If you are interested in transitioning into the private service industry and want to learn more about the field, we offer coaching sessions, professional resume writing, and guidance in selecting the right educational venue.
The following is a sampling of the positions we staff:
Director of estates, executive estate manager, general manager, or chief of staff; all newly created titles representing the "corporate style" structure some estates are using today. This is the personal business manager who is in charge of multiple residences, all staff, new land and homes acquisitions, as well as yachts, planes, art, and other purchases. The position requires a background with at least a college degree but many times an MBA. The principals desire backgrounds in some or all of the following: business management, general contractor, systems engineer, hospitality and also years experience working in a private residence. The manager's focus will be more of an analytical approach, researching and reporting all functionality, cost structures, negotiations and future growth.
The family office can be a lifestyle arm of the family or combined with the investment department. Each family’s needs are different as their lives evolve as well as their interests. In most cases the FO supports the activities and spending, HR and philanthropy of the family. Positions in a FO can be comprised of a COO, CFO, General Counsel, accountants, personal assistants, executive assistants, estate managers or Chief of Staff.
Personal Assistant / Social Secretary. What once was called a social secretary; handling daily agendas, soirees, calendars and travel as well as packing, shopping and accompanying her lady on the road has now turned into a computer savvy, high tech, highly intelligent, personal/administrative assistant.
The household manager assists the principal in effectively running the household, setting up standards of service, managing the housekeeping staff, hiring and managing vendors, setting and serving table. Each home has different needs depending on the square footage and the service requirements. If the residence has only a part-time housecleaner then your household manager might clean. If the needs are for daily meals but there is no chef, you can employ a household manager that also has talents in the kitchen. Whether the needs are hands-on or managerial, the household manager is the "invisible hand" behind the scene ensuring that everything runs smoothly.
Chefs can either be culinary trained or have worked their way up the ladder in restaurants perfecting their talents under the tutelage of executive chefs. They should be familiar with a myriad of culinary styles, cuisines and dietary needs. The best personal chefs have worked in high end restaurants for numerous years before entering private service with the knowledge of wine pairing and plate presentation. The personal chef needs to have the skills to set and serve table. They are also responsible of the wine cellar, ordering wines, butler's pantry, catering / industrial kitchens, stocking, cleaning and sanitation. Some households require the chef to be able to cook for children and their pets.
Couples or teams are utilized for their multiple talents; housekeeper/groundskeeper, chef/household manager, estate manager/household manager, and so on depending on the family’s needs. The positions tend to be live-in or live-on property for the extra added layer of security. They are typically utilized for the family’s other properties rather than their primary residence when a large staff is not required full time.
Property / Grounds / Security
Head gardener or Master Gardener is a hands-on manager of extensive grounds and its staff. The gardener will work together with the landscaper and general contractor to execute the desires of the principal in design and usage of the property. The gardener will also work with the chef or cook of the residence to ensure that the production of fruits, vegetables and herbs are in alignment with the needs of the family. He/she is responsible for the growing and maintaining of the garden, irrigations, water features, greenhouses, whether formal, informal, and wooded or lawn.
Security personnel are being hired to protect and safeguard estates, the family and property while traveling, driving to work or assigned to an individual child during school hours. They train the household and office staff in security measures and keep on top of those that have been issued the codes / keys to the grounds and residence. If the estate is equipped with Smart Home Technology the head of security will be responsible for monitoring the system.
Property Managers may be live-on or live-off of the property. They oversee the daily maintenance and grounds’ crew. PM can handle the high tech mechanical and facility rooms that run the estate, know lighting, pools, tennis courts, water features and more. They might have a background in construction and landscape architecture. PM will help set up for events, repair household appliances, clean outdoor furniture, and if living on property, they will also be your extra eyes for security.
Childcare / Family Assistant
Each family has a different need in caring for their children. While some parents want their child to have the advantages of a full charge nanny, other parents like their nanny to assist in their "down time" with household needs. Tasks can include housecleaning, laundry, errands, appointments, and hiring vendors, helping during travel, cooking, driving and assisting with homework. These employees might have a degree in Early Childhood Development,Psychology, Sociology or other appropriate educational backgrounds. They help teach children second and third languages such as French, Spanish and Mandarin.
The chauffeur maintains and cares for one or more automobiles for the family. He/she will make sure they are washed, detailed, filled with gasoline, up-to-date on registration, maintenance and ready for use at any given time. They are responsible for making sure there are beverages, reading material and pre-set music for the comfort of their employer. They must have a perfect driving record and might have even taken advanced courses in special driving skills. Many chauffeurs are also required to have security training.
Hands-on Butler might be the male counterpart to the executive housekeeper. They can have administrative duties, guest care and table setting/serving duties as well as straightening the house and light cleaning.
Executive Housekeeper, housemen and housekeepers are responsible for maintaining the cleanliness and order of the home. They handle laundry, ironing, wardrobe care, organization and will know the deep cleaning rotation. They are experts in how to clean special surfaces and home furnishings. They ready the house for guests, events and prepare their principals for travel by packing as well as unpacking upon arrival. They might cook, shop and stock as well as run errands. Some homes will even use their full charge housekeepers as an extra set of hands to pitch in for childcare duties.
This role can be elevated into a junior household manager or junior butler with added responsibilities of training and mentoring their team, administrative duties and seeing to the vendors when they enter the home for repairs.