Hiring a household employee is important, if not entirely new, a process for many people. At first glance, it can be a bit strange to think about bringing in someone to your home on a constant basis to work in your house.
It’s not like the cleaning lady who comes once every two weeks or the babysitter from down the street who takes care of the kids every now and then. This is a more permanent step.
While you may be a pro at hiring others in the business world, hiring someone for your house is a bit different. Below are some top things to consider before you have someone come into your home.
Consider More than Their Role
Let’s do a quick overview of what constitutes a household employee. Here are some of the most common examples:
- Senior care companion
- Home health aide
- Personal assistant
- Property manager
- Cool guy that stand around in a suit and puts a finger to his ear while muttering the words “Eagle is on the move” whenever you walk by
It’s going to be someone that is around your house on a more consistent basis, performing the same job over and over again, just like a regular employee. Your gardener that comes once a month or the kid who mows your lawn isn’t going to be considered a household employee.
Going with an actual definition, the IRS states the following on household employees:
“The worker is your employee is you can control not only what work is done, but how it is done. If the worker is your employee, it does not matter whether the work is full time or part-time or that you hired the worker through an agency or from a list provided by an agency or association.”
So if you already have an idea of what you want your household employee to be, you need to consider their role. Will your nanny be a live-in or live-out nanny? Do they need to be there full-time? Will they be responsible for childcare or also for helping to keep your house clean?
What about a senior care companion? Do they need to be there all day? Do they need to have any required training for emergency situations? It’s important to think about this as a regular job posting, fit with all the requirements and responsibilities. You don’t want to spring anything unexpected on them later on.
Do Your Homework
If you’re not sure where to start, try asking some friends or acquaintances for recommendations on people. If you happen to strike out there, take to the internet.
While there are plenty of specific job boards out there for some household workers, most notably nannies, it may be a bit harder to find others. Check around and see where you could post your announcement.
Once you start to narrow down your list of applicants, do your due diligence on them. Remember, this is someone coming into your home. You don’t want just anybody to come in, taking care of your children or helping manage your home.
The Money Side
Negotiating their pay and rate of pay is entirely up to you and the new household employee. You can agree to pay them once a month, twice or a month or at the end of every week. This is your “business” anyway.
If you’ve never written up a contract, there are plenty of examples online or services that will help you write one that will cover all of your bases. You’ll also want to be sure and mark out the length of their contract ahead of time. Is this something seasonal? Permanent? Just for a few months? Managing expectations early is a good way to stay on top of everything.
In terms of salary, make sure you’re paying a decent wage and be sure to watch the trends. The last thing you want to do is have your employee leave you high and dry because they felt they were being whole-fully underpaid.
Also, keep your household employees records around for when the IRS comes calling. You will have to report them on your taxes and it’s something you’d rather not leave to chance.