Household Staff Guide

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It is very easy to get confused about who is who in the household staff world. These days most domestic staff can be employed in conjunction with other roles depending on the hours and duties required. The most typical combinations of domestic staff are to mix House managers, Butlers, PA’s, Nannies, Drivers and Chefs. Gone are the days when people hired one staff for each role.

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In our household staff guide we will tell you what you need to know. We explain the roles and duties of each domestic job title, within the household Staff market. Also, we would like to point out that all of our candidates have very good references, understand the importance of discretion and are hard working.

Household Staff Guide – The roles can vary

Please remember that some terms have many definitions other than what we have listed here, and jobs often overlap. Salaries are approximate and often vary depending on area of the country, skills required, responsibilities of the position, and how much any given family likes the applicant/employee and wants their services. Noteworthy is that salaries listed do not include benefits or bonuses.

We are also a famous Butler Academy and train old and new domestic staff of all levels. Of course, if you find domestic staff you like but without specific skills then just let us know and we will train them for you.

The Household Staff Guide on Butlers

Description & Qualifications:

The role of a Butler is a type of upmarket servant in a large home and is to be in charge of the dining room, wine cellar and kitchen/pantry and some also having charge of the housekeepers or the entire house and its appearance. A Butler is by tradition usually male but we also offer female butlers, under butlers and butler trainees. Our unique Butler Training in London City qualifies many great Butlers several times per year. In fact, butlers thrive on providing flawless organisation and an immaculate service for you. Impressively, they combine and supervise household skills from housekeeper, waiter, chef, valet and chauffeur through to personal assistant. Of course, always displaying excellence and aplomb across every role with charismatic refinement.

At your service-Bespoke Butler Agency
At your service-Bespoke Butler Agency

Core butler duties usually include:

  1. first of all, recruiting and supervising household staff
  2. secondly, maintaining employee records and household accounts
  3. thirdly, taking responsibility for stock control
  4. also, liaising with contractors and suppliers
  5. of course menu planning
  6. Importantly, greeting and dining etiquettes
  7. stocking wine cellars
  8. booking travel arrangements
  9. moreover, caring for clothes
  10. finally, offer an impeccable telephone manner.

Butler Salary – A butler can earn approximately £50,000 to £80,000 in the UK+ and are often provided with living accommodation etc. A Butler can earn more overseas

The Household Staff Guide on a Household Manager/House Manager

Description & Qualifications:

Household Managers are found in England and other mansions and estates, caring for the country’s most upscale individuals and families. They are modelled after European butlers.

A house manager is often in charge of one or more large households with many staff and the person who provides supervision to the others. The house manager is responsible for the everyday running of the home/homes and usually reports to the Lady or Gent of the property. Our House Managers hold excellent managerial, operational, organisational household skills and have very high professional standards.

Some of their core duties include:

  • staff management and training
  • development of standards and protocols
  • supervising household accounts and budgeting
  • stock-taking inventories
  • control of supplies and procurement
  • plus the planning of formal entertainment and business schedules.
  • They are experienced with office-based software plus payroll and basic accounting software.

The Household Manager needs a pleasant demeanour, strong work ethic, excellent organizational skills, and a confident attitude to succeed. They must be able to be completely flexible in meeting any and all needs of the family. Also, they may need to have a knowledge of different styles of formal entertaining, protocol, purchasing high-quality items for the family’s use. Of course, they need vast resources to fit any occasion and mood of the employer. Of course, The house manager may be responsible for more than one home and provide continuity between homes or properties. In fact, without the Household Manager, chaos could reign in a large household with many staff.

Responsibilities of the house manager/household manager:

Household Managers ensure that the home runs smoothly. They may be the only staff in the house, which means they may clean, provide wardrobe and linen care, run errands, and cook; they may also schedule contractors, organize dinners and parties, and/or oversee finances.

If the Household Manager works in a home where there are only one or two other staff members, they usually assist with some other tasks. They are sometimes also performing cooking and cleaning, while providing supervisory and limited administrative responsibilities for the home and family. Their duties will be more varied and extensive. In a home with a larger staff, the Household Manager will usually work in a more administrative position. The housemanager should however always be ready to help out in case of staff illness, vacation, or vacancy.

Salary of a house manager/household manager- A salary between £50,000 and £80,000, which may include living accommodation and other perks

The household staff guide on the Private Personal Assistant

Description & Qualifications:

Interestingly, The duties of a Household Manager and a Private Personal Assistant often look very similar. Both are administrative positions within the household, and both positions require a close relationship with his or her employer. In fact, The Private Personal Assistant is a very trusted member of the household staff team, handling all confidential responsibilities for their employer.

Frequently Personal Assistants interact with just one person within the home: their employers. Other times, Private Personal Assistants may answer to both their employers and their supervisor, the Administrative Household Manager or the Estate Manager. Still other employers give their Private Personal Assistants the responsibilities of the household normally associated with Administrative Household Managers, including the supervising of staff.

In order to best serve their employers, they should have experience equal to the subject matter offered in our training program.

Responsibilities of the Private Personal Assistant:

The Private Personal Assistant could be in charge of:

  1. hiring domestic staff
  2. training and supervising household staff
  3. directing correspondence to and from the employer
  4. Administrative duties, paying bills
  5. scheduling appointments with the employer and any maintenance work to be done on the home
  6. making travel arrangements and developing itineraries
  7. any other personal request the employer may make of them.

Personal Assistants may also perform only secretarial responsibilities. For example, she or he will be typing letters and memos, answering the phone and taking messages. Moreover, she or he can be opening, sorting and/or answering mail. Also, setting up and managing files for letters and other important documents, scheduling appointments, or any other kind of clerical work. They may also act as bookkeeper and manage the family finances. For example, she or he can track expenses, manage records for tax purposes, research and keep track of investments, or obtain quotes on major renovations of the home. Also, their excellent computer capabilities enable them to maintain extensive warranty and inventory files and/or a Household Management Reference Book.

Common tasks

A common task of a Private Personal Assistant is personal shopping for the lady or gentleman of the house. Moreover, they should be well aware that the shopping habits of the wealthy are often far different from the average person’s shopping habits. Actually, a wealthy person has no problem setting aside a half-million dollars in the budget for their personal needs.

Uniquely, The Private Personal Assistant will often be responsible for special projects for their employer. Also, they may help to design an in-home beauty salon or research any item that the family is considering purchasing. They may not only plan the family vacation to Italy, but also go along. They may simply listen attentively and sympathetically—with open ears and a closed mouth—as their employer vents about their difficulties of any particular day. Moreover, they may have their days filled with life’s little details. Examples of that are: arranging dinner reservations, calling the insurance agent, having a piece of art work shipped to a conservator for repair, or bailing out the wayward nephew.

Salary for a Private Personal PA – The typical range for a Personal Assistant is £50,000 to £125,000 a year.

The household Staff Guide on the Housekeeper

Interestingly, a housekeeper is a person who is hired to provide professional domestic services for a household. Usually only wealthy households employ full-time domestic workers such as housekeepers. However, many dual-income upper and middle class families hire the services of a housekeeper now. Considered a luxury by many, employing a full-time housekeeper may involve providing room and board in addition to a weekly or monthly salary. A full-time housekeeper usually does not have any involvement with children in the household. However some of them act as housekeeper nanny.

Excellent housekeeper with Bespoke Bureau will have at least 5 years of experience or professional training at our British Butler Academy

Responsibilities – The Housekeeper does anything necessary to maintain an impeccable appearance in a home and to ensure the value of the possessions trusted in their care.  Moreover, the duties would be such as cleaning, laundry, and sometimes cooking and errands. They should know how to care for the many expensive, if not priceless, materials and possessions in the home, as well as what should be cared for only by professional experts. Some of these items could include silver, crystal, marble, granite, leather, hardwood, silk, exotic fur, and more.

The housekeeper will usually follow a daily schedule and will understand the need for quartering or zoning a home. She/he will know which rooms must be detail-cleaned several times a month and which ones may be detail-cleaned only once a month. This way they ensure that the entire home is cleaned in the most efficient and effective manner. Also, they should also know what supplies, products, and equipment should be used.

How much to pay my housekeeper?

Salary – A very experienced and/or professionally-trained Housekeeper will normally earn £12 to £20 per hour or £35,000 to £60,000 year. Their benefits package may also include housing, automobile, insurance, and other rewards.

Household Staff Guide on The Family Cook/ Private Chef

Description & Qualifications:

Good food is essential to making any house a home, and this is especially true in the lives of busy, upscale families. The family cook or private chef understands this most basic of all needs and is able to make it a reality. They should be flexible enough to work with kids or pets under their feet or to work in coordination with a caterer. Indeed, flexibility is key for a good private Chef. Many families want low carb, high protein menus or eat organice produce only. A top private chef should be trained and experienced to deliver 5 star food.

Afternoon tea training-British Butler Academy in training-
Afternoon tea training-British Butler Academy in training-

Responsibilities of the private chef:

Private chefs are responsible for all family meals and everything this entails: menu planning, proper selection of the freshest produce and meats, pantry shopping, kitchen clean-up and organization, and care and purchase of any necessary equipment and supplies.

In fact, the best private chef at Bespoke Bureau is one who can meet any of their wealthy employer’s wants and needs. Of course, they are able to prepare food according to special dietary needs, anything from home-style to gourmet meals, or special occasions, formal dinners, and cocktail parties. They will be proficient in food presentation and be able to set an “inviting table.”

Salary for a private chef – A Chef’s salary may range from £45,000 to £110,000 a year.

The Household Staff Guide – More guidance

Domestic Couple including:  Au-pair Couples/Domestic couples

Domestic Couples, whether married or in a long-term relationship, usually cover all domestic duties between them for average size households. They tend to stay long term as they are working for you together. They are familiar with working in a private household and experienced in all aspects of running a large informal household including: housekeeping, childcare, cooking, gardening, driving and general maintenance. Au Pair couples and domestic couples are proving a very popular choice for busy family homes in the country and feedback from our clients is always very positive. In larger or more formal residences, an experienced couple will often take the roles of house manager and estate manager, providing maintenance and security of the property while you are away. A resident domestic couple may also take care of your household pets on a daily basis.

Description & Qualifications:

Wealthy individuals and families frequently hire couples because they have one another for company and often tend to stay at a position longer than individuals (who sometimes become lonely). The Couple works together as a team to provide most if not all of a family’s domestic needs. Couples usually have a wide range of skills and life experience. Ideal couples are non-smokers and live without pets or children for optimum ease of housing accommodations.

Responsibilities of the domestic couples:

One half of the Couple usually provides cleaning services for the home and possibly light cooking. The other may act as a groundskeeper, chauffeur, maintenance worker, and possibly a server. Couples may also have more administrative responsibilities, such as supervising housekeeping staff, hiring contractors, and overseeing entertaining and renovations.

Salary for domestic staff- A Domestic Couple’s salary may range from £45,000 to £120,000, but it could be higher if either or both have culinary arts training, household management training, or any other especially beneficial skill or knowledge.

The Household Guide on The Estate manager

Similar to the House manager, The Estate manager is likely to be the most senior member of your staff. With managerial responsibility for all property and land, rather than just solely residential premises this is a powerful role. They usually manage multiple properties on one or more estates owned by their employer and ensure all are well organised and meticulously maintained. They will supervise and guide the collective operations of all outside event, gardening, maintenance and other ground staff plus the supervision of estate budgets and accounts. Most will hold land management or farming qualifications and will have previously worked in senior positions at other large estates.

Description & Qualifications:

When a wealthy homeowner has several different properties, an Estate Manager is necessary to maintain continuity between all the households. This is an entirely administrative management position. This person will have expert knowledge of personnel and home management, property care, and grounds expertise.

The Estate Manager often holds (and requires) a degree in business, accounting, or MBA, and would understand and appreciate the need for Professional Household Training and have an excellent understanding of the politics of a home. They would have excellent people and negotiation skills.

Responsibilities of the estate manager:

The Estate Manager supervises many different properties that are fully staffed, possibly making final decisions in hiring and firing staff, and will undoubtedly be called upon to set the standards for service throughout the home(s).

In fact, they will usually be responsible for any renovations on the properties, hiring contractors, and researching and making recommendations for any major purchases, i.e., investment antiques, yachts, airplanes, polo ponies, the design of the expansive new water garden, stables, or the wiring of the entire house to make it a Smart Home.

Interestingly, The Estate Manager may also be the employer’s Personal Assistant, acting as the “right-hand person,” which would entail the usual errands, money management, personal shopping, and anything else the employer desires.

Salary of the Estate Manager – This administrative position is the highest level in the home and generally commands between £85,000 and £250,000 a year, with the usual corporate-style benefit package included.

Contact us for more info outside of this Household Staff Guide:

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