Tips to Finding High Quality Domestic Help Faster

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Published on March 15, 2016

It’s time to find domestic help for your home and you want to make sure you find a high quality candidate for the position.  But, life is busy and you want to find domestic help quickly and efficiently.

In the private household recruitment world the process to find staff can be rather confusing and time consuming, but it doesn’t need to be. Following a few simple guidelines can drastically increase the quality of domestic helpers you are choosing from and decrease the amount of time you spend searching.

Here’s how to find domestic help faster and more efficiently:

Communicate1. Have a clear job spec

Knowing exactly what you need in a domestic helper from the start can save you much headache down the road.

The more detail you have in what you are looking for the quicker you will be able to accept or reject candidates as they start to apply for the role. Write out a list of non-negotiable traits for your perfect domestic helper. This will help you quickly eliminate candidates that don’t meet your standards so you can concentrate on the ones who do.

This may be a challenge if it’s the first time you’ve delved into the world of private household recruitment. A good place to start is by listing all of the job duties. From there you can start to list out the qualities of the perfect domestic helper to complete those tasks. Using a staffing template will help you get started and stay organised.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 16.49.052. Plan in advance

If you know you need the staff to begin at a certain date, it’s imperative that you start early so you have time to make the right decision. Rushing the candidate selection process can significantly decrease your chances of finding the perfect domestic helper.

Sometimes something happens and your domestic help leaves without notice and these things cannot be avoided, but most rushed selections happen due to a lack of prior planning.

An easy way to stay on track is to set some hard dates for yourself. By working backwards from your domestic helper’s start date, you can make a timeline of milestones.

Some milestones to consider include:

  • writing a job spec
  • open position announcement
  • first round of interviews
  • potential qualified candidates list
  • background checks
  • final list (choosing from the top 5 candidates)
  • trials prior to offers being made
  • offer and formal contract provided

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Reference3. Reference/Background check

A background check for all your domestic help is absolutely essential to ensure the safety of your home. Background checks can take place in a number of ways, from checking references (to make sure that they are real), getting a DBS (criminal background check – very important when the candidate is working with children) to additional private screening that private investigation companies can offer.  So it is important to factor this in to your timeline.

There are multiple ways to do background checks and stay safe.  Ensuring candidates have up to date DBS (criminal checks) will speed up the process to the private household recruitment search. The best way to get a background check is to speak to an agency or registered DBS provider (as individuals cannot get these processed).

If you are in a pinch for time you may stop at the background check, but checking references is just as important. Getting a second opinion from a third party is invaluable and we highly recommend contacting at least two references for each candidate.

Standards4. Interview efficiently

If you are doing the process on your own, try to run all the interviews over one day, or one weekend if your schedule allows.  It will allow you to compare candidates to each other on the day and keep them fresh in your mind.

Prepare lots of thoughtful questions and allow the candidate to talk as much as you talk. When preparing your questions be sure to reference your job spec and include any questions pertinent to your particular estate or residence.

Finally, trust your gut and follow your instincts during the process, don’t ignore alarm bells as they are often showing you areas of concern.

P&T5. Consider getting help

Hiring domestic help is a big decision that takes a lot of time. Wading through CVs and applications is very time consuming, not to mention reference checking, background checks, and setting up interviews.

You may want to consider a professional recruiter who will do all the prescreening for you, so you can spend your time on more important tasks.

Domestic staff recruitment agencies are continually sourcing new candidates from around the world. At Polo & Tweed, we get applications daily from candidates and you would be shocked at some of the applications. Almost 50% of the people that apply to be on our books don’t make it. We have a rigorous screening process that ensures our clients are selecting from the best of the best.

If you would like assistance in recruiting a new staff member, or you just have some questions about the process drop us a line.  We are here to help!

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