The concept of a Domestic Couple is not always familiar. However, there are widespread benefits and results hiring a domestic couple can provide to households and families around the world. Perhaps you’ve already hired countless domestic couples and are looking for your next perfect couple, or maybe you are new to the concept.
So what is a Domestic Couple?
The role of the domestic couple is a varied and exciting one. Simply put, it is a couple who are extremely familiar with each other and have chosen to work together. The couple will have generally spent many years together and work well as a team. Great domestic couples are like gold dust, and will often stay for many years and long term contracts once they find the right employer. They are as their title suggests, a couple who work together in a domestic environment.
What type of skills do Domestic Couples have?
The skill domestic couples have vary from couple to couple, but they tend to be quite varied and flexible. The nature of the role means that they have often had to learn additional skills in each new position. A good domestic couple is one that is willing to learn and continually adjust to the principals needs. Typically one of the couple will be a strong housekeeper/cook They may also have additional childcare/nanny skills and or have specific skills like pet care or horse care specialism.
The second half of the couple will generally be more focused on the external parts of the property, gardening, DIY skills, maintenance, chauffeuring skills. They may also have additional service skills such a Butlering/Front of House. Often the couple will cross over in areas of skills and the couple will support each other. For example if it is a large property which requires a large amount of housework. Both couples may focus on the housework. In other estates where there are large grounds, both side of the couple may be asked to focus more on land/horse maintenance. It really depends on the property and the needs of the principals.
What makes Domestic Couples charming to hire over two individual domestic staff?
The nature of the domestic couple is that they (most of the time) share accommodation and act as one. They will generally have a great relationship and will be able to work together. Of course they may have the occasional falling out, but as they are in a relationship will be more likely to resolve it. A good domestic couple will of course be extremely discreet if they have a falling out. Unlike two individual staff who will generally look to the principal to help resolve any issues.
It’s one less thing for the principal or PA of the family to worry about, and life is all about reducing stress and managing staff more efficiently. Salaries can also reflect the fact that it is a couple. The couple are happy as they get secure employment and know that they are working together and spending quality time together on their days off. The other charming aspect is if the property is vacant for many months, it means that they can keep each other company.
What should you look for when hiring a Domestic Couple?
The first rule of thumb is to be clear about what you need the couple to do. This of course organic and can evolve, but being able to define the general skills you want each half of the couple to do will help you find the right fit. If your role includes childcare of young children and the domestic couple have no experience of childcare, you may not feel it is a right fit for the security of your children.
Trial, Trial, Trial!
Once you’ve found the Domestic Couple you think would make a good fit then its vital you trial them. This can be a few days or it could be a few months. Either way, this trial will allow you to see if it’s a right fit, for both you and the couple. A good domestic couple won’t be scared to do a trial as long as they are clear about the terms of agreement and know that there is a placement at the end of the trial if they perform well.
It gives you a good chance to see the couple in action and start as you mean to go on. Remember to cover the couples time and any flights/accommodation. Don’t expect the couple to be out of pocket just for an opportunity to trial for you, start as you mean to go on with fairness and generosity.
Offer the right package
Sadly sometimes principals don’t have realistic requests when it comes to salary and packages offered. If the salary is on the low side, make sure there are lots of additional perks such as a car, included food, nice accommodation. The higher the salary the less ‘added bonuses’ you need to give the couple so make sure you think long and hard about the package you want to offer.
The couple will feel that they are well respected and will indeed stay for a long time in your position if you offer them the fair package, which is ultimately what you want.
SOURCE: Polo & Tweed