The easiest and best way to find household staff for a luxury home is to work with one of the top domestic staffing agencies. Indeed, household staff are a luxury in properties around the world and are not merely exclusive to affluent individuals and families.
Note that many households employ live-in housekeepers and live-in nannies to make it possible to run a business. Without access to household staff, it can be quite hard for a family with two working parents to function normally.
Have it in mind that where there are wealth and luxury assets, there’s a need for management, maintenance, and upkeep. Estate managers and private service professionals offer their principal the opportunity to be assured that their property, yacht, or family is in the best possible hands.
How Many Household Staff Members are needed for a Luxury Home?
According to reports, the general rule for staff size is one housekeeper for every 3,000 square feet. But that’s not all. Most times, the homeowner (referred to as the “principal”) has needs beyond just a clean house. Nonetheless, here is a rundown of the various positions that may be required in a luxury home:
Household Staff Members Needed for a Luxury Home
This is mainly a chief administrator that acts as the general manager of a luxury home. They manage and supervise staff and oversee areas such as smaller vacation homes, vineyards, stable, yacht, and private jet. They are also responsible for budgets and household accounts.
Note that some homes require lady’s maids, chamber maids, kitchen maids, parlor maids, and/or upstairs maids. More common in luxury homes, these positions are more or less tasked with cleaning and maintaining one particular area of the home.
Lady’s maids or personal maids may be needed to do an employer’s hair, help her dress and undress, pack for trips, and keep her clothes in order.
The butler is more or less the most formal member of the domestic staff. Many desirable candidates will have attended a specialized school for butler training and have a certificate in wine specialization.
Have it in mind that a butler is well versed in etiquette, caring for silver, china, and crystal, and overseeing dinner parties and other events. They are also responsible for supervising other members of the household staff.
A private chef prepares detailed menus and food for an individual or family and their social events. Note that they are tasked with anything food or kitchen-related, including organization, clean up, shopping for all food-related supplies, and menu planning.
In addition, a private chef will hold a degree from a reputable culinary school and some have specializations in specific diets- vegan and gluten-free, as well as specific cuisines – French, Asian, etc.
A Housekeeper is tasked with running the home, which may include overseeing other employees, cleaning, doing the laundry, ironing, dusting, silver polishing, vacuuming, and running errands.
Their duties may also include some meal preparation and/or child care duties. A trained housekeeper will bring their knowledge base of formal serving, table setting, organizing, and high-quality care for furniture and artwork. Housekeepers can live in or out.
Note that a Laundress washes, irons and steams clothing, table linens, and sheets, as well as organize the closets and dressers.
They will often be able to mend clothing and have knowledge of caring for luxurious fabrics and trims. In addition, they may be required to care for the polishing of shoes.
A personal assistant is tasked with keeping up with the social and professional demands of the principal. Duties may differ from managing the family calendar, personal shopping, event planning, and handling bills, investments, and bookkeeping. Generally, the personal assistant should be highly discreet and understand the “around the clock” nature of the position.
Have it in mind that a married couple, usually one person is tasked with the inside of the home: cleaning, cooking, shopping, menu planning, laundry, serving, and overseeing the daily activities of the house.
The other person is tasked with the outside grounds, gardening, light maintenance, repair and maintenance of machinery, and automobile care.
Together a domestic couple can run one large home successfully and can often save the employer from needing to hire multiple staff. Housing is usually provided.
They may be in full charge of the outside and inside of the home, including salt and freshwater pools and guest houses. Caretakers will have a wide and deep practical knowledge of property and grounds maintenance and often require sound handyman/maintenance skills: plumbing, carpentry, and painting.
A Caretaker also oversees the care and repair of the automobiles and other equipment (lawn mowers, snow blowers, etc.).
Well experienced Gardeners often have a degree in horticulture and care for the estate’s formal gardens, landscaping, and greenhouses. They will also supervise outside vendors and order supplies and equipment.
Where to Find the Best Household Staff for a Luxury Home
If you’re ready to staff up, then it is imperative you work with one of the top domestic staffing agencies. Nonetheless, here are the top agencies to find experienced and professional domestic staff.
The Lindquist Group
Well known as one of the nation’s oldest and best domestic staffing agencies, The Lindquist Group has personal notes of thanks and commendations from the likes of Roosevelt, Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Ford.
From 1890 onward, these illustrious men and women—giants of industry, great patrons of the arts, the doyennes of culture and society—trusted the founding partners for all their domestic staffing needs.
Note that they have offices in Greenwich, New York City, Palm Beach, and Miami. Coupled with having extensive experience and an unrivaled number of staffing specialties, their selection process is among the most exclusive.
British American Household Staffing
With offices in New York, Hollywood, San Francisco, London, and Palm Beach, British American Household Staffing (BAHS) are known to serve high-net worth principals and their families with a team of 23 highly educated and sophisticated recruiters.
They are a preferred vendor for Morgan Stanley. Also note that they maintain strong ties within the yachting world, staffing major yachting events, including the Monaco Yacht Show.
One standout feature of this agency is its training program and short-term workshops to update the skills of domestic staff candidates.
Owner Vincent Minuto, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, has worked in the domestic field for over 30 years as a chef and estate manager. Therefore, he brings true insider expertise to his agency.
Note that Hampton Domestics places staff not only in New York, Palm Beach, and The Hamptons, but also nationwide and abroad. Minuto is particularly notable for long term placements.
He also follows up with clients even after initial placements, to advise on employee-employer relationships, salary negotiations, and any other concerns.
For over 20 years, woman-owned agency Household Staffing has placed hundreds of high-caliber staff into positions in the homes of celebrities, politicians, and other affluent families.
Note that they are a preferred provider to Berkshire Hathaway clients and a trusted partner to Keller William clients as well. With offices in Pennsylvania and New York City, they specialize in nationwide placements.
From their extensive databases, Household Staffing is able to present 5+ potential candidates from which their clients can choose.
A well known leader in the field of personal service since 1962, Pavillion Agency has grown to be the largest household staffing agency in the U.S., with offices throughout major cities.
They can indeed solve the riddle of how to find household staff members, and how many household staff roles are required.
In addition, their expertise is regularly sought in stories about the wealthy and their domestic staff in publications like The New York Times, Business Insider, Town and Country, and Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
The agency can also provide one source payroll processing and comprehensive HR services dedicated to the household staffing industry, alleviating the common burdens of hiring staff in the first place.
The easiest and best way to find household staff for a luxury home is to work with one of the top domestic staffing agencies.
However, although these agencies will be able to provide you with most of the guidance you need for determining how many household staff are required and narrowing down qualified candidates according to your lifestyle, nothing can replicate your own “gut feeling.”