Household management: London’s best private domestic staff agencies

Written on 13 November 2017 by Giles Cook in Frequently Asked Questions

From au pairs and butlers to personal assistants via chefs, chauffeurs, gardeners and nannies, the range of domestic staff you can hire is broad and somewhat bewildering. How do you know who you need? How do you find a gem among the dross?  

London's best private domestic staff agencies

If you don’t want to go through the complex and demanding process of advertising and interviewing potential staff only to discover that your new appointee is less than satisfactory, help is at hand.  

London has numerous specialist agencies dedicated to helping clients find the right staff to manage their households. These agencies have years of experience of matching carefully selected, highly trained household management staff with the individual needs of their clients.  

But how do you choose an agency? And what should you expect? 

First of all, any agency worth its salt will prioritise your safety. Any candidate they put forward will have been vetted according to the security procedures required in the UK and in any other country where you may require your staff to work. 

Next, the best agencies will give you a personal and selective approach. They will not simply send you a fistful of CVs and expect you to sift through them yourself. An advisor will meet you either in person or on the phone, as suits you. In complete confidence, they will discuss your needs and wishes to get a true understanding of your requirements.  

A good agency will have a large register of potential employees from which you can choose. However, sheer numbers are not enough. You need to be confident in how those butlers, chauffeurs and other staff got onto the agency’s list.  

The best agencies have rigorous selection procedures. They interview all potential staff before accepting them for placement, they demand relevant qualifications, take up all references and, in many cases, demand a significant length of experience in the role for which the candidate is seeking work. 

UK employment law is complex, and a good agency will support you as you begin to put contracts into place with your new staff. The agency’s advisor will help you to ensure that your new employee is legally entitled to work in the UK, and that the contracts you agree accord with UK law with regards to income tax, national insurance, and all the other complications of which you might fall foul. 

The best agencies will also offer a guarantee of satisfaction. In some cases, this will be ten weeks, but occasionally it will be as long as seven months.  

Here’s a list of the best agencies in or near Belgravia: 

  • The Graham Agency has offices in Berkeley Square.  
  • Perfect Household Staff, the agency offers a seven-month guarantee and has offices all around Central London, including in Mayfair.  
  • Hutchinsons has offices near Victoria Station. 
For more Information
There are many other agencies too. Why not get in touch and see if we can give you a lead from our experience with other buyers and lessees in the area? 

Giles Cook

Giles recently joined Best Gapp in 2017 as Partner Designate and Head of Residential Agency, bringing over 20 years’ experience to the firm. Following a three-year stint as an Area Director for Foxtons, he went on to head up Chestertons’ sales and lettings operations in central London, before becoming a Partner at top Knightsbridge boutique WA Ellis.

All articles by Giles Cook


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