Finding Value in the Soft Skills when Hiring Private Staff

When giving thought to the criteria that are most important to you in hiring someone for a specific household staff position, it’s important to consider both hard skills (aptitudes) and soft skills (chemistry).

Hard skills are those that either the candidate has or can be taught such as computer proficiency, bookkeeping, accounting, writing skills, a legal discipline, and so on. These are usually fairly easy to ascertain and will be vetted properly by your recruiter early on in the recruitment process. However, soft skills are of equal importance, if not more so, especially when making hiring decisions for positions that reside within the intimacies of a home. They are the many nuances that help to identify the right fit.

So, how does a family evaluate those soft or intangible qualities in just a few hours? Here are some tips for assessing soft skills in an interview.

When a candidate arrives for an interview, engage in conversations with them as opposed to a question-and-answer type of interview. Avoid questions with “yes” or “no” responses. Focus more on the attributes that would make for a great fit.

Finding the Right Fit for Your Private Staff:

  • Were they punctual?
  • Were they organized and prepared for the meeting?
  • Were they neatly groomed and appropriately dressed?
  • Did they give you a firm handshake?
  • Did they make eye contact with you?
  • What did their body language tell you when they spoke about their prior work experience?
  • What was their tone of voice?
  • Was their demeanor calm or overly excitable?
  • Does the candidate have an upbeat personality without being in your face?
  • What about polish and manners?
  • Will the candidate have the necessary patience for example if they have to show a family member how to attach a document to an email for the fifth time?

Try to create a comfortable environment so that the candidate will feel at ease and be themselves. They will then be prone to share more about themselves… when they might even divulge old war stories from their past. That’s when you will be able to get a sense of their character. Note whether or not their grammar and articulation are as consistent as they become more at ease.

Observe how they engage or disengage with your family, including your children and pets. This will give added insight into their level of suitability within your home. Ask the candidate to talk about their favorite job and why it was their favorite job. Also, ask the candidate about their personal interests and what they like to do with their free time. Even something as simple as serving a meal or a cup of tea will give you a sense of how the candidate conducts themselves.

These seemingly simple observations are, in fact, invaluable tools that should not be overlooked when evaluating the spot-on fit of someone who will be working within your home with you and your family.

About Private Staff Group

Private Staff Group presents you with every possible best-fit candidate for your position. We stay with you well beyond the guarantee period to provide additional coaching, refinement, and advice about best employment practices. At Private Staff Group we offer a guarantee period with all placements. Should the candidate leave your employment within 90 days for any reason, we will replace them at no additional charge. To learn more about what we can do we invite you to contact us today.