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"It gives me great pleasure to highly recommend HEA! The workers are very professional, work harder than any other agency I have used and most importantly, a pleasure to be around. HEA has helped us staff in the Hamptons, NYC and our boat — and had applicants available to interview the same day we inquired. Hands down the best in the business!!!"

— Kimberley Hatchett

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Domestic Professionals book
How to Find, Hire and Keep The Right Domestic Professionals

Principals & Managers —
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Household Staffing > Hiring the Right Household Staff

Choosing the Right Domestic Candidate for Your Household Staffing Needs

Choosing candidateAs you near the end of your candidate evaluation process, all household candidates on your final shortlist must, of course, have the core experience, skills, abilities, and level of intelligence required for the position at hand. Moreover, as covered in our post on Developing a Clear Picture of Your Ideal Household Employee, you'll want to give the greatest weight to those factors that research has shown to be most predictive of on-the-job success:

  1. a positive attitude in which one feels satisfaction from work;
  2. accountability/the belief that one has direct control over work-related outcomes;
  3. past-related job success, or a track record of meeting objectives close to the ones you would like met; and
  4. cultural fit, which centers on shared values with the household and authentic interest in the job at hand.

One helpful exercise is to try to envision a prospective household employee in the job. If you are able to picture the person doing their duties well and fitting in nicely with your household — even on a difficult day — then you may have found your person.

Using a structured list as you evaluate a domestic candidate can help you stay focused on the factors that matter to successfully narrow down your candidate list. Hiring an Employee from Harvard Business Press offers a useful list of factors to consider when you evaluate candidates. We have modified the factors as needed for residential employment and have also included Super Elements not detailed in the original list:

  • Personal characteristics, such as positivity, friendliness, resourcefulness, conscientiousness, and accountability
  • Education and/or training
  • Essential performance factors (Can this person do the work required? Do they have a track record of success?)
  • Compatibility with your household culture (e.g., formal or informal) and your management style (e.g., hands-on or "please spare me the details")
  • Elimination factors (Is there anything in the applicant's profile that suggests they cannot do the job well?)
  • Essential technical expertise, such as security system knowledge, auto-care skills, and handyman expertise
  • Overall assessment (What's your "big-picture" view of the candidate, all things considered?)

When hiring household staff, it's also wise to give special consideration to how much an applicant wants the position at hand. Oftentimes, candidates who are very motivated to work for you and are excited about the domestic position end up working out very well after you hire them. They also tend to stay for a longer period.

Lastly, it's not advisable to settle for a potential household staff member who you are not convinced can do the job well. In general, even if you feel you must find someone quickly, it's usually much better to wait to hire an individual who you feel confident can do the job effectively.


Looking to learn more about today's best practices for hiring household staff? Take advantage of our special offer below!

Domestic Professionals book

Principals, Managers & Assistants – Now you can request a complimentary copy of the newly released book for household employers by Hamptons Employment Agency, Inc. Founder and President, Aleksandra Kardwell…

How to Find, Hire, and Keep the Right Domestic Professionals

The Household Employer's Guide to Hiring Great Employees Who Will Stay for Years

Request your complimentary copy today by clicking here or on the book image at left. 

Or, contact us today for a free, no-obligation, privacy-assured phone consultation. Give us a call at one of our four locations listed below. We look forward to hearing from you regarding your domestic staffing needs.

Hamptons Office:  631-204-1100
New York City Office: 212-521-4373
Boston Office:  617-800-4701
Florida Office:  561-866-2633

Or, use our brief and easy online Staffing Inquiry Form.

We look forward to hearing from you regarding your Household Staffing needs.