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Hiring A Cleaning Service


You have many choices when hiring a cleaning service. Do I hire an individual, a local company or franchise? Are you ready to be an employer? Does the cleaning company you’ve hired have employees or contractors? Is your property insured against theft or damage? If someone is out sick or on vacation, will your house still get cleaned? Here are some very important questions to ask in order to make sure you are comparing apples to apples.


Does the company have Liability and Workers Compensation Insurance?

  • Independent maids and companies with less than five employees are not required to carry worker’s compensation insurance in Missouri. This insurance not only protects you but gives the employee a safety net. Slips and falls happen, and if a cleaner is hurt in your home, you can be held liable. The risk is even greater with an independent maid since technically you are their employer. Your homeowner’s insurance will cover you for certain situations but not all, which leaves you open for personal lawsuits. Ask if the company has a safety program.
  • Liability insurance is essential to protect your home and belongings. Yes, accidental breakages happen. Verify insurance and ask if the company has a written policy regarding procedures on handling breakages and damages.

Sure, uninsured or underinsured individuals and companies will be cheaper, but is it worth the risk?


How long has the company been in business?

Every year there are 10 new cleaning businesses started in Columbia to replace the ones that went out of business. Failure rates for the industry are staggering. Fifty percent will go out of business within the first year. By the end of the fifth year, nearly 90 percent will have closed their doors. Hopefully, the company you hire will be there for you and your family for years to come.


Are the employees W-2 or subcontractors?

Some companies incorrectly categorize employees as independent contractors to avoid paying withholding taxes. Some independent maids do not pay taxes on their income or their helpers. Unfortunately, this means the employee is not covered by Unemployment Insurance if he or she becomes unemployed, nor is he or she building Social Security for retirement. Be careful when hiring a household worker because in some instances, you might be considered an employer by the IRS.


Does the company prescreen its employees?

Since most clients are not home during cleaning visits, anyone that has access to your home should be thoroughly vetted. Does the company check past employment references and do a criminal background check? If you are hiring an individual, do you have time to verify credentials? With a stringent selection process, as few as one out of 50 applicants make it onto the staff of the best home cleaning companies.


Does the company have a training program?

The best companies will have formal, documented and ongoing training programs. This helps ensure consistency in quality and reduce the turnover of the staff that clean your home. It can take three to six months to mold an employee into a top-notch cleaner. Furthermore, one out of 10 do not make the cut in the training process.


Ask about employee longevity.

In an industry rife with high turnover, what retention programs does the company have in place? Are its employees compensated fairly? Do the employees receive holiday and vacation pay or performance bonuses? A company with high turnover might also have problems in other areas of management.


Hiring a cleaning service should make your life easier. By knowing what to look for, it should make the experience enjoyable and rewarding.



Tiger Maids was founded in 1996 by Robin Zakrewski, who has more than 25 year experience in the residential cleaning industry and currently functions as the office/customer service manager. Her husband, Tim, joined the company full time in 2007. He brings more than 20 years in operations and sales management to the table and currently functions as the general/ sales Manager.

Tiger Maids currently services more than 260 residential homes, and performs hundreds of move-out services each year for their property management and realtor partners. Additionally, they provide post-construction clean-up services for six luxury home builders.

Tim can be reached at tim@tigermaids.net or 573-999-5850.

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