Category: News

AJA Partnerships have lifted restrictions on recruiting

We are delighted to announce that we will carefully recruit private household staff once again as the world slowly and cautiously emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. We have reviewed the government guidelines at length, and we will ensure that we are taking the necessary steps to safeguard the health of our clients and their employees.

Over the upcoming months, we will insist on following the astute guidelines below to maintain the wellbeing of all parties:

  • Video conference facilities such as Zoom and Skype will be invaluable for the interviewing process
  • Candidates will wash their hands on arrival and maintain a 2 metre distance from all household members
  • Where possible, staff should open windows to ventilate rooms where they are working
  • No work should be carried out if staff are showing signs of feeling unwell and displaying symptoms of the Coronavirus; a high temperature, a new or continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense and smell. And this also applies to the household staff; please don’t employ staff if you are feeling unwell
  • If anyone in a household are isolating or individuals are shielding, then no work should take place

We ask you to please use your judgement. If you’re not well, don’t put yourself or others at risk.

If you are looking to recruit private household staff, please contact us and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss your requirements.

Don’t forget Father’s Day – 21st June!

Why are the men in our lives so notoriously difficult to buy for? If you are still struggling to find a thoughtful present, then look no further. We have found some inspirational and aspirational gift ideas to share with you for Father’s Day 2020.

The Sporty Dad

Giorgio Armani have partnered with Wilson to create a range of striking and sophisticated sportswear and accessories. This Emporio Armani Basketball is a chic addition to any home gym.

Armani Basketball - Father's Day ideas 2020
Emporio Arnami Basketball, £54

The Tech Obsessed

Any tech savvy Dad would appreciate the Mavic 2 Pro this Father’s Day. This drone allows you to capture everything from wide angle to mid-range shots, as well as high performance video.

Mavic 2 Pro Drone - Father's Day gift ideas
Mavic 2 Pro Drone £1,349
The ‘High Roller’

Give your favourite ‘high roller’ this exquisite Tiffany Travel Poker Set. We bet they can’t keep their poker face when they receive this gift.

Tiffany Poker set, Father's Day gift ideas
Tiffany Poker Set, £2,600
The ‘fail safe’ gift

If these gifts aren’t quite right for the father figure in your life, then you really can’t go wrong with a classic gift: slippers. These black suede slippers are made in Italy and are lined with cashmere. Slippers are the gift that keeps on giving.

Thom Sweeney slippers, Fathers Day ideas
Thom Sweeney, £320
For the man who has everything

There are some Fathers that we know who really do have everything! So why not treat them to a couture cocktail experience. Mr Lyan provides a bespoke service, any where in the world, and naturally by appointment only. The service includes a tailormade bottled cocktail, served in a hand-labeled bottle.

Mr Lyan - custom cocktail. Father's Day gift ideas
Mr Lyan, prices from £10,000

Mindfulness through Interior Design

We are always looking for new ways to practice mindfulness, especially in these uncertain times. Many individuals are taking this period of self-isolation to look at ways that they can make changes to their home. Small and simple changes to surroundings can help to improve mental health and create a calm and relaxing environment.

We asked Interior Designer, Sanne Kassies, for her top tips on creating a more serene space at home which can make life a little less stressful and can have a big impact on mindfulness!

Keep it simple

If you are looking to make some small and simple changes, then have a play around with your decorative items. If you have over-looked an oversized vase, then now is the time to pay it some attention. Think about styling vases with freshly cut flowers or branches from your garden. Then match it with a few smaller items like some candles and/or some eye-catching books.  

A fast way to make an impact is by exchanging cushions or throws on your bed or sofa. Adding in new colours or textures can create a more interesting feel and generate a different energy in the room. Using certain colours in your décor can really help with mindfulness. Try choosing soft colours found in nature to help provide you with balance in your home.

Placing artwork
Updating your home with a gallery wall

Consider swapping your artwork around or create a gallery wall of your most precious photo’s or prints. There are a lot of ways to make this work and the internet can be a great source of inspiration for layouts. If you have a large or oversized artwork, try placing it in or at the end of you hallway. This will add a lot of interest to a very often overlooked area of the house. Your eyes will be drawn to it and the space suddenly becomes much more inviting.

Console table - how to practice mindfulness through interior design
Creating an atmosphere

If you are looking to create more of a dramatic change, then start by looking at your larger pieces of furniture that you intend to keep. For the time being, forget about the decorative items as you can match them with your new layout afterwards. Sometimes furniture is placed along the walls of the room or space, but often a room will look much more interesting by doing the opposite.  I love to place a console table or cabinet along the back to the sofa which is a great place for decoration and if needed some extra storage.

If you have an open bookshelf (or a tall cabinet that looks good from both sides), try and turn it 90 degrees so the short side is turned against the wall. This way you create a kind of room divider and the open shelving will still allow light to flow in. Interestingly, a space can feel bigger when you have to look past something and it again can be a great way to create interest and to accentuate a zone. You might have to play around with the decoration but that is all part of the fun as it will change the look even more.  Tip: Adding some overhanging plants on some of the shelves will help to add warmth and a homely feel to the scheme.

Mindfulness outdoors

Don’t underestimate what a positive impact the outdoors can play in terms of mindfulness. A great way to spice up your garden lounge- or dining area is to add an outdoor rug. They are made of hard wearing material and are easy to clean. They can also remain outside in any weather condition and season. Add a few colour matching cushions, a throw and summer here we come. A great way to add some cosiness to this extended living space and a perfect spot to relax and practice mindfulness.

Outdoor interior design - ways to practice mindfulness

There are lots of interesting suppliers who are still trading online at this time. Many are continuing their business according to governments safety guidelines, online with their delivery services.

Recruitment during Covid-19

As the world continues to change daily in relation to Covid-19 we wanted to reassure you how business is changing in the recruitment industry.  The UK government guidelines are now for social limiting, including meetings and gatherings, and socializing with people outside of your family.  This has had as I’m sure you can imagine a huge knock-on effect with recruitment. 

Although our candidates who are looking for work, are very happy to interview with you over video calls, it would be inappropriate for us to allow meetings to occur.

Therefore, in light of recent UK government guidelines, and to ensure the health and well being of all our candidates and clients, we are going to be putting a hold on recruitment.  


In the meantime, if you have any questions at all, we can be reached via email – although we will be working reduced hours so please do bear with us if you can’t reach us straight away.

We will be pursuing recruitment in full force once the government advises us it is safe to do so, and we would love to help you with a new job.  In the meantime, please stay safe and we look forward to hearing from you in the hopefully not too distant future.

Planning an event during the Coronavirus outbreak

The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has caused the events, hospitality, and leisure industries into turmoil. Many brides are wondering if their big day will go ahead as planned in 2020. If you are in the midst of rescheduling your wedding or event, then it may be time to hire an event planner.

Yesterday news broke that Princess Beatrice who was due to marry in May 2020 has officially ‘cancelled’ her wedding due to the coronavirus. But instead of ‘cancelling’ an event whether it is a wedding or a major celebration, there is the option to postpone instead.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B23uLfvn8Y3/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Princess Beatrice and Mr Mapelli Mozzi

There are benefits of postponing rather than cancelling an event as there are less financial implications. Most vendors will transfer the date of your event and will still use your existing deposit. This will eradicate the need to charge a second fee.

Remember that you have to be proactive with rescheduling any event. Competition will be high for any dates that are available once the restrictions on large gatherings have been lifted.

Hiring an event planner

Planning an event on a large scale can be incredibly stressful and this could be the perfect time to hire an event planner to help to reduce some of the anxiety and burden. Hiring help will allow you to refocus on the celebration, rather than crisis management.

Event planners will have an endless list of contacts that they can draw upon if your original vendor or supplier is no longer available. If you are planning a destination wedding or event, the event planner can also assist with travel management for your guests.

Choose a less popular day of the week

Some brides deliberately planned a long engagement so that they could have a wedding specifically with the 2020 date. If you are intent on getting married this year, then you could possibly choose a less popular day of the week to get married, rather than moving your event until 2021.

If you are rescheduling your event to a different season than what you had planned, you may need to rethink your original colour scheme, décor or catering to suit the season.

Invitations

If you haven’t printed your invitations or stationary, then perhaps this could be postponed. It is vital that all vendors have confirmed they are available for your new proposed date. And don’t forget to make sure the date suits key members of the bridal party! If your invitations or ‘save the dates’ have been sent, use this time to call attendees on the guest list to explain the situation. Then you can always follow up with a revised invitation or letter in the post.

Don’t forget that the events industry wants to assist you in making your big day everything that you have dreamed of.

If you are looking to hire a private event planner, then we would love to assist you. Please contact us and a member of our events team will be in touch.

Roast Lamb recipes perfect for Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday is traditionally a time where we gather family and friends and enjoy a sumptuous feast. And for many, Easter Sunday is synonymous with roast lamb, so we wanted to share some exquisite recipes from top chefs to give you some inspiration this bank holiday.

Lamb loin with parmesan risotto

Unlike a traditional roast, this lamb loin is served on a bed of creamy Parmesan risotto. Wilted spinach, roast shallots, wild mushrooms and olives accompanies this roasted lamb loin perfectly.

Slow-roasted lamb, smoked aubergines, and grilled Swiss chard

This stunning slow-roasted lamb shoulder is infused with juniper berries, bay leaves and red wine. And it is paired with aubergine puree, swiss chard, a light anchovy crumb and a drizzle of homemade garlic oil.

Kentish loin of lamb

This lamb dish is the most simple of the recipes so it is ideal for those who perhaps aren’t used to cooking or comfortable in the kitchen. It is served with potatoes, spring onions, peas and broad beans and is an elegant way to roast lamb this Easter weekend.

Please contact us if you are looking to plan an event in the future that requires a private chef and or hospitality staff. We have a team of experienced private chefs and cooks that can help you create the perfect event. Whether it is an intimate dinner, or a larger event, we can assist you with recruiting private domestic staff across London, Surrey and the UK.

Luxury Natural Cleaning Products for your Home

Spring is traditionally the time in the UK to freshen our homes and prepare for the seasons ahead. Here are some of our favourite luxury natural cleaning products on the market.

Caring for delicate fabrics

Laundress is an American eco-friendly brand that specialises in detergent, fabric care and home cleaning products. Their ‘Wool and Cashmere Shampoo’ keeps your delicate clothes in the best possible condition – a god send at the moment whilst the dry cleaners are closed!

Laundress, Wool and Cashmere Shampoo
Available at Selfridges

The Sweater Stone was designed epecially to help remove pilling and lint from your clothes. The natural pumice renews the finish of jumpers, cardigans, blankets and upholstery. And we think it is an essential addition to any laundry room or wardrobe to help keep your clothes looking good for longer.

Non-toxic products for the kitchen and home

Tincture is a London based brand which has created a range of high performance, natural cleaning products. All the ingredients are 100% natural, sustainable and non-toxic. And best of all, the products are safe to use around babies, children and pets. Essential oils and botanical extracts are key ingredients in these products and they’re chemical free too!

Ashley & Co. is another luxury brand who have created a range of beautiful products that are naturally plant based. They’re also 100% biodegradable and free of SLS & parabens.

‘Benchpress’ is an all round surface spray which includes essential oils like citrus, clove bud and cinnamon bark. It is effective without the use of harsh ingredients; is gentle on skin and leaves surfaces spotless and fresh.

Reusable Towels

These reusable and sustainably sourced Bamboo Reusable Towels from Eco Egg completely replace the need for paper towels in your kitchen and home. Each sheet becomes softer and more absorbent with each wash. They won’t scratch any surfaces or leave any lint or residue and can be used for both wet spills and on dry surfaces. And for every pack sold, the company promise to Plant a Tree with Ripple Africa.

A guide to domestic staff

Private Domestic Staff

Domestic staff play an important role in maintaining the smooth running of private households. We work with each client to truly understand their needs and requirements which enables us to place the perfect employees for your home.

What’s the difference between domestic staff and housekeepers?

‘Domestic staff’ is the broad term which encompass all staff that are employed by a residential home. Housekeepers will fall into this category as they are a type of domestic worker.

How many members of domestic staff do I need?

It really is dependent on your lifestyle and the size of your house or estate. We can work with you to guide you on the number of private staff members that you may need. We place all types of domestic workers: Butlers, Chauffeurs, Private Chefs, House Manager, Housekeepers, Domestic Couples and Groundsmen.

Some clients express a need for domestic workers to live in, others prefer for staff to live out. Sometimes it is possible to consolidate several tasks with a ‘Domestic Couple’. The duo would be able to cover a full range of roles, both inside and outside the home.

How do I manage domestic employees? 

Our luxury domestic employees are fully trained and will have a wide range of experience working for clients in private homes.  However, each client has different expectations, so ensure that you walk through your home with the staff member on day one and fully explain what you require from them. To create a smooth working relationship, make sure that the brief is fully understood. 

How should I treat domestic staff?

Sometimes domestic workers often become an extension of your family, so we encourage you to treat any employee with the utmost respect.

How do I recruit domestic staff?

At AJA Partnership, we recruit the highest quality of domestic employees. We ensure that references and checks have been made so that you have complete peace of mind, and recruiting is a stress free process. Please contact us today and we will be happy to help you find the perfect candidate for your home.

How to host a virtual interview

Luxury marble desk with laptop, great space to conduct virtual interviews
Image credit – Roses Interior

Virtual interviews are an excellent way in which we can recruit for domestic and household staff in these current times of self-isolation and social distancing. We have put together a short guide which could useful for both interviewer and interviewees.

Scheduling

It’s important that the time and date has been properly scheduled and communicated to both parties. And if you have any queries, please check details ahead of time to make sure that the call runs smoothly, and it will avoid any unnecessary rescheduling.

Most virtual interviews will take place using Skype, WhatsApp video call, Zoom or Facetime; so it is vital that both parties check that they have an account to the relevant software. The log in details and passwords should be easily accessible so that you can log in promptly when the call is due to commence.

The Basics

Make sure that you have a fully charged battery to minimise any disruption during the interview.

We advise that you find a quiet space to conduct the call so that any unnecessary background noise is kept to a minimum.

Make sure that you are sitting still and facing the camera and find somewhere suitable to rest your laptop/mobile so that there is limited movement. This will make the interview run smoothly and avoid any disturbance for both parties.

Try to limit multitasking whilst the video call or interview is taking place, and make sure that you are fully engaged in the conversation at all times.

Our candidates will approach the interview dressed as they would for a face to face interview. They will be well briefed on the job description and what the client is expecting from the role.

Tips for Interviewer

Be prepared and review your questions ahead of time and make sure that you are going to cover all aspects of the job role.

If you can, use the same question for all candidates so that you know that you are interviewing all candidates fairly.

Tips for Interviewee

Practice making sure that you are comfortable in front of a camera. Use a mirror to rehearse or record yourself and play the recording back. It will be easy to spot any habits that the client may find distracting.

Look at the camera and make eye contact at all times.

It would be advisable to have a glass of water to hand in case you are suffering from any stage fright!

If you are seeking your next role, please view our current vacancies here.

Luxury gift ideas for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is almost upon us, and what better time to show the important lady in your life how much she means to you!

We have put together our top tips to buying a perfect present this Mother’s Day, as well as showcasing some of our favourite luxury gift ideas…

  • First of all, it is important that you take into consideration the taste and style of the recipient. Don’t buy a gift that you would like to receive; it should demonstrate that you know their tastes and personality
  • Secondly, remember that it is the final touches that can make a big difference. Always make sure that the gift is well presented and it should be placed within a gift bag with tissue paper or decorated with a ribbon tie. Make sure that the present includes a gift tag, and perhaps the gift receipt
  • To avoid causing any offence, it is advisable to gift an item that isn’t size dependant – accessories are a great option in our opinion
  • Finally, the most important thing to remember is that regifting is never appropriate!

We think that these luxury gift ideas will make the perfect present this Mother’s Day.

Burberry Grainy Leather AirPods Case, the perfect luxury gift for Mother's Day
Burberry Leather Airpod Case
Chloe Darcey Earrings
Chloé Darcey earrings
YSL Lou Belt Bag
YSL Lou Belt Bag
Chanel Camélia Ajouré necklace
Chanel Camélia Necklace
Mulberry Postman's Lock Agenda - a gorgeous luxury gift idea for Mother's Day
Mulberry Postman’s Lock Agenda