The Importance of Vetting
What is vetting?
Vetting simply means the procedures we follow in order to verify a candidate’s background. It is a vital part of the recruitment process, helping to determine if they’ll be a good fit for the proposed household, if they have the right skillset, personality and work ethic for the particular role, and indeed if the role is suitable for the candidate. At a basic level it also confirms the candidate is who they say they are, and that their CV is credible and reflective of their experience.
How we conduct vetting
It is essential to check a period of a minimum of five consecutive years before proceeding with a placement. For those candidates without consecutive experience (for example those who have done multiple temporary roles, with gaps in between), we will verify their prior placements and conduct a character check.
All the checks are conducted in the strictest confidence by telephone, and usually backed up in writing via email. Details of these conversations are written down and shared with potential employers, with clear permission from the referee and the candidate. When we are provided with written references, these are verified verbally by telephone. Naturally, we have the utmost respect for candidates and referees alike, and we understand that references cannot usually be taken up for a current role until notice has been given. We always conduct these calls at the appropriate time, once given permission to do so.
Where there are children or vulnerable adults in a household, in order to place a candidate into such a role we will need to apply for the appropriate DBS/background checks, according to the country and region.
The importance of vetting
The interview process begins at the moment of application. Candidates are made aware that vetting is a fundamental part of the placement process, and without doing this thoroughly we will not be able to be of assistance to them. To this end, we ask our candidates to be as transparent and co-operative as possible in order to streamline the process.
Some candidates might have NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements) in place, however they need to understand that this does not exempt them from the vetting process. Most of the candidates we work with will have signed an NDA at some point due to the nature of working in UHNW (Ultra-High Net Worth) households – however we will still need to speak, confidentially of course, with those employers.
Our director Elvie Dakin, who has worked extensively with notable UHNW clients, says that absolutely no-one is exempt from the vetting process. Even Royal households have dedicated departments for vetting and confirmation of employment.
Tinique Kluyts, our analyst, works alongside the directors and assists closely with all aspects of verification. She tells us she finds it incredibly challenging when candidates withhold information, or are not as forthcoming as they could be. She says this is a hindrance to the interview process and is likely to have a major negative impact on the success of a potential placement.
We asked Tania Pomroy-Smith, founder and director of Mayfair Nannies, with whom we often collaborate on complex projects with a strong educational bias, for her thoughts on this subject. She told us,
“When it comes to hiring employees to work in private households, vetting candidates is crucial. Not only will this ensure that the individuals hired are trustworthy, reliable, and honest, but it is also a way of protecting your personal belongings, the privacy of your family and safeguarding your children.
It is important to thoroughly check the references and background of potential employees, as well as conducting an interview to gauge their character. Hiring the wrong person could have serious consequences, so taking the time to thoroughly examine candidates is an essential step in the hiring process. By properly vetting applicants, you can have peace of mind knowing that your household is in capable and safe hands. ”