Protect your family and protect yourself. You’ve decided you want to use an agent to help you find your next domestic member of staff or find your next job – great! But now the daunting steps of where to even begin. The most obvious step is to use a domestic staffing and recruitment agency to find help or get hired – but how do you start this process?
With multiple agencies in London and around the world how does using a domestic staffing agency help you find help? Does it help you get your dream job or is it all a waste of time? At times it can feel like a minefield, and you ultimately want to protect yourself, your family and ensure that if you apply for a job you don’t end up in a sticky or dangerous situation. That’s where using an agency can help cut through the potential risks and give you peace of mind.
This is why you should be using a Domestic Staffing & Recruitment agency to find help or get hired.
Hiring: The most important aspect that a domestic staffing and recruitment agency can provide you, be it for looking for domestic help or finding you a job is that extra level of care and protection. A good agent will ensure that all their candidates are vetted, background checked and qualified for the position before they even step foot inside your door, and this can be very important. By using a staffing agency you can save yourself a great deal of time having to do reference and background checks (although its always wise to do them for the final selection of candidates to double-check).
Getting Hired: When you are looking for a job a good agent will meet with you (either in person or on Skype or another online video platform). So they can get to know what you are looking for. Check in from time to time with your agent to update them on any changes and remind them you’re still available for hire. Beware of sending an agent multiple emails a day or calling them weekly as you don’t want to annoy them! Try to reach a good balance between professional contact and too much contact!
2. Find Quality (rather than quantity)
Hiring: Trust us, if you are looking for a new member of staff for your home and you don’t use a domestic staffing and recruitment agency, you’ll be trawling through hundreds of applications of non-suitable candidates, and your inbox will be very unhappy. Of course, when you use an agent you’ll have to pay an agency fee (more on that below), but this fee is allowing you the peace of mind of vetted candidates who are suitable for the role. That way instead of getting 100 CVs into your inbox, you’ll get 4 or 5 of the best.
One of our recent agency adverts looking for Chef’s had over 500 applications, many of whom had not worked as professional chefs and were therefore not suitable. One applicant wrote to us ‘I’m a terrible cook but I make a mean toastie.’ Point made. I’m sure you don’t have time to wade through applications like this! A good agency will give you quality candidates to pick from and save you having to go through the detailed process on your own.
Getting Hired: A good staffing agency will understand your abilities and goals, and will only place you in a position that matches both. We know your time is valuable and you do not want to spend it looking over irrelevant positions. You should only be placed in a position you qualify for, but if you don’t qualify, understanding what criteria need to be met for you to reach your desired position is very important. Often times a staffing agency will give you feedback on your CV so you can make the necessary improvements/qualifications for future work in your desired position.
3. Agency fee
Hiring: A domestic staffing and recruitment agency will generally charge a fee to help you find your ideal domestic staff. All agencies have different fees and they should be open and honest about them. It takes a great deal of work to find staff for an individual, so the fee will take into account the location of the agent (their office costs), the staff that works for them, and the way their company operates.
An agency based in a low key area of London, or a one-man band, will be cheaper than an agency based in Mayfair. But beware, in this industry, you do often get what you pay for! A word of caution – avoid agencies who charge registration fees. This tends to be a technique employed by agents trying to make a quick bit of money before they start the work. NEVER pay for a search upfront, no matter how good the deal sounds and ALWAYS read the agency contract or terms and conditions and understand them clearly before you sign them. Once you enter into the legally binding contract it will be difficult to debate this later if you are not happy with the service.
Getting Hired: If you are joining an agency looking for work never pay to join. In the UK this is illegal and in other countries, this could be the agent trying to make money.
4. Get expert advice
A good domestic staffing and recruitment agency will always have the time to talk. They might be busy when you call, but they should always call you back. Whether you are looking to hire or get hired. Speaking with an agent can save you a tremendous amount of time.
This way you can have a chat about their process, how they work and how they can help you. Agents should give honest and open advice about their services and how they can help you find staff or find a job. You can also use the internet, social media and connect with other domestic staff or like-minded clients. Speak to your friends and see who they have used as an agent and ask for recommendations and warnings – both are equally important. If you are looking to find a job as a domestic worker, you may want to read our expert advice here.
5. Social Media!
All the big domestic staffing and recruitment agencies and companies will use social media to find new clients and candidates. It’s a great way to make connections and learn about your options. Take a look at the agency’s presence on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. See if they are active and will respond and interact with you. This is all a sign of a good agent. Also, notice when the recent posts were made. If the agent hasn’t posted in 2 years it could be because they are not an active agent. Tip: The level of interaction on a company page is often indicative of their customer service.
6. Going the extra mile
Every good domestic staffing and recruitment agency will go that extra mile for their client and the candidate. They should always be available on the phone or email. And you can always write to them or visit the office. Transparency and good communication is key! So look for an agent who values both their clients and candidates. As without one or the other you cannot have a successful agency.
See what other services the agency offers and sign up to networking and social events. As this is a great way to connect with other clients and candidates. Perhaps you want to get your staff additional training. Or perhaps you want to have additional training. A good agency will be able to offer advice and guidance on how to continue your education.
How Can Polo & Tweed Help
No matter what you are looking to do, either find help or get hired, our friendly team at Polo & Tweed can help you if you need us to. We always love to hear from clients and candidates alike, no matter what the case may be. Drop us a line today and get connected to the leading domestic worker agency in London!