedure, or do you have to ask for receipts, invoices and a client agreements?

Follow these guidelines and do not give up on asking questions until you are satisfied that you have information to make sure that you compare Apples with Apples when choosing a cleaning service provider.