Hiring domestic staff for your home and family can be a stressful process. Alongside finding the perfect candidate, it’s not just as simple as the right personality match. You have to ensure that the candidate is honest, trustworthy and above all who they say they are. What is the safe way to correctly recruit domestic staff?
A professional agency (like ourselves) are experts on the subject. Here is our guide to the best ways to protect your family and your home.
1. Multiple Interviews
Many of our clients will ask their PA to conduct the first round of interviews. Even if you decide that you want to conduct the first round of interviews (or indeed don’t have a PA), arrange at least two interviews. This will give you a clear feel of the candidate and allow you to see them on different occasions. With domestic staff recruitment it is always better to be safe rather than sorry.
Ask a friend, or family member to join you, as multiple people whom you trust can help interpret the candidate background. Different approaches to interview will help glean different information.
At Polo & Tweed we always recommend trialing a candidate before you hire them. This can give you a clear insight into the way they act and behave and this may differ to how they have conducted themselves in interview. You don’t want to get tied down employing someone who isn’t right for the positions, so ensure that you conduct a trial or a probationary period
Also ensure that the candidate is supervised during the trial, for example if it is a Nanny position, you can allow the candidate to spend some time alone with the children getting to know them, but do this in a safe space. Domestic staff recruitment places your family or property in a vulnerable position – so make sure you protect yourself.
One of the most important steps in domestic staff recruitment is to check the candidates references. Ideally you should call them, verify the dates they worked for the person, and get a general outline of the duties they conducted. As for both a personality reference and then a work reference (as they might be very different). Ask them what the reason was that they left (if that is appropriate) and if they would recommend them.
By checking these references yourself you will have a good idea as to the candidate’s working history. From time to time it can prove difficult for our candidate to obtain references, particularly if they have worked for a very VIP or HNW family. However in this instance as an agent we accept letter headed references sent to us. Even VIP and HNW clients have PAs who can verify employment history. In domestic staff recruitment you should be very wary of a candidate who says that they cannot get references.
4. DBS (CRB)
A DBS check is a government check that employers ask to see as proof of criminal history, or lack thereof. Not all candidates have them (as some clients don’t request them). We recommend that all clients who consider hiring staff look to acquire a copy of the candidates DBS. You can’t do this on your own, you have to ask an agent (like ourselves) or a company to process one. If the candidate has lived abroad this can take slightly longer to process as the British government reaches out to the international departments.
When the DBS comes back, it will be sent directly to the candidates current address and the agent then requests a copy. As the client you can be sent the copy by the agent or the candidate. It will either come back clear (which is the most common) or it will not. At Polo & Tweed we do not discriminate against candidates. DBS will not show parking fines or points on the licence, only criminal records or offences in this nature. When working with or around children it is vital that you require the candidate to have a DBS for protecting the children. A DBS is a vital step for any domestic staff recruitment.
5. Additional Background Check
Although a DBS check is a good way to show criminal history, many of our VIP and HNW clients want to have a greater peace of mind. After all, we’ve all heard about horror stories and we want to avoid them. Therefore the next logical step is to do a detailed background check on the candidate you are looking to hire.
We personally recommend using Pelican Worldwide who have dealt with HNW and VIP clients and give an excellent service. This is a premium service, and should only be done on candidates that have been selected to trial/offer. Most of our domestic staff recruitment clients who use this type of service will conduct interviews and then when the candidate is getting closer to selection, this process will be undertaken.
6. Trust your Gut!
Even if you’ve followed all the steps above, the most important thing to do is trust your gut during the domestic staff recruitment process.
If something doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore it. Clients can exhaust all the above list and still not feel something is right. Trust your instincts!
Recruit with Polo & Tweed
Polo & Tweed work with clients in London and around the world helping our lovely clients find the perfect match for their domestic staff recruitment. You can get in touch with us here – and one of our experienced consultants will get in touch with you. We look forward to hearing from you to discuss your staff recruitment.