From the outside, it may seem a little strange to be hiring household staff. For most of our lives, we’ve (naturally) thought that any type of hiring takes place at work while your home is for, well, living normally.
When it comes to hiring household staff, there are numerous reasons you may be hiring someone to work in your household. You might be hiring a nanny to take care of your children, a caregiver to look after an elderly parent, or even part-time or full-time security for your home.
There are always some important considerations to take into place when it comes to hiring household staff, let’s take a look at some of the most essential.
Write a Clear Job Description
When you’re looking for household staff, you need to be very clear about what it is you’re looking for. You should be able to easily list off the number of hours they are expected to work, what their responsibilities will be, and anything else you expect out of them.
You don’t want to hire a nanny who has the expectations of only working with your children who then find out that you also want her to clean and cook meals.
Independent or Through an Agency?
This may come before or after you decide to write up the world’s best job description. When you start looking for household staff, you will have to ask yourself if you want to hire independently or go through an agency.
Both have their own set of pros and cons. When you go through an agency, they will take care of some of the work for you. You won’t have to post your job to numerous websites, hassle with payment, or go through the background check process.
On the other hand, they may not be as flexible as you like, will charge you more, and maybe deal with plenty of other clients. At the end of the day, you might not be able to find the ideal person for your situation and have to start the process all over again.
Going the independent route is a surefire way to make sure you have more control when it comes to finding and hiring the right person. You’ll have to take care of the majority of steps yourself, but it’s a way to have more flexibility and overall control.
Perform Background Checks
Resumes and cover letters can only tell you so much, which is why you should be proactive when performing background checks on all applicants you’re seriously considering.
When performing a background check, it’s best to go through a third-party service as there can often be legal hoops to jump through in order to perform a successful background check.
You should also be checking with past employers and asking for plenty of references before making a final decision. These people are going to be in and around your house constantly after all!
Set Up a Consistent Payment Schedule
If you’re not experienced with hiring household staff, you might not be sure what to pay or how often you should be paying.
It’s not quite like hiring a one-time babysitter or gardener. You probably won’t be able to ask your friends for recommendations or tips since there is such a small percentage of people in the United States who employ household staff.
But since you are drawing up the contract, you can set the stipulations. Will your staff be paid every week? Twice a month? Every month?
Whatever it is, make sure you agree on this early but be flexible depending on your staff’s needs.
On the subject of payment, don’t forget about household staff taxes. Staff members have to earn over $1,700 for it to be reported but handling all that can be complicated and you don’t want to accidentally skip over something trying to do it yourself.
Cover Your Legal Bases
Just like any real job, you’re going to have to offer your future staff a contract. That contract is going to spell out their responsibilities, salary, working conditions, holidays, overtime, and more. While there are templates online, it’s best if you consult with a legal expert to make sure all your bases are covered.
The last thing you want to happen is an unexpected issue that forces you to part ways with your staff or opens up the door for liability.