How to hire the perfect domestic staff
It’s what everybody wants, a Mrs Hudson for household management, a Jeeves manservant, Parker to drive your car … well maybe not, puppets aren’t necessarily the best drivers! But, moving away from the world of fiction, professional domestic staff are often seen as difficult to locate. That genuinely isn’t our experience at Mrs Hunt’s Staffing. For over a century we’ve been finding exactly the right household staff for our clients, and we’ve learned a few specialist techniques along the way that we’re finally willing to share.
1. Have a household manual
Did you know that the famous Mrs Beeton’s Cookery Book is actually only 50% cookery? The rest is household management: how to clean and service a house, how to manage servants, what to do when things go wrong etc. Today you might keep your household manual as a computer programme, but we still believe it’s a fantastic idea, not least because when you need to recruit a new member of the team, the manual will already outline their duties, where they fit into your household staff, and what key skills and experience they need to have. If this sounds daunting, don’t worry – we can advise on how to create such a manual and even hire you a temporary staff member to create it.
2. Plan your interviews
If you already have a household manager, then you may not be involved in the interview process, but it’s always a good idea to engage with potential staff at the earliest possible stage as they will have to fit into your household and that requires you to feel both confident and comfortable about them. We can arrange online interviews so you can get a feel for each shortlisted candidate, and we also have suggestions for interactive interview activities so that you or your household manager can experience how the candidates perform. This is a superb way to see for yourself how a new candidate will fit into your household.
3. Consider benefits
While Mrs Hunt’s Staffing can help with establishing an attractive salary package to entice the best possible domestic staff to your door, many employees can offer attractive benefits that they don’t always remember to outline. For example, several of our clients give their domestic employees holidays in properties they own overseas – this is a major benefit that employers can take for granted but which potential domestic staff really value. Being provided with good accommodation is important to highlight, as is the provision of things like a staff room. One of our clients with a large household staff has set up a gym for his domestic employees, which is very popular with his team!
4. Be yourself
People become domestic staff because they value the opportunity to be in service, to work on a personal level and to help make the lives of their employers easier. Given that this is their vocation, it’s important to be yourself when hiring new employees because the relationship will be one of great intimacy than work related employment and there’s no point pretending to be somebody you’re not. Honesty from the beginning makes it easier to establish long-term working relationships with a loyal, professional domestic staff.