Hiring Private or Household Staff in the Wake of a Pandemic

When news of COVID-19 spread and countries around the world entered lockdown it almost felt like everything stopped. People stopped going to the office, kids stopped going to school, and people put a halt to most of their plans around travel or being social.

The outside world may be at a standstill, but the inside world of your homes is busier and more vibrant than ever. Having household staff you can rely on is important at any time, but it’s especially important when we’re in a pandemic.

Remember, vaccine availability and lessening restrictions don’t mean that you’re safe from COVID. That’s why we’re here to give you the insight you need to find the right staff.

Are you thinking about hiring professional staff? Keep reading if you’re ready to learn how to bring on the right staff to manage your homes during these trying times.

Understand Who You Need

Before you start looking for new staff to bring on (or thinking about who to let go), consider what services are essential for your properties going forward.

You know that your chief of staff is indispensable, but could you do without your estate manager? You don’t think you need your butler at certain properties. However, you’re on the fence about how much you’ll be using your driver.

It’s possible that you may not need to have as many cooks on staff because you won’t be hosting large events, but you may still want to keep your head chef for more intimate affairs. Some people may have never considered having a private chef on the grounds, but now that catering could be dangerous, you may feel safer with having someone you can trust prepare your food.

Take time to look at what’s coming up on your personal calendar, and be sure to pay close attention to quarantine restrictions in your area. Having insight into both matters can make it easier to determine what you need.

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Understand Your Comfort Levels

Do you only want to bring in staff that has received the COVID-19 vaccine? Would you be comfortable bringing in someone that has had COVID-19 in the past, but has since recovered? Do you want your staff to change into their uniforms on the premises or bathe then change to ensure they aren’t bringing in germs?

You’re the boss when it comes to your private staff, and now isn’t the time to be lax about setting boundaries. Take time to really think about what you and your family will need to stay safe and work with your staff effectively.

Some people feel safer making temperature checks mandatory before people can report to work. Others may consider setting up hand sanitizing and mask disinfecting stations in each room staff to ensure maximum safety.

Alter Your Interviewing Process

Hiring someone to attend to your personal properties and help you and your family isn’t a simple process. Extensive background checks need to be performed, multiple interviews need to be held, and you need to find a way to test their skills.

Unfortunately, COVID has made it difficult to perform some of your usual hiring activities. Luckily for you, there are plenty of ways to still properly screen people to add to your domestic staff.

Moving to a hybrid interview format can help save you time and help keep everyone safe. Consider holding some preliminary interviews over video calls instead of doing them by phone. When you add the camera element you can learn a lot about potential hires from their body language instead of having to go only by tone.

It’s only natural to want to have one in-person interview so you can test their skills and see how well they’d interact with you and the rest of the staff. We recommend trying to keep people as far apart as possible. Choose a very large room so people can meet comfortably, or consider setting up different areas to keep people separate.

You may find that there are some skill tests that you don’t need to be present for. It’s possible to closely inspect a potential laundress’s washing work and ironing skills once they’ve finished, and you can easily eat food prepared by a chef without being there to watch them prepare it. Consider having someone else supervise the tests and coming in after to inspect everything.

Consider Creating a Staff Bubble

You’ve heard a lot about the importance of social distancing and only being close to people that don’t have a lot of interactions in the outside world. That can be easy enough for the family, but things get tricky when it comes to private staff.

What happens if a staff member goes out over the weekend and brings COVID with them to work on Monday? Would you be comfortable having staff in your homes that are in group living situations or have to use public transit to get to work?

For the time being, you may want to consider only hiring people that are comfortable staying on the grounds while they work. You could come up with a schedule so that employees have plenty of time to quarantine before they come into work if you’re concerned about spreading the virus.

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Find Household Staff the Safe Way

Instead of leaving the safety of your family and in the hands of others, consider working with a professional staffing service that can get you the help you need.

Working with a private staffing company is more important than ever now. We won’t just help you find professionals that can meet your rigorous standards for security and safety. We’ll help you find people that take COVID-19 as seriously as you do and keep your family’s well being top of mind.

Are you ready to find the help you need? Contact us today so we can start finding the best way to meet all of your private staffing needs.