It never hurts to be extra cautious when hiring household helpers. Home employers often get maids based solely on the basis of referrals from family friends, neighbors, officemates, or acquaintances, but it's important not to just take their word for it, no matter how close they are to you.

Before hiring household help, do your own background investigation. Scroll through the gallery below for some helpful guidelines.

Need more advice for dealing with your household help? Check this out on FN:

(First published in
Good Housekeeping Magazine, Home 101 section in June 2003; flashbox screencap from Friends with Money courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics; adapted for use in Female Network)

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