Recruiting A Personal Assistant With Direct Payments

This guide covers:

  • Defining Your Needs
  • Creating a Job Listing
  • The Interview Process
  • Useful Resources

Selecting a carer to employ with your direct payments can be an overwhelming task. The personal assistant you choose needs to provide tailored care and support, making this an important decision that requires careful consideration.

The person you choose will play a vital role in your daily life and assist you with maintaining your health, safety and well-being. That is why it’s critical to take the time to clearly define your care needs and preferences, conduct a thoughtful hiring process, and choose someone who is truly a good match for you.

If managing your own care is not feasible, but you still receive direct payments, you can designate a nominated individual. This person can oversee the application process for direct payments, recruit caregivers on your behalf, and supervise their work.

To start, you should consider the type of care that you need. A personal assistant can provide anything from household help to healthcare support, allowing you to focus on what’s important.


Define Your Needs

Defining your needs and ideal candidate attributes is the first step. Some important things to consider are:

Creating A Job Listing

After you have assessed your needs and you have a clear idea of what you are looking for, it’s time to create the job description. Your job description should include the following: 

After you have created the job listing, it is time to post your ad on a reputable site such as, CommunityCareJobs, Helping Hands

Skills for Care have created some examples to assist you with this process:

Sample Job Adverts on Skills for Care

Sample Job Description and Person Specification

Sourcing a Carer

When seeking to employ a carer, you have a few different options to consider.

Firstly, you can hire independently if you already know someone who is a registered carer. If this isn’t the case, you can advertise the role on reputable recruitment sites such as Indeed, Linkedin or Glassdoor.

Hiring independently does come with its limitations, though. Unless your local authority has otherwise authorised it, you cannot employ a family member, spouse or partner who lives with you.

Using an Agency

You may decide to go down the agency route to assist you with your quest to find a carer. You have a few different options should you decide you need an extra hand sourcing your carer.

The main positives of this are that the agency will handle the responsibilities that come with being an employer such as their pay, holiday entitlement and tax.

However, as you can imagine, this comes at a cost. Not only a financial one, but it is likely that you won’t have much say over who provides your care and you won’t always have the same carer. Ensuring you research multiple agencies is recommended to help you find the best option.

The Interview Process

Once you start to receive your applications it’s time to analyse whether you think they are the right fit for the job. This includes vetting your potential employees by checking references, and qualifications and conducting an interview process. 

Sample Letter Inviting Somone to Interview

We advise that you choose to interview your potential employee over the phone or video call before you invite them into your home for the next stage. 

Once you have made your decision and your personal assistant has accepted the offer, you should make sure to let the other candidates know they have been unsuccessful.

Sample Letter Offering the Job

You now move on to Managing Your PA.

Useful Resources

We have collated some useful direct payment related resources to help you gain further knowledge about recruiting the most suitable personal assistant for your requirements.


This document is made up of a series of sample templates that have been put together by Skills for Care. Topics covered include job offer letters, holiday request forms and turning down a candidate.

Skills for Care: Sample Templates

Safe and Fair Recruitment Guide

This document from Skills for Care is a guide to the pre employment checks that you must do before taking on a new personal assistant. Topics discussed include employing someone with a criminal record, DBS checks and data protection.

Download Safe and Fair Recruitment Guide Access this file via Skills for Care

Recruiting A Personal Assistant

This booklet was designed by Skills for Care and it outlines all the steps you should be following when recruiting a PA along with anecdotal stories and useful links to aid you in your decision making process.

Download Recruiting a Personal Assistant Access this file via Skills for Care

Virtual Interviewing Tips

This document aims to explain the steps you should take when opting for a video call interview. This step is a sensible idea, especially for the initial meeting as it allows both parties to get a feel for each other without having to invite someone into your home.

Download Virtual Interview Tips Access this file via Skills for Care

Employing Young Workers

This document aims to highlight the gap in young people entering a career in care and the extra steps to take should you employ someone between the age of 16-17.

Download Employing Young Workers Access this file via Skills for Care

Employing Disabled Workers

The next topic discussed is understanding the importance of employing disabled workers within the adult healthcare sector. The document outlines myths around disability and employment as well as the steps to take when employing a disabled worker.

Download Employing Disabled Workers Access this file via Skills for Care


The information and files provided are intended for signposting purposes. We strive to keep them up-to-date, but it’s the user’s responsibility to double-check the latest versions and information directly on the referenced websites.

Websites used include: Skills for Care,