1. Does Sidekick have household support available on a short-term basis?

In the past, the notion of a Household Manager or Personal Assistant seemed like an exclusive luxury. Sidekick was designed to give more households access to personal assistance. Therefore, our model incorporates both short-term and long-term support. You can hire a Sidekick for 1 day, a week or two or three, for months at a time or as your permanent ongoing hire! You may need help on-demand for a last minute, time sensitive errand that you just don’t have the ability to get to. You may need help for a couple weeks over the hectic holiday season with decorating, gift wrapping, or online returns. You may need help coming home from the hospital to make sure the day-to-day continues to run smoothly while you recover. Whatever your needs, Sidekick can help.

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2. Do Sidekicks also provide child care?

Sidekick is a brand under The Nanny Network company umbrella. The same team who has successfully matched child care providers and families since 1995 now is equipped to help busy households find the support they need at home. In the case that you have children, over the age of 5, it is likely we can find a Family Assistant for you, through our nanny agency, who can tend to household management as well as child care. Family Assistants earn between $22-25 per hour. If your children are under the age of 5, we suggest a nanny for the child care responsibilities and a Sidekick for the household responsibilities.

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3. How do I start the process of getting a Sidekick?

The first step in getting a Sidekick is to decide which Sidekick service bests suits your needs (Shorty, Steady or Super) and then complete the corresponding online application. Once you complete the application, you will be prompted to read and agree to our terms of service in addition to submitting your registration fee via PayPal. Once those three items are taken care of, a member from either our Short-term Placement or Long-term Placement team will contact you about next steps.

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4. What are the fees associated with your service?

Our fees vary based on the level of support you need. For temporary support, there is a daily placement fee ranging from $25-35 for each day you book a Sidekick. You then need to pay your Sidekick the designated hourly rate which ranges from $18-20 per hour. There are discounts for long-term temporary contracts (i.e., Sidekick Steady) ranging from 15-30% if fees are paid up front. If you are looking to make a permanent hire, the fee corresponds to your selected service level. For our Classic Service clients, there is a flat placement fee of $3450-4450, depending on where you live. For our Concierge Service clients, the placement fee is equal to 15% of the gross annual salary. Super Sidekick offers the option to pay your placement fee in 3-month installments at a premium rate of 10%.

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5. How long does it take to find a Sidekick?

For permanent hires, we suggest planning for the search to take approximately 3 to 6 weeks. A Temporary hire usually takes less time, in some cases as little as one day.

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6. How much do Sidekicks get paid?

Our pure household assistants (a.k.a. a “Sidekick Shorty” or “Sidekick Steady”) who work on a temporary basis make a flat hourly rate of either $18 or $20 (varies by market) and are paid directly by you as their household employer. Payroll taxes apply once you cross the threshold of $1000 in a calendar quarter or $2000 in a calendar year.

If you are in need of household support and child care, you are likely looking for a Family Assistant and our sister agency, The Nanny Network, can help! Family Assistants earn between $22 and $24 per hour (varies by market).

Super Sidekicks do purely household management work and our your designated household employee. Super Sidekicks are paid between $15-25 per hour, depending on where you live and the range of responsibilities that your Sidekick will be assigned to. The hourly rate should be negotiated directly between you and the candidate.

Sidekick has partnered with a household employment payroll service, HomeWork Solutions, that can set you up as a household employer with the IRS and manage your payroll, and service fees, for your Sidekick. Because of our partnership, these services are available for Sidekick clients at a discounted rate.

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7. What will a Sidekick do?

Sidekicks are trained to be helpful in any way possible to make a household run smoothly. Most often, they offer household support in the form of laundry service, errand service, grocery shopping, simple meal prep, household management projects and pet care. That being said, they are not equipped to do certain things, including child care (see FAQ #2), medical care or transportation of any people. While they will tidy things up, they also do not provide house cleaning services. If you are in need of child care, our sister agency, The Nanny Network, can help!

Other services maybe available upon request.

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8. Are Sidekicks trained?

Sidekicks are trained by the agency staff in areas of laundry service, errand service, household organization and simple meal prep. We will provide you with a guidebook that will help you when you hire a Sidekick, to provide the important and necessary instructions and details regarding the way you’d like things done.

Your Sidekick will also come equipped with a Sidekick Playbook that will help guide the work performed as well as store all of your important household information and procedures in one place. This manual of sorts will include all of your preferred vendors along with recommended service providers (including their contact information), home safety and security information, emergency procedures, maintenance schedules, in addition to important family member information. 

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9. How does payment work for errands/purchases that a Sidekick may run on my behalf?

If you need a Sidekick Shorty to perform a one-off errand on your behalf, you will need to communicate the payment details directly with your Sidekick. Perhaps you call the store ahead of time to pre-pay for it with your credit card. Perhaps the store can send you a bill. Perhaps you send the required funds to your Sidekick in advance via Venmo or Paypal and then your Sidekick can use her own method of payment. Be sure to clarify these details with our Staffing Specialist as well as your Sidekick and make it a priority so that your Sidekick isn’t asked to pay for anything out of pocket and be reimbursed. That is not a comfortable Sidekick situation.

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10. Does Sidekick offer payroll services?

Sidekick has partnered with a tried and true household employment payroll service, HomeWork Solutions, that can set you up as a household employer with the IRS and manage your payroll and service fees for your Sidekick. Because of our partnership with HWS, these services are available for Sidekick clients at a discounted rate.

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11. What areas do you service?

Sidekick services the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas. Generally we service a 20 mile radius around both city centers.

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12. What happens if a Sidekick that we hire through your service doesn’t work out?                               
Placements of Super Sidekicks come with a 90-day or 120-day replacement policy for our Classic and Concierge services, respectively. In order to validate any replacement policy, our clients are required to have a signed written work agreement with their Sidekick, returned to us within 5 days of the Sidekick’s start date. Permanent placement fees are non-refundable; however a partial to full credit will be offered if a client terminates a Sidekick within the replacement period. This credit is then utilized to cover the placement fee for your replacement Sidekick (one replacement only).

Upon request, our permanent clients can opt to pay a premium and pay the placement fee in 3-month installments. This allows for some flexibility when making a permanent hire and provides the opportunity to get a good feel for how things are going to go with your Super Sidekick before committing to the entire fee.

For our temporary placements, our Staffing Specialists will book either a “Sidekick Shorty” or a “Sidekick Steady” on your behalf who we think will do a phenomenal job based on the information you have provided in your needs assessment. We will carefully match the skills required with the candidate’s skill sets to set the relationship up for complete success. In the event you are unhappy with your Sidekick, simply let us know and we will book another Sidekick who is a better fit. A member of our staff is available from 7 am-9 pm Monday-Friday, 10 am - 2 pm on Saturdays and Sundays from 5-9 pm in case you need a back-up or replacement for your scheduled Sidekick.

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13. How trustworthy are your Sidekicks?

Candidates complete an extensive application and questionnaire as their first step in applying to Sidekick. Sidekicks must meet our minimum requirements, which include a strong track record of dependability and organization, and multiple character and professional references, in order to proceed. Sidekicks must also be able to work legally in the United States.
For those who qualify, Sidekick then conducts comprehensive face-to-face interviews and detailed reference checks. Finally, a criminal background check, covering each county in which the candidate has lived in for the last 7 years, is performed. Additional background checks are available upon request, including driving record, drug test, and ongoing quarterly criminal background checks.

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14. What if my Sidekick needs to take care of something personal and isn’t available?

Sidekick has a back-up support team so that you will rarely be in a position where no one is available to help. With sufficient notice, we can arrange someone who can substitute for your regular Sidekick. Our staff is super responsive and eager to help in those potentially stressful situations.

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15. Do Sidekicks clean?

Our Sidekicks do not provide deep cleaning services, however they can help keep a house tidy. We do not recommend our services if you are in need of regular cleaning help.