We can hire household staff for you and find the best people for the job, but we have a request…
Our job is to match the perfect candidate to our clients. Simple, right? Well, a few things need to happen for that alchemy to work, and for the right staff to sign up and, crucially, to stay.
Obviously, when you call us, you expect us to work for you and hire household staff that suit you – and we do. We spend our time sourcing the best people; candidates who will work hard and offer a dedicated service to you in your home.
But… There is a but. For the partnership to be successful, we need to know how your household operates before we find the right person. Working in someone’s home is unlike working in an office. The person is in your personal space where you unwind and relax. Therefore, the last thing you want is to hire household staff who don’t ‘fit’; someone who doesn’t understand your values. Our job is to understand what sort of relationship you require with the person who you’re employing. Do you want to be called Ma’am and Sir, or Jane and John? Do you require your staff to wear a uniform or are jeans fine? Do you require them to take pets for walks and so to have a rapport with animals? Likewise, will they need to help look after or give lifts to your children – and if so, how old are the children? Do they need to be a good vegan cook?
Of course, many ‘ways of the household’ can be learned on the job, or in training. But to make the right match, we really need to know how you and your household operate. This means asking questions, and we’re always a little surprised that some new clients think this is too time-consuming or too intrusive. We guarantee privacy and understand how important trust is to our clients. We won’t share any information that doesn’t need to be shared, and we make sure all information stays within tight circles. We use a high-profile security company to ensure this, which includes making background checks on candidates. And we’re firmly of the belief that putting in the time at the beginning can save you the hassle of staff not staying long-term.
Five things we need to know to hire household staff who stay
We start with a questionnaire asking basic questions such as how many rooms are in your house; are there other staff in the household; where is the house (we treat all information confidentially); what is the kids’ routine; even whether your laundry consists of all dry-cleaning and luxury items – as this has a bearing on the job. For us and for good candidates, the more details the better. It really does make for a better fit.
Sounds straightforward, but often clients don’t want to specify the hours required at an early stage. There’s really no easy way to persuade someone to take a job if they don’t know what hours they’ll be likely to be working.
Again, most employers understand that laying out the duties of the job is a prerequisite for any candidate. Household jobs are so varied that it really is essential for us to know what the job entails before we can hire household staff to fulfil it. Will the candidate need a driving license? Will they need to be able to cook? Will they live in, or out? Will they require a certain dress code? Will they need to agree not to post anything about their job on social media? All these questions and more need answering to make sure your expectations are met. It’s much much easier to get these issues out of the way at an early stage rather than wait for them to cause problems later on.
For someone to fit into your household, it’s likely that if they hold similar values to you, or at least have a proper understanding and respect for yours, that they will be a more successful member of your staff. It’s for this reason that we ask about your likes and dislikes, so that we don’t hire someone who clashes with you. We try to find out what sort of arts, culture, travel, food, and fashion is in your life. If you want someone to support your lifestyle then we need to know what your lifestyle is.
We need to know when will the employee be paid, how much, and how much holiday can they take each year. These are basic requirements of employment. The great thing about hiring an agency such as 14fiftyseven to find the best person for the job is that we can help you handle the legal requirements of employment and payment, so that everything is above board and clear to both parties. Disagreements over wages and holidays can often lead to problems. We are there to avoid this happening, and offer a full HR service (including background checks and security checks) to make sure this is handled properly.
We totally understand that our clients are time poor. But when we are contacted by a new client in a frantic state saying they need someone to start ASAP, then please invest the time to answer our questions. It may seem a hassle but we find that if the information isn’t shared the likelihood of staff leaving after a few months is higher. When expectations are highlighted thoroughly, there is better communication right from the start – the key to any great partnership. Questions help us build a picture. We’re honestly not trying to be intrusive, just find you the absolute best staff – be they personal assistant, lifestyle manager, nanny, housekeeper or cook.
14fiftyseven We hire household staff and corporate staff, including exceptional lifestyle managers, executive personal assistants, nannies, butlers, house managers and more. We are a lifestyle management recruitment agency and more.
14fiftyseven. Because we’ve been there.