Working with a Placement Agency

Finding a new position, especially in the private service industry, can be difficult to do alone. Some people start with referrals from other household employees or employers that are looking and asking their friends for recommendations while others try to network only to come up empty handed. You might have better success by adding the assistance of a placement agency or recruiter into your job search. Not only will they know the employer, they will be privy to the nuances and expectations as well as the hiring history. 

Types of Agencies

There are a few types of agencies that work in the field of placing private service professionals. You can reach out to several when looking for a new position but keep these thoughts in mind.

One such agency may specialize in domestic staffing of nanny or housekeeping services. They tend to be local and focused on local jobs and local candidates only. 

Meanwhile, a national agency or recruiter is likely to focus on positions across the United States for employers that will assist in relocation. These jobs will most often be of the management level for estates such as; chief of staff, estate managers, household managers, butlers, couples, chefs and personal assistants. 

The third type of agency is a hospitality firm. Their focus is staffing hotels and resorts, but they also will work with estates identifying General Managers from boutique hotels to manage their multiple estates and extensive staff.

The positions will probably be where there is a greater population of higher net worth residents such as New York/Tri-state or the San Francisco Bay Area as well as parts of Florida, Los Angeles, Chicago and many locations in Texas. Employers will look at locals first but many times they will be seeking A+ candidates for their management positions and thus, they will reach out beyond their own state. The position you’re seeking will largely drive the agencies you choose to work with. It’s important to do your research on a particular agency or recruiters before contacting them.

How a Placement Agency Works

Perspective employers hire agencies to market their positions to qualified individuals. The agency is tasked with finding people who will fit the roles to become valuable members of the household or estate. A reputable agency will gather information on a candidate long before they even consider presenting them to a potential employer. The NEED to get to know you is imperative.

In order to find the right person for the role, agencies will first go through their own database and networking base of individuals that match the position they are looking to fill.  If the job is narrow in scope, or if the employer is looking for someone *very special* the agency will have to do what is called a *hard recruit* and place ads on various job boards.

Identifying and qualifying candidates is imperative, much more so than in a corporate office. This is a private home and the need for security and confidentiality is essential. Information needs to be gathered prior to a presentation. It is paramount that the agency verifies your background as well as conducting a lengthy interview to get to know you, your talents and personality. This process will include gathering letters of recommendation, confirming employment, obtaining an up-to-date resume and references. A placement agency will work with you through these tasks to ensure your skills are clearly represented prior to introducing you to a client.

Advantages of Agencies                          

For a busy employer, it’s much easier to outsource the project of screening perspective staff to someone with experience.

Agencies have the advantage of seeing both sides of the coin. They know the needs required by the employers and what type of employees will work best with their team. A placement agency will work with employers to set expectations and identify the candidates that will be the right fit. This insight helps the agency tailor the job description to meet the service standards desired by the employer.

Working in the private service industry has its own unique set of expectations. These range from not only having experience in extremely large and complex residences but the necessity to having the right essence. Being professional is key but also having the right protocol and etiquette along with a touch of warmth.

A placement agency in the private service industry will be tasked with searching for jobs such as estate and household managers, personal assistants, financial officers, family office staff, chefs, security professionals, nannies, housekeepers, and butlers. They need to know what each of these positions encompass in order to be successful in finding the right match. The goal is to create a successful placement that becomes a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship.

We want people to become valued members of the staff and part of the ongoing smooth operations of the household. Working with an agency ensures a good fit in skills and personality. For an employee, this means placement in a home where you have the ability to truly shine.

Working with Feigon Hamilton

At Feigon Hamilton, we are passionate about our work. Our reputation proceeds us and follows us. We believe in partnering with our clients and candidates from the first phone call throughout the many years of employment.

We work with employers across the country to offer the expert solutions and A+ candidates that our clients have come to expect. Feigon Hamilton recruiters ensure that everyone has the right expectations in place before walking into a new estate or household.  We are available as coaches and confidants and can assuage challenges before they become problematic.  

These are the reasons why households and staff alike rely on Feigon Hamilton for their staffing needs. We work to make each placement a success for both employee and employer.

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Success comes while working with the right placement agency.


How to move into a new career or move up the ladder in the field you want?

Just a simple note or tip:

Watching a Ted Talk today, subject was, “Looking for a job? Highlight your ability, not your experience.” Jason Shen was the speaker.  What I gleaned from this video was that it is key for you to have examples of your work with you in the interview as it relates to the job you are interviewing for. Even if you are meeting “confidential employers” (meaning you can’t research a company or the principals) you know the job itself is going to have certain aspects. If you have not done the job before, do your research and still we suggest you come in with  examples of how you would do the job.

Recently we had a candidate scheduled for a phone chat with a hiring representative. The subject was about a new job they were formulating. They loved this candidate from previous interviews but didn’t have a job opening yet.  The conversation was more listening than talking but the take-away was that the candidate wasn’t prepared at all and they didn’t move forward.

How can you prepare for something you don’t know enough about?  Grab the title, look at job descriptions that are similar from postings on job sites and start your homework! Become comfortable with the terminology, the challenges, the expectations and you will be able to conduct yourself like a pro (even if you haven’t done that exact job.) When the conversation shifts to something similar to what you have done in the past, you can quickly add to the conversation highlighting your experience and skills as well as your IDEAS for developing the position – be it a Personal Assistant, Family Assistant, Chief of Staff or an Estate Manager – be present, be creative, be humble but have ideas and examples ready to share.

Do you want to talk more about this – send us an email and we can set up a quick call:

Feigon Hamilton wishes you much success in your career path!



5 Essential Skills to Interview for a Private Service Position

Staffing Estates and Family Offices since 2005

Interviewing for a private service position is different from interviewing with a corporation. The preparation process is largely the same. Check out our five essential skills to interview for a private service position. Then let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.


Once you secure an interview, the preparation really begins in earnest. Make sure to ask your recruiter when confirming the interview, who you’re going to be meeting. You also want to know what the suitable dress expectation is. You have the job description as well as your work history at hand. Clientele confidentiality will prevent research about your potential employer. You however can research the work it takes to do the job. For example, if you are interviewing at a household with an aircraft, learn what it takes to manage that aircraft.  This applies to a position on a yacht, an ocean front home or even an extremely high-tech home. It is important to research the position and become familiar with all terms and expectations.


Once you have a good understanding of the private service position you’ll be interviewing for, review your resume for the experience and specific skills the principals are looking for. It often helps during the interview to tell stories of times where you’ve demonstrated a specific skill or project. Think through these in advance or write them down so you’ll be able to offer them when asked. A personal chef, for example, can discuss balancing dietary needs, fussy young eaters, and the tastes of the principals. A personal assistant can choose a story that highlights efficiency and creative problem solving. Be prepared for the private service position you are applying for.


Be proactive. Make sure you calculate enough time for traffic, parking and any security checks. The person hiring you is likely busy. Ringing the bell of an estate earlier than the appointed time is intrusive. Show your attention to detail and your respect of their time by waiting in your car until the scheduled interview. Entering a lobby of an office building five to ten minutes early is appropriate. Once you’ve arrived, if you have a few minutes before meeting your interviewer, use the time wisely. You can observe the ambiance of the home, and the staff if they are present. Do be polite and respectful of any staff you meet. Do not engage in conversation beyond a cordial hello and brief introduction.


Working in a home or estate setting, you’ll be interacting with the principals, their family, friends and household staff. This is the opportunity to do what you love in private service position. Dress appropriately, professionally and carry yourself with decorum. Much of the success of a personal service professional is being aware of your audience. If you meet with the hiring representative for the principal, their questions are likely to be the point and exacting. Keep your answers equally to the point and exacting. Some employers and positions need a meticulous personality. They may be expecting you to ask questions, and fully understand a project. Others are looking for someone who can juggle many different responsibilities and make independent judgement calls quickly.


Get greater insight on the job. Prepare a list of questions for your employer.  Get a briefing from your recruiter. This will help provoke a vision, an overview or basically the “world view” of your potential employer’s lifestyle and needs. Prepare a concise “elevator speech” about your work history to share with your interviewer. You will quickly discover how you might fit with their team as a leader or a support person.

When you prepare and master these interviewing skills, it will ensure a better fit for you and the hiring family. Feigon Hamilton is in the business of placing valued private service professionals with households and estates. We know what it takes to make a good placement. Feigon Hamilton offers staffing, coaching, guidance and referrals to resume experts and schools. We help you further your expertise to the right placement and embark on a career of helping others.

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Feighon Hamilton’s Wish: Happy New Year

Staffing Estates and Family Offices since 2005

Happy New Year from Feigon Hamilton.

We are excited to help you meet and exceed your goals in 2018 through our focused experience and newly designed Blog and Social Media. Join us in this new year to take hold of out valuable guidance and proven support.

We are committed specialists in household management placement. We provide confidentiality and an unparalleled level of service, including customized service plans for estates, the Fortune 500, and supporting CEOs, celebrities, high level politicians, and much more

From all of us at Feigon Hamilton, have a very Happy New Year!