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What to Know Before Hiring Live-In Staff

Domestic professionals can offer a wide range of services, and offering them accommodations within your home provides elevated levels of both convenience and privacy. However, finding trustworthy and loyal live-in staff members can be a challenge, especially if you're unsure of where to start. Whether you're looking for an au pair, housekeeper, or personal assistant, we have a few tips to help you hire the right fit for your household.

Outline What You Need

researching domestic staff

If you're thinking about hiring a staff of domestic professionals, it's crucial to outline your exact needs first. If you have a larger home or have children, it may be beneficial to hire both a housekeeper and a live-in nanny. For an all-encompassing approach, an estate or household manager may be a better fit, as they can oversee all aspects of your property. And if you're looking for someone to complete both personal and professional tasks, a live-in assistant can offer a wide range of services. Other types of domestic professionals include butlers, private chefs, or even personal healthcare providers.

Depending on your financial situation and the scope of your needs, you can hire domestic staff as contractors or salaried employees with benefits. If you work through an agency, they will be considered a contract employee—but if you hire independently and control every aspect of their position, you may be required to withhold income taxes, Social Security, Medicare, and handle other financial obligations.

Conduct Interviews 

interviewing domestic staff

Once you've outlined the kind of domestic professionals you need, it's time to conduct interviews. Whether you choose to work with an agency or search for a staff on your own, it's crucial to ask them a thorough series of questions and communicate your expectations before you hire them.

As you search for the perfect live-in staff member, you'll want to hire someone who has extensive experience in their field. They should also be able to provide references from their past clients, and you shouldn't hesitate to contact those references to inquire about the interviewee's performance. It's best to always be upfront about what you're looking for in a domestic professional, so be sure to communicate all the details of of their responsibilities, as well as their accommodations. And above all, you should also get along with them on a personal level! 

Provide Ample Space

bedroom and bathroom

One of the key aspects of having a live-in domestic staff is offering them a dedicated space in your home. In most cases, this means they will need their own locked bedroom and a bathroom. However, the more staff you have, the more space you will likely need.

As a rule of thumb, you'll want to assign each staff member their own room, but having a shared bathroom is acceptable. It's also crucial to make sure these spaces have been fully repaired and furnished prior to their arrival. Remember—your staff will be making a long-term commitment to you and your household, so you'll want to make sure they're comfortable and have plenty of privacy.

If your staff will not have their own kitchen or bathroom, don't forget to establish boundaries to help create a comfortable living arrangement. Some domestic professionals will buy their own food, host guests, or have their own parking area, while others will not. It all depends on your individual situation, so be sure to discuss specifics with your employees. 

Establish a Schedule


Crafting a schedule with your staff is a key part to helping your household run smoothly. You'll want to clearly share your preferences without micromanaging, which means that being upfront about your expectations is imperative to your staff's success. If you have any particulars that you'd like them to handle, such as picking your children up from school or preparing a meal at a certain time, share those details with them ahead of time.

Over time, your nanny, housekeeper, or assistant will find and adapt a routine that works well for everyone in your home. It's also a good idea to establish consistent hours that your staff will work each day. However, just because your domestic professional lives with you does not always mean they're on call 24/7—but if they are, you'll need to pay them accordingly.