Hiring a Household Employee Checklist

When hiring a household employee, follow these guidelines to ensure that you bring on board the best employees to work in your home, allowing you a more manageable balance between life and work.

  • Create a detailed job description that identifies required knowledge, skills, and experience.
  • Calculate the available compensation, including pay and benefits.
  • Practice conducting effective interviews.
  • Be sure to explicitly state in the job description where, when, and to whom application materials should be sent.
  • Contact and interview top candidates’ references.
  • Obtain and file a signed release from the job applicant to complete background checks, then conduct them.
  • If you’re working with a placement agency, contact the agency to determine if additional actions need to be completed prior to a hiring decision.
  • Decide on the best applicant and present the offer letter.
  • Schedule another meeting with the applicant to address any outstanding issues and finalize the hiring process (i.e., start date, work hours, etc.) with a nanny contract or work agreement.
  • Be aware of and abide by all federal, state, and local employment and labor laws.
  • Keep all new hire paperwork with the employee’s file.

Top Five Household Employee Hiring Tips

  1. Use a job description to communicate the essential job functions and expectations.
  2. Require candidates to complete and sign an employment application instead of using only the applicant’s resume.
  3. Avoid asking illegal interview questions and focus on those based on successful behaviors.
  4. Follow up with an offer letter noting a “respond to offer” date, hire date, compensation, and any preconditions to employment.
  5. Conduct reference and relevant background checks to assess the candidate’s integrity.

For information on how to pay your household employee the right way, download The Complete Guide to Household Payroll.

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