Sep 21

How to recruit a personal assistant as an individual employer

Posted: 2 September 2021

As part of our #RecruitmentReady spotlight we look at what individual employers need to know when recruiting a personal assistant.

Being an individual employer can help you to live independently and in a way that you choose. Personal assistants (PA) work for you so you decide what their responsibilities will be and when you’d like them to work. 

How to fund a personal assistant

You can use a personal budget from health and/or social care (direct payment or personal health budget) or your own money (also called self-funding) to pay for your personal assistant(s). 

You can find out more about personal health budgets and if you qualify for one on the NHS website.

Key things to think about before recruiting a personal assistant

It’s important to have a clear picture of what you want from a PA before you start the recruitment process, list the skills that you’d like your personal assistant to have, for example:

  • Do you want someone who can drive or has good communication skills?
  • Think about their values, for example, a sense of humour, patience or being able to use their initiative.
  • List the tasks that you’d like your personal assistant to do, such as, support at work, helping with personal care, attending social events, or making meals.
  • You might also want to think about your own cultural and religious needs and whether you want to employ someone who understands them.


Think long and hard about what you want your PA to be able to do and how you want them to support you, make a full list and that will help you to understand the type of person that you need.
– Nina, Individual Employer


Where to start when recruiting a personal assistant

Skills for Care has a PA toolkit which is designed to support individual employers to recruit, manage, and train their PAs. Booklet 1 ‘Recruiting a PA’ guides you through:

  • developing a job description and person specification
  • advertising the role
  • setting up an application
  • interviewing
  • completing all the correct checks for example, references and DBS.

We also have a webinar on ‘Understanding your responsibilities as an employer of a personal assistant’ which is supported with a useful resource list as well as some question and answers on the topic.

You can also hear first-hand from other individual employers about how they approached the recruitment process and how they used Skills for Care resources to guide them through it.


Visit our information hub for more information; you can also sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date on the latest guidance, resources and upcoming events.