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Developing effective job descriptions for domestic staff

Are you confused about why your nanny is doing tasks that you didn't request, or why your housekeeper never cleans a certain area of the house? Before getting into a dispute with your employee, first take a look at the job description that you wrote. If it doesn't match the work that you actually want done, it is time to revise the document so that you, your employees and future candidates can all be on the same page. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends that you consider the following points as you draft a job description:

  • Individual tasks involved
  • The methods used to complete the tasks
  • The purpose and responsibilities of the job
  • The relationship of the job to other jobs
  • Qualifications needed for the job.

A good way to incorporate these recommendations is to visualize a theoretical day in the life of your employee. What time would the workday begin and end? Would the employee be responsible for cooking, laundry, and/or taking children to and from school or activities? As you develop this plan, make sure that you have allotted time for lunch and rest breaks, and don't try to fit in an unreasonable number of tasks. 

Remember that a job description should be flexible, as an employee's duties can change over time. If you believe that there will be a major change in an employee's work soon after hire, mention in it in your list of responsibilities. Outgoing and former employees may be able to assist you outlining the essential points of their daily duties. 

Being clear and upfront with any potential employee will make both of your lives much easier in the future. At Colonial Domestic Agency, our experienced counselors can assist you with finding domestic staff that meet your exact needs.