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The Many Different Roles of A Housekeeper

Traditionally the role of a Housekeeper is to keep a household running smoothly, like clockwork and to take care of the needs of a family and their guests.

Whilst this essentially is still true of course, the role has evolved hugely to cover a wide variety of skills and responsibilities that would provide the employer/family with help and support designed uniquely and specifically for them.

Our Recruitment Consultants can tailor-make a search to source a Candidate who has the specific and relevant skills a family are looking for.

So, for example, alongside the usual everyday tasks & duties one would expect a Housekeeper to perform, you may additionally require help with your children as well, so a Housekeeper/Nanny would be the ideal solution. Other roles could include a Housekeeper/Cook (with experience of more than just basic cooking) or a Housekeeper/Companion. There is also the role of a ‘Houseman’ (more about that later).

Families can also consider whether they would like to employ a’ Live–in’ or a ‘Daily’ Housekeeper to look after them.

Next, let’s take a look at the actual duties and responsibilities for each type of Housekeeper.

In general, as previously mentioned, a Housekeeper will ensure that the household runs efficiently and smoothly in accordance with the homeowner’s wishes. This will include everything from overseeing/undertaking cleaning, laundry, basic cooking to running errands (post office/dry cleaning). As every household is so different there are of course specific duties and responsibilities that would need to be discussed at interview stage.


A Housekeeper/Nanny will be employed when the duties involve looking after a child/children as well as the house/household.

So, the duties of a Nanny/Housekeeper are the same as those of a general Housekeeper but will also include:

  • Preparing snacks/cooking for the children and helping in the kitchen
  • Childcare/babysitting
  • Doing the school run/taking the children to activity clubs/parties/appointments


A Housekeeper/Cook will have the same responsibilities as a Housekeeper but with the extra responsibility of preparing all the meals for the household. They will have good experience & knowledge of and a keen interest in cooking.

Meal choices will be selected after consultation with the employer, perhaps with special focus being given to serving nutritious and healthy family meals or preparing food for members of the household with restricted diets or allergies. Often an employer will be seeking a more experienced cook so they can also cook for dinner parties and when the family are entertaining.


A Housekeeper/Companion is a great asset to any home where an individual or an elderly couple require someone with them during the day or night to assist with everyday tasks and also provide companionship.

Some Housekeeper/Companions are employed on a full-time, live-in basis as this provides peace of mind and reassurance for help required during the night. Other options are also available such as a temporary Housekeeper/Companion (perhaps providing cover during the short-term absence of a family member or following illness/surgery) or a part-time Housekeeper/Companion (helping an elderly person maintain their independence at home).

Specific jobs will include:

  • Shopping for weekly essentials and running general errands
  • Accompanying on special and regular outings
  • Cooking and sharing meals
  • Light domestic support such as cleaning, laundry, some pet care
  • Light gardening duties
  • Participating in & helping with hobbies and interests
  • Helping with travel arrangements and accompanying to appointments
  • Assisting with correspondence and paperwork


It should be noted that Housekeeper/Companions are not necessarily qualified carers or nurses and therefore not all of them will be expected to administer medication. However, should that be required, we can source and provide qualified carers for that purpose to work with the elderly.

Similarly in a household that requires specialist nurses or carers for young children/young adults we can recruit a Housekeeper/Companion to work alongside them.


A Houseman can be a versatile solution for many households as they will specifically ensure the general upkeep and maintenance of your home –often working alongside other staff.

They will have responsibility for cleaning and maintenance of the house and also some of the external features of the property (such as a swimming pool/hot tub/tennis court) and often if they are employed on a full-time basis, they can provide additional security.

We find that many Housemen come to us from a military background (such as the Ghurkhas) which means they are hardworking, reliable, highly trained and offer a very diverse skill set.


A Houseman’s duties will depend on the home and needs of the employer, but as a guide will generally include:

  • Assisting with housekeeping, deep cleaning carpets and upholstery, polishing brass, mirrors, glass, light fixtures and chandeliers
  • Waxing/cleaning floors, cleaning and laying fireplaces, restocking wood, emptying bins
  • Changing light bulbs & fuses, checking security and alarm systems and performing minor household repairs
  • General assistance with laundry and ironing, cooking, shopping, laying/clearing tables
  • Helping with the care of children and pets
  • Maintaining gardens, mowing, watering plants
  • General maintenance of exterior walls, sills, paths, steps, cleaning windows and outdoor furniture
  • Valeting cars, driving to meetings, running errands, airport and school runs
  • Upkeep of swimming pools, saunas, gyms and hot tubs


As you can see there are plenty of possibilities for combining the Housekeeper role with other responsibilities and a good deal of flexibility.

So, if you are think a Housekeeper would be an asset to your home and would like more information or if you have any questions about the roles described above, please speak to the Eden Household Team on 020 7471 6000.

July 20, 2022

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