The Domestic Staffing Cycle: From Hiring to Firing

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Executive Summary

When it comes to hiring domestic staff, the pitfalls and obstacles are all too familiar: shortage of qualified candidates, increasing regulations, risks to privacy and security, and exposure to litigation and liabilities. The 21st century brings with it an alarming reduction in work force and an equally diminished level of competency. This paper will outline some simple but effective steps for hiring, retaining and terminating staff.

The role of employer introduces threats to financial security that can be prevented through proper planning and preparation. This paper will address how poor hiring procedures, inadequate background investigations, ineffective management and improper termination can all result in financial loss when not handled properly.

Protecting yourself as an employer starts long before you begin seeking candidates for a position within the home. Whether hiring a comptroller, gardener, household manager, nanny or chauffeur, the role of the employer introduces a series of new exposures that require preparation, procedure and risk transfer to prevent getting caught in one of the traps that can impair your own security.

The selection process and precautions applied for hiring a contractor or staff should also be carefully considered. In this paper, simple but necessary steps will be addressed that can be taken to ensure that the employees are a right fit for you and present little danger to the security measures you have put into practice.

Questions to ask include: Are you complying with all federal requirements in your hiring practices? Are immigration rules being reviewed and addressed? Are you conducting thorough background investigations? Where are you finding prospective employees? What measures are being taken to protect your financial data and family from the potential candidate and the employee? Are you properly following payroll tax requirements without mixing personal and business expenses?

Following the hiring process, the exposures presented once a staff member or a third-party contractor is employed require continued diligence. Establishing procedures and practices for non-family members who operate within the home is critical in maintaining safety and security as well as for avoiding situations that can present threats to you and your family.

It is equally important when employment ends that the relationship be closed in a manner that the employee returns to the workforce without access to the family or any confidential information. This paper addresses practices for amicable departures as well as for terminations and dismissals.

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