The New Luxury Living: How Household Staff Support Opulent Lifestyles

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The idea of employing “help” is not reserved for the ultra-wealthy or Downton Abby anymore. For many of today’s families, having household staff is essential to their lives; whether its childcare, home management or the supervision of multiple properties.

 

Beyond necessity, families staff their home to support a luxury lifestyle and a 5-star hotel quality atmosphere. The expectation of luxury has changed, and in some ways democratised, with the prevalence of technology and changing employment markets. More and more individuals are reaching ultra-high-net-worth status with the tech boom on the US West Coast. Families with established worth and also modernizing with new tech and younger generations coming of age.

 

For these individuals and families, the quality of their lives depends on the quality of their domestic staff. When the home is in disarray and staff are doing bare minimum work, the quality of life in that home suffers. In these instances, the home is another source of stress and not a safe place to rest and recuperate from busy life. Proper decorum and well-cared for furnishings make for an orderly and happy home.

 

Working with a domestic staffing agency can ensure expert attention is given to the details of hiring the best domestic staff. British American Household Staffing is able to provide high-quality candidates that will support a high-end lifestyle and perform luxury service.

 

How to Have the Right Household Staff for Your Lifestyle

 

The organisation and make-up of your domestic staff is unique to your individual needs and lifestyle. Having the right support in place saves you time and worry, and it ensures the smooth running of your homes to the highest standard.

 

See more on the importance of hiring the right number of staff.

 

The most common first hires after the estate manager are a personal chef and housekeepers.  Depending on the size of an estate, the domestic staff needed are usually hired in the following order:

  1. Estate Manager
  2. House Manager or Butler acting as a House Manager
  3. Personal Chef
  4. Three to six Executive Housekeepers
  5. Laundress
  6. Childcare (if required), Baby Nurse, Nanny, Tutor
  7. Domestic Couple to live on property and maintain the grounds
  8. Personal Assistant
  9. Houseman
  10. Landscapers

 

In England, most estates hire a butler and a lady's maid for the principals, but British domestic staffing is very traditional. Most butlers have studied at a Butler school, hold a degree in hospitality and are often trained chefs and wine sommeliers.  A lady's maid is often a housekeeper and laundress, understands formal service and maintains the lady's fine clothing. Most British nannies in an estate are also governesses, with degrees in teaching, education and finishing school, which teaches speech, manners, posture and formal home etiquette.

 

Contact our office today to hire domestic staff that perfectly complements your home.

 
Commitment to Service: David Salvatore of Red Jacket Residential

 

Even though the face of luxury may be changing, British American Household Staffing and our partner, David Salvatore of Red Jacket Residential, are committed to providing high-quality assistance in finding, designing, and staffing your dream home.

 

David Christopher SalvatoreThe Red Jacket, has a New York heritage reaching back nearly 200 years with the arrival of his maternal ancestors to Manhattan. Whether surveying the land for his real estate clients or doing research for his home staging design business, this heritage based, deep-rooted knowledge of New York City is the power behind The Red Jacket mystique. David’s branding expertise continues to receive acclaim from many of New York’s leading luxury purveyors, collaborating to execute unique opportunities and superb events, including his appointment as Contributing Editor of the luxury heritage magazine, "Magnifissance". Red Jacket Luxury continues as David has partnered with COMPASS - the first modern real estate platform. The Exclusive Red Jacket Collection for COMPASS at The Carlyle includes 179 custom-tailored short or long-term suites – each with their own unique look, layout and lavish design. The Red Jacket represents the finest of what makes New York, New York.


Hiring Multiple Domestic Staff: Why You Don’t Want One “Jack-Of-All-Trades” Employee

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Running a home is like setting up a small business. The same structure, hiring, and operational complexities are involved when it comes to domestic staffing. For many of today’s families, having household staff is not a luxury but an essential part of their lives; whether it's childcare, home management, or the supervision of multiple properties.

 

The organisation and make-up of your home staff is unique to your individual needs and lifestyle. Having the right support in place saves you time and worry, and it ensures the smooth running of your homes. However, a common problem families face in staffing their home is not hiring enough domestic employees.

 

What Happens When the Jack-Of-All-Trades Burns Out

It’s tempting to want to find that one magical employee that can take care of everything; from kids’ meals to scrubbing floorboards to managing household renovations. The truth is, that magic employee will burn out quickly and leave you with work unfinished or improperly completed. When they do leave, you will be back at the beginning of a hiring search.

 

Much like managing your own busy schedule, when you try to do everything and don’t delegate tasks, the final outcome can be compromised. Above all, you want staff that are focused on their tasks and providing quality service to your life.

 

That is not to say, you should hire staff that aren’t adaptable and flexible to life’s many twists and turns. For example, nannies sometimes take on general house cleaning or errand running while the children are in school. Housekeepers may prepare a small meal or serve guests.

 

These are reasonable responsibilities that a household worker can take on, as long as it is outlined in the initial hiring contract. A housekeeper hired to clean and care for your home and fine furnishings, may not be open to, or skilled in, cooking. Try to think about what your needs are at the outset of your search, so that you will recognize the perfect staff when you meet them and not overwhelm them after they have begun their position.

 

Being respectful of each staff members unique skills and duties will result in happier staff that are more invested in your home and will remain in your employ for years to come. For example, you may be tempted to have your nanny scrub the bathroom while she is “on-the-clock” to maximize her time, but your nanny is hired and compensated for her expertise in childcare and that should be her focus.

 

How to Structure Your Household Staff

It can be difficult to fully grasp how much work is involved in household positions. For larger homes, a house manager will be able to assess the home and determine what staff is appropriate, as well as manage the hiring and training process. When working with BAHS, our recruiters will work with you to understand your home and recommend the best solutions for your staffing needs.

 

A good way to begin determining what staff your home needs is to divide tasks into three main categories: childcare, cleaning, and management.

 

Childcare

Childcare encompasses any position dealing primarily with the children. This includes nannies, governesses, tutors, newborn care specialists, and maternity nurses. Again, some general tidying and meal prep as it relates to the children are perfectly reasonable expectations for these roles, but no deep cleaning or home management.

 

A nanny will have a substantial amount of childcare experience and will sometimes hold a degree related to childhood education, such as Early Childhood Development or a Master’s degree in Education. Some specialize in specific age groups such as infant or school age. Those who specialise in school age children are often closer to the governess category and will often be qualified to tutor certain academic subjects.

 

Nannies that specialize in newborn care have extensive training and experience with newborns, infants and toddlers. They will understand the specific needs of each child’s development stage and be able to navigate each stage’s unique challenges. Newborn nannies are often referred to as newborn case specialists, maternity nurses, or baby nurses.

 

Cleaning

Cleaning fine homes is a very specialised skill. Common duties for a housekeeper include: laundry, pressing, ironing, cooking, clothing care, wardrobe care and maintenance, couture clothing care and household organizing. Basic cooking or meal prep responsibilities are sometimes given to a housekeeper as well as general errand running.

 

The difference between a housekeeper and a cleaner is the housekeeper’s ability to organise closets by color and season, organise the home in general, and a deep understanding of clothing care (steam, dry clean and hand wash). They will understand formal service, which includes serving, formal table setting, and flower arranging. An executive housekeeper will have experience working on a team and managing other staff, usually in a formal townhouse or other similar large high level residences.

 

A lady’s maid is a female valet who attends to the needs of the lady of the house. Her duties range from helping with dressing, makeup and hair care to maintaining fine clothing, shoes, while keeping her room and study in perfect order.

 

A houseman’s responsibilities could include maintenance and other general work around the home, cooking and stocking the kitchen, wardrobe maintenance and travel packing and serving guests.

 

Management

Management positions are necessary for larger homes with multiple moving parts and staff members. A house manager will be able to coordinate renovations, plan events, and train other staff.

 

Where there are large, multiple homes, the estate manager is the "Chief of Staff" of the entire household, carrying out the wishes of the principals at each location. Estate managers will have broad policy making authority over all household and estate operations, and manage extensive property and staff issues on a daily basis.

 

A domestic couple is commonly hired to look after a seasonal or secondary property. Their responsibilities include (but may not be limited to): maintenance, cooking, serving and driving. They are either given a separate cottage or provided a separated living area for the full year. Together a domestic couple can run one large home successfully and can often save the employer from needing to hire multiple staff.

 

A house manager is typically responsible for all staff in a single property. Their responsibilities may also overlap with those of a butler, property manager or personal assistant. They deal with vendors, preempt maintenance issues and ensure the smooth running of the household.

 

Professional butler duties often vary and may include, but are not limited to, managerial responsibilities, keeping accounts, marketing, and maintaining the wardrobe for the principals of the residence.

 

A personal assistant role can vary from managing the family calendar, being in charge of personal shopping, planning events, paying bills and arranging travel to handling investments and philanthropic accounts, and even working in the office of the family business.

 

 

The Benefits of Working with a Domestic Staffing Agency

Having the right support in place saves you time and worry and ensures the smooth running of your homes. For some homes, especially larger estates or families with multiple members, the best support may be achieved by hiring multiple professionals to work in your home.

 

Because every family’s needs are different, our commitment as your domestic staffing agency is to provide expert service that saves you time, ensures all details are in order and matches household staff that compliments your home and unique needs. We believe that if both sides of the placement - family and staff - are satisfied in their placement, the relationship will be happier, more successful, and longer-lasting.

 

Contact our office at info@bahs.com or begin your hiring process here.


Should I Hire A Night Nurse? Newborn Care Advice From British American Newborn Care

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By Anita Rogers

If you are considering hiring a night nurse, contact us here

You have a baby on the way.  You and your family are excited, exhilarated, over-the-moon. Most new mums and dads start organizing everything in preparation for the birth as soon as the pregnancy test is positive.  The questions you ask yourselves are endless: What will the baby be like? Are we ready? Should we move? Should our parents or family come and stay with us for the first few months? Can I handle my family living with us for the first few months? Will I be able to leave the baby and exercise? Should I study more about sleep training? What about breastfeeding? Should I pump? What if I can't? The questions continue. What many parents don't know is how much a night nurse or newborn care specialist (often called a baby nurse) can help your new baby as well as the parent or parents. A good night nurse or baby nurse will make sure you get enough sleep. Even more importantly, the night nurse or baby nurse will ensure the baby is on a schedule, feeds properly, regularly and correctly, helps the baby stay calm, reduces anxiety in the parents, which subsequently reduces anxiety in the newborn.  An excellent baby nurse or newborn care specialist will understand how to make sure the baby rests but feeds enough to put on weight.  They are experts. They teach the parents how to structure their baby's days and nights, resulting in a baby who enjoys the benefits of a sleep routine from very early on, which in return, will help them as a young-adults with sleep, structure and routine, invaluable for school age children, pre-teens, teens and later, adults. The baby nurse or newborn care specialist will keep your baby safe and teach you everything they know, giving you peace-of-mind when caring for your baby.  The cherry on the top is that you, as parents, are able to be well-rested and enjoy the development of your baby without being sleep-deprived, anxious and exhausted.

There are several schedules and categories of newborn care specialists, sometimes referred to as "baby nurses", “night nurses” or "maternity nurses":

Night nurse:  a newborn care specialist or baby nurse who works 12-14 hours overnight only

24/5, night and day nurse: a newborn care specialist or baby nurse who works throughout the night and day, takes a four hour break each day to rest and two days at home each week.

24/7, night and day nurse: a newborn care specialist or baby nurse who works throughout the night and day and takes a four hour break each day to rest.  They usually go home for one day every two weeks to sleep enough to return in good form.

Almost all newborn care specialists or baby nurses are hired for a minimum of three months.  The reason for this is sleep training, which is done using the light, not with feeding schedules, cannot be attempted until the baby is double the birthweight, according to the American School of Pediatrics. A baby is considered a newborn up until the baby is two and a half months old.  Only when the baby reaches their correct weight can a newborn care specialist or baby nurse no longer feed the baby on demand and allow the baby to sleep through the night. The newborn care specialist or baby nurse understands infant whimpers and cries and they know when to allow the infant to self-sooth or when to rub the baby's back or when to actually pick the baby up, which means sleep-interruption. Most clients who work through British American keep their newborn care specialists or baby nurses for six to eight months, sometimes longer. 

British American Newborn Care is known for only representing a select few of the best in the industry.  Some are British but legal to work in the USA, many are educated in the USA and some do not hold degrees but have a resume, experience and references to match the more educated newborn care specialists or baby nurses on British American's roster.  All of our newborn care specialists or baby nurses are the most sought after in the industry and have numerous excellent references from our previous clients. All of our candidates are fully background checked, in all US states and internationally (when they have lived abroad), have had their SSN researched, their driving checked and credit checks are conducted in states we are legally allowed to do so. 

If you are a new parent, expecting parent or parents-to-be again, do not hesitate to reach out to our educated childcare specialists at British American.  We have childcare specialists in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  They all hold degrees in Childhood Eduction, have extensive nanny experience with newborns and understand the intricacies of newborn care development.  We are newborn care and childhood development experts. We understand how to choose the highest quality and how to find the best newborn care specialist for new and expecting parents.

If you would like to speak to one of our in-house childcare specialists, contact us here or call 212 966 2248. 


Estate Staffing In San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London & Palm Beach

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By Anita Rogers

 

Get help staffing a new or existing estate, yacht, or private jet.

 

“Estate Staffing” is a term used in the yachting world to describe the high-end category of domestic staffing. Essentially, a large yacht is run like an estate; the same level of service in a much smaller space. Yacht crew are some of the most sought-after candidates for estate staffing. They have adjusted to working long hours in a five-star hospitality setting. Yacht crew, often called "yachties", are educated and well-travelled with a deep understanding of service and luxury. 

 

British American Household Staffing has an extensive roster of screened yacht crew, but very few want to transition to working on land. Most yachties are world travelers, for life. 

 

Estate Staffing with BAHS

How do we staff an estate successfully? What domestic staff are needed in an estate? In San Francisco, we have been fortunate to staff many estates from ground-up. This means we started with the principals from scratch and found the experienced staff to manage and care for the entire home.

 

The technology boom on the West Coast has created many young new estate owners who need advice on how to set up their new life correctly. This is the ideal situation for our firm as we can handpick the best estate managers and house managers for the principals to ensure they are starting with an expert. 

 

Once an estate manager is hired, we work directly with them on hiring housekeepers, a personal chef, a domestic couple if there are large grounds to maintain, and other staff depending on the needs of the principals. If the principals are starting a new family, we provide newborn care specialists and maternity nurses. 

 

Generally, one should start with less and add more domestic staff as needed. This allows the principals to adjust to private help in the home, which can take time. The most common first hires after the estate manager are a personal chef and housekeepers.

 

On the East Coast we deal with a different type of estate staffing. New York, CT or Bedford and Katonah based estates are rarely new and most are fully-staffed. Some principals come to us with internal problems that usually stem from one or two long-term domestic staff employees causing issues with the rest of the domestic staff.

 

Similar to a corporation, an estate suffers at the core when the principals keep on members of the domestic staffing team who are not good team-players. Sometimes a housekeeper has been promoted to a manager but has no experience managing other staff. This can cause tension. Some of the staff members don't pull their weight but are kept on as they have been with the estate for a long time and the principals feel a loyalty to them. Again, like a corporation, bad employees only show their good sides to the upper management and principals.

 

Depending on the size of an estate, the domestic staff needed are usually hired in the following order:

  1. Estate Manager
  2. House Manager or Butler acting as a House Manager
  3. Personal Chef
  4. Three to six Executive Housekeepers
  5. Laundress
  6. Childcare (if required), Baby Nurse, Nanny, Tutor
  7. Domestic Couple to live on property and maintain the grounds
  8. Personal Assistant
  9. Houseman
  10. Landscapers

 

In England, most estates hire a butler and a lady's maid for the principals, but British domestic staffing is very traditional. Most butlers have studied at a Butler school, hold a degree in hospitality and are often trained chefs and wine sommeliers. A lady's maid is often a housekeeper and laundress, understands formal service and maintains the lady's fine clothing. Most British nannies in an estate are also governesses, with degrees in teaching, education and finishing school, which teaches speech, manners, posture and formal home etiquette.

 

At British American Household Staffing, we are able to staff an estate almost anywhere in the world due to our national and international reach. We have staffed many estates in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Palm Beach, Switzerland, Monaco and the Middle East. We have specialized consultants who work with our clients, helping and advising them on how to staff a new estate, replace or reduce staff in the estate, how to purchase a private jet and maintain the jet, how to buy or charter a yacht and the correct way to choose yacht crew and your captain.


 

For more information, please view our Services or learn about our process by viewing our Standards

 

Contact us to begin the process of staffing your estate, yacht, or private jet.


How to Hire a Nanny: What to Know and How a Nanny Agency Can Help

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Hiring a nanny is a huge commitment for a family and one that shouldn’t be entered lightly. British American Household Staffing (BAHS) is here to take the headache out of the entire process by providing personal attention, expert advice, and a roster of thoroughly screened nannies.

 

Below is a general outline of what to expect when you begin the process of hiring a nanny.

 

What Nanny Is Best For Your Child(ren) and Lifestyle.

 

Understanding your family’s specific needs are necessary in order to recognize your perfect nanny. A few questions to consider are:

What are the ages of your children?
Would a nanny specializing in education and tutoring be ideal?
Does your family travel extensively?
Do the children need full-charge care?
Would a high-energy nanny that can keep up with busy schedules be best?
Or would your children thrive with a calm, quiet presence?
Do you employ other staff in your home and need a team player, or a nanny that works best autonomously and knows what to do with little direction?

 

Beyond the basic nanny duties, many experienced candidates bring further expertise. Depending on your needs and a nanny’s qualifications, your home may benefit from one of the following kinds of nannies:

 

Full-Time Nanny

The most common kind of nanny is one that works full-time with one family. The nanny’s exact schedule depends on the family, but full-time nannies most often care for the children while the parents are at work and/or handling household management beyond childcare. A full-time nanny will be comfortable working with other household staff, coordinating calendars, planning activities for the children, preparing food for the children and keeping all of the children’s areas neat and tidy.

 

Part-Time Nanny

Part-time nannies offer much needed support for busy families that need afterschool or weekend childcare. Afterschool pickups and transportation for older children are usual responsibilities for part-time nannies.

 

Nanny-Tutor

Many of BAHS’s nannies have extensive backgrounds in education and childhood development. A nanny-tutor will be able to prioritize educational activities and work with each child’s unique learning styles to foster an engaging environment. Many nanny-tutors also speak a second or third language and can instill a multi-lingual environment for your child(ren).

 

Travel Nanny

For on-the-go families, a nanny well-versed in traveling is essential. A travel nanny will know how to pack, arrange travel, manage children through transit hubs and be able to problem solve in an unfamiliar environment when necessary.

 

Nanny/Personal Assistant

The nanny that can take on personal assistant tasks can be a big help for busy families with older children that don’t need as much attention. Your nanny/personal assistant’s first priority will be childcare, but when the children are at school or afterschool activities, the nanny will be able to help out in other ways around your home. Errand running, calendar coordination and household organization tasks can be given to a Nanny/PA, sometimes called a Family Assistant.

 

Newborn Nanny

Nannies that specialize in newborn care have extensive experience with newborns, infants and toddlers. They will understand the specific needs of each child’s development stage and be able to navigate each stage’s unique challenges.

 

How To Look At Nanny Resumes

 

Your BAHS recruiter will assess your specific needs and send resumes of qualified nannies for your review. This will give you a preview of each candidate and the time to decide who you would like to meet with. If you choose not to work with an agency, the nanny’s resume is your first impression of their qualifications and should be reviewed carefully.

 

When you are assessing a nanny’s resume, pay attention to the timeline. A good resume will show a clear story of the families a nanny has worked with through the years. It’s important to note the ages of children the nanny has experience with and specific duties that may align with your family’s needs.

 

Don’t be discouraged by short periods with one family or overlapping dates. A great nanny may not stay with a family after all of the children are in school and the family no longer needs the support. A qualified nanny may also work part-time with two families that don’t need full-time support. Neither situation should disqualify a potential nanny, but be sure to get clarity from the recruiter and nanny on each situation.

 

Red flags on a nanny resume would be three or more jobs that ended before two full years, gaps in the timeline with no explanation, name-dropping who they’ve worked for and excessive spelling and grammatical errors. Our recruiters work hard with each nanny to ensure their qualifications are exemplary and each resume you receive will be clear and easy to read.

 

Questions To Ask During a Nanny Interview

 

When you work with British American Household Staffing, every nanny you meet will be thoroughly vetted, experienced and knowledgeable on childcare. When you meet a potential nanny for the first time, the most important thing, is to gauge their personality and temperament and compare it with your family’s and your child’s.

 

We will present you only with experienced nannies, but the interview is also a chance for you to be comfortable and confident in a nanny’s skills. Ask any questions you may have about their past work and knowledge. For example, if your child has had complications from ear infections, ask any follow up questions you may have about a nanny’s experience with infant ear problems.

 

Keep questions open-ended and observe the nanny’s reaction and personality. Again, this interview is to asses if the nanny will fit your lifestyle and home as well as to understand her level of expertise.

 

Some examples of questions to ask to learn about a nanny’s personality are:

What have you found is the best way to communicate with parents?
How would you handle discipline problems with a child?
Tell me what you liked about the last home you worked in.
What is your favorite outdoor activity to do with children?
What is your favorite educational activity to do with children?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

 

Reference and Background Checks for Nannies

 

We cannot overstate the importance of doing due diligence in checking references and backgrounds of any household staff. A nanny may present perfectly polished in an interview, but to get a full understanding of their work ethic and demeanor, you must speak with a previous employer.

 

At British American Household Staffing, we personally contact past employers to get a full understanding of a nanny’s experience and temperament. Your recruiter will provide that information to give you a better understanding of a potential nanny.

 

Our screening process includes: federal and multi state criminal checks, SSN traces and where appropriate, driving record checks.

 

Hiring a Nanny and Drafting a Nanny Contract

 

Your nanny and other household staff are employed by you. Many families organize payroll and taxes through their business office or a third party service. Whether you operate with a home office, business office or third party, you must have an employer identification number, confirmation that the employee is allowed to work and all relevant tax forms completed for each member of your staff. This includes W4 and I-9 forms.

 

For tax or legal guidance specific to your estate and state’s laws, please consult your financial team. For example, some states require worker’s comp to be provided for all domestic staff. Most states require detailed records of payroll and income to be kept. Setting up your hiring process the correct way will save time and money for all future hires and ensure that you avoid any legal issues in the future.

 

For nanny hires, you may need to amend your current insurance plan to ensure that you have umbrella coverage for anyone working in your home. Consult your agent to see if you need additional coverage.

 

The contract you will draft with your nanny is simply your employment offer and all details written out and signed by all parties. Your particular household structure will determine the details of your nanny contract, and should include the following:

- Nanny’s schedule
- General duties
- Employee benefits (if offered)
- Sick, holiday and vacation time
- Salary, pay period, how they will be paid and how to report hours

 

Like any agreement, having the details in writing will ensure there will be no confusion or problems in the future.

 

See more information on hiring and on-boarding staff in your home.

 

The Benefits of Working With a Nanny Agency

 

Because every family’s needs are different, our commitment as your nanny agency is to provide expert service that saves you time, ensures all details are in order and matches a nanny that compliments your home and unique needs. We believe that if both sides of the placement - family and nanny - are beyond satisfied in their placement, the relationship will be happier, more successful and longer-lasting.

 

Why work with a Nanny Agency?

 

Save Time

At British American Household Staffing, our expert team sources qualified candidates and conducts a rigorous screening and interviewing process. Through our vetting process, you won’t waste time meeting nannies that are not a good fit for your family. Reference screening and background checks are also handled by our team to ensure only the highest quality candidates meet with our families.

 

Expert Attention to Details

A nanny placement agency acts as an abridged HR department dedicated to the success of your home. BAHS’s expert placement specialists will be able to understand your needs and help identify the traits to look for in a nanny. You will be supported through the entire hiring process; including advisement on salaries, benefits, schedule and any relevant tax information in your state.

 

Third Party Perspective and Personalized Care

BAHS’s belief in matchmaking sets us apart from other nanny agencies. Our recruiters will work with you to understand your family’s needs and match you with a nanny that can provide high quality service and care. For us, success is a placement that results in a contented family and a nanny who enjoys long-term job fulfillment.

 

Contact our office to find the nanny perfect for your home.


An Evening with the Association of Celebrity Assistants, Los Angeles

Find a Celebrity Personal Assistant

British American Household Staffing had the pleasure of hosting the Association of Celebrity Assistants, Los Angeles chapter on March 28th at the Montage hotel in LA. Our California team met with members of the organization for a cocktail hour and presented some expert advice for career advancement in the private industry; including how to work with an agency to hire for one’s employeer and expectations when working in a private home. Early arrivals were able to network and have one-on-one access to our recruiting team before the event began.

 

If you are looking to become a personal assistant or are an experienced PA looking to advance to a higher level position in a private home, see our top tips.

 

 

The Association of Celebrity Personal Assistant’s Mission 

 

To provide important information to our members by showcasing unique and high level service providers and resources. To empower our members through professional development programs, provide networking opportunities and a forum for the exchange of ideas.

 

Visit the ACPA’s website for more information on the organization and to apply to be a member.

 

 

 

Find a Personal Assistant with BAHS

 

When you begin your search for a personal assistant, take a general inventory of your needs. Different personal assistants will be experts in particular industries and tasks. So your search should focus on those that will best meet your particular needs. Do you travel often and need someone who can arrange and troubleshoot travel arrangements remotely? Do you own your own business that could benefit from having hands-on support? Could your family and household staff benefit from having a professional to maintain order? Do you need someone familiar with busy, celebrity lifestyles that can provide seamless, on-the-go support?

 

Whether you are a busy celebrity, need support for your business or family or are organizing your private estate, our recruiters will work to find you a qualified and professional personal assistant to support your life.


Hiring A Domestic Couple

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By Anita Rogers

 

Do you have a second or third home you need maintaining? The question many multiple home owners ask me is "what is the best domestic staffing hire for my vacation home?" The answer is a domestic couple.

 

Why is hiring a domestic couple a better choice than a single housekeeper? A domestic couple is a long-term hire. They are usually married with grown children and they are seeking a position to take them into retirement. Once a domestic couple accepts a position, they often live on property or nearby and create a life for themselves in the area and they rarely leave the position for other opportunities. 

 

There are two types of domestic couples, the most common being a housekeeper/cook and a houseman or maintenance man. Both parties usually drive, and they are able to maintain a large home together. This kind of domestic couple do all of the housekeeping, laundry, cooking, groundsman duties, they take care of the external and internal work needed in the home.

 

The houseman or maintenance man will take care of the landscaping, any plumbing or HVAC issues, and they will be in charge of the structure of the home and he is able to keep the home maintained and safe, concentrating on the upkeep.

 

The housekeeper/cook will manage all cleaning and stocking and the housekeeper/cook will cater to parties, help prepare and serve meals in a formal or informal setting. If there is a large dinner party, they will assist the chef for preparation and have a strong background in formal serving.

 

When the family is in residence the domestic couple of this type will work many hours and keep all aspects of a busy home running. Duties may include laundry, deep cleaning, shopping, stocking, organizing, cooking and serving.

 

The other category of domestic couple is an estate couple. They typically work in larger estates overseeing staff. They do not deep clean or serve but they will manage the staff in the home, oversee and manage schedules, organize the staff to prepare them for any extra guests and dinner parties, manage the financial aspect if needed. One member of an estate couple will often be a chef and can prepare specialty meals for guests, family or just the principal. An estate couple may have worked on a yacht together and they will want to settle down and retire on land.

 

A domestic couple is an excellent hire for any vacation home or large estate. They maintain the property on both a micro and macro level, depending which type of domestic couple is hired. The likelihood of longevity is high. They have often relocated to live on property for the job position and as they are usually a married couple, they tend to make the area and job their life. The domestic couple typically aim to retire in a job position where they are able to work together.

 

If you have a home or estate you need managing, we highly recommend hiring a domestic couple for peace of mind. This is the ideal domestic staffing hire for a second or third property or large estate.

 

Hire the right domestic couple for your home with BAHS


What Is the Process of Hiring Household Staff?

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Running a home is like setting up a small business. The same structure, hiring processes, and operational complexities are involved when it comes to employing domestic staffing.

 

Just like a business, legal issues and logistical details are important when bringing on new employees. In the United States, domestic staff are required to pay taxes and report their income. This means complying with federal and state labor laws. These laws can be complex and are often overlooked. Hiring undocumented workers or not paying household staff in a legal and fair way may lower the immediate bottom line, but have serious legal and financial consequences.

 

 

What Constitutes Household Staff?

 

Household staff are hired to work in a private home. What differentiates domestic employees from contract workers is how autonomously they work. An independent contractor will work within their own schedule, use their own tools and operate within their own guidelines. For example, a plumber would be an independent contractor. Domestic employees work on a set schedule and process determined by the employer or homeowner. For example, your housekeeper working to your schedule and using the tools provided would be a domestic employee. This distinction applies whether an employee is live-in or live-out, part-time or full-time, hourly or salary.

 

Common staff positions in large and small homes are:

Estate Manager – individual managing multiple large properties and all land, vineyards, private jets and yachts.

House Manager – individual managing a single property and all staff employed there.

Chauffeur – individual hired to drive a principal and family. A chauffeur may also have a background in security.

Lady’s Maid – individual that attends to the lady of the house.

Private Chef – individual that prepares meals on a long term basis for a household. A private chef may also manage other kitchen staff and plan events.

Butler – individual in the home dedicated to service. Duties of a butler may range from household management to wardrobe care.

Houseman – individual provides deep cleaning for the home and serves a single, usually male, principal.

Personal Assistant – individual working to support a single principal or family. A personal assistant will be able to run errands, book appointments and travel and manage accounts.

Executive Housekeeper – individual who manages other house cleaning staff. An executive housekeeper may also coordinate vendors and repairs for the property.

Housekeeper – individual responsible for cleaning the home. A housekeeper will be well-versed in maintaining fine furniture, caring for artwork and antiques and cleaning and ironing fine clothing.

Nanny – individual dedicated to caring for the children of the home.

Governess – individual dedicated to caring and educating the children of the home. A governess will have a background in education and focus on teaching and instruction as a primary responsibility.

Private Jet Staff

Private Yacht Staff

 

See more information on duties and responsibilities for these and other domestic staffing positions.

 

 

What Are the Benefits of Having Household Staff?

 

The organization and make-up of your home staff is unique to your individual needs and lifestyle. Having the right support in place saves you time and worry and ensures the smooth running of your homes.

 

The idea of employing “help” is not reserved for the ultra-wealthy or Downton Abby anymore. For many of today’s families, having household staff is essential to their lives; whether its childcare, home management or the supervision of multiple properties.

 

Working with a domestic staffing agency can ensure expert attention is given to the details of hiring. British American Household Staffing is able to provide advisement on salaries, benefits, schedule and any relevant tax information in your state.

 

 

What Are Tax and Labor Laws for Household Staff?

 

Your household staff is employed by you. Many families organize payroll and taxes through their business office or a third party service. Whether you operate with a home office, business office or third party, you must have an employer identification number, confirmation that the employee is allowed to work and all relevant tax forms completed for each member of your staff. This includes W4 and I-9 forms.

 

For tax or legal guidance specific to your estate and state’s laws, please consult your financial team. For example, some states require worker’s comp to be provided for all domestic staff. Most states require detailed records of payroll and income to be kept. Setting up your hiring process the correct way will save time and money for all future hires and ensure that you avoid any legal issues in the future.

 

New York labor laws for domestic staff

California labor laws for domestic staff

 

 

How To Set Up Your Household Staff?

 

Once your household staff is hired, it is important to begin the relationship in the best way. Using an employee contract that is signed by all parties can eliminate miscommunication and establish clear expectations.

 

The nature and atmosphere of your home or estate is unique to your family and lifestyle. Some homes require formal staff with white glove service, while others operate best with a relaxed and easy-going setting. No matter the level of formality, it’s important for both you and your staff that clear boundaries are in place. Smooth running residences operate with clear and specific expectations for all staff.

 

Delegating staff management to an estate manager or house manager can eliminate difficult situations between employer and employee. A qualified manager will be able to assess your staffing needs and desires, outlining the positions you need filled, and screen and hire the ideal staff for the size of the home. They will be able to address problems as they arise and lead by example. For other staff, a trustworthy manager is a great asset to communicate the wishes of the principal and set clear expectations.

 

*This introduction is presented as a resource for staffing your home. For tax or legal guidance specific to your estate and state’s laws, please consult your financial team.


How Long is Recovery after Childbirth?

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In a recent article, Baby Caravan founder, Jennifer Mayer dives deep into just how long it takes to recover after childbirth.

 

“In the US' medical system, it’s common practice for mothers to receive postpartum care up to six weeks following the birth of their baby. Yet, multiple research studies have shown that it takes up to a whole year to fully recover from pregnancy and childbirth. It would be wise for the medical community to extend postpartum health care beyond six weeks, and provide a year of coverage for women to improve health outcomes.”

 

Every body will recover from childbirth differently and at the pace it needs to. Looking at the physical and emotional stress labor and delivery can put on a body can help dictate what postpartum care is best.

 

Physical Recovery After Childbirth

 

With celebrities posing in bikinis on social media weeks after giving birth, it may feel like your recovery is stalling. It’s important to understand that every body is different and to allow your body the time it needs to recover from bringing a new life into the world.

 

A study from the University of Michigan found stress and injury to the pelvic floor of the women in their study that experienced high risk deliveries. These stressors may be missed without MRI scans in routine checkups after birth. For the most part, bodies are able to heal on their own, but it takes more than six weeks to do so. If you are still experiencing pain in your pelvic area or during sex after three months, see your doctor to monitor your recovery and recommend treatments.

 

Another study found high levels of exhaustion, back pain, urinary incontinence, sexual problems and perineal pain at six to seven months after giving birth. Again, slow recovery is not a sign of a problem. Be sure to keep your doctor up-to-date on how your body is feeling and adjusting.

 

Emotional Recovery After Childbirth

 

It is perfectly normal to feel a rush of new emotions after giving birth. Mood changes, restlessness, insomnia and outright sadness may last up to two weeks after childbirth, are caused by the drastic shift in hormones and may be exacerbated by a slow physical recovery.

 

While the “baby blues” are normal for new moms, talking with a spouse, doctor or counselor can aid in the process of emotional recovery. If these feelings persist or worsen after two weeks, talk to your doctor. Postpartum depression may occur immediately after giving birth or even up to one year after delivery. So be honest with yourself and your doctor about your mental and emotional health. Just like your body should have all the time it needs to health, so should your emotional well-being.

 

Support for your Recovery After Childbirth

 

Your postpartum care plan is just as important as your birth plan. So consider ways to integrate support before baby comes so you can recover physically and emotionally at the rate you need while caring for your new baby. Always remember there is no set timeline for “bouncing back” and no shame in asking for help when you need.

 

Basic self-care principles can help support recovery:

 

Sleep – Getting plenty of rest is a laughable idea when baby is up every 2-3 hours, but getting sleep is crucial to your well-being. “Sleep when baby sleeps” is a good plan to start with.

 

Eat – Keeping your health and energy up is important when you are caring for a new baby. So be sure you’re eating regularly and healthily, but not worrying about dieting too soon after giving birth.

 

Exercise – Always talk with your doctor about when your body is ready to start exercising. You don’t want to push too soon after delivery, but getting up to walk or move around can help your physical recovery and feelings of restlessness.

 

Accept Help – Don’t neglect your rest and care, even if that means bringing in family, friends or hiring help. The most important thing right now is to take care of you and baby. So accept help when it’s offered. Having family care for older children or caravan food to your home leaves more time to rest and bond with baby.

 

Hire Help – For many new parents, hiring help is the best option to provide support for postpartum care. Newborn care specialists, also called baby nurses or maternity nurses, specialize in infant and newborn care during the first months of a baby’s life. Their main priority is the infant’s care as well as coaching and supporting parents.

 

Typically a specialist will work either a 12 or 24-hour shift to provide support for a mom’s physical and emotional recovery after giving birth.

 

For new parents, the specialist will help teach infant-care and child development while guiding them on taking charge of the infant’s schedule, safety and well-being so that they will be autonomous when the specialist’s term is up.

 

See more about hiring a Newborn Care Specialist with BAHS.

 

 

Your Postpartum Care Plan

 

Whatever you decide is best for you and your family, it’s important to remember that recovery after childbirth is unique to you and could take anywhere from the standard six weeks to an entire year. Allow yourself that time and don’t hesitate to talk with your doctor about your physical recovery, emotional health or baby’s development.

 

Baby Caravan

 

British American Household Staffing is proud to partner with Baby Caravan to provide families the resources and help they need in pregnancy, birth, recovery and care.

 

Baby Caravan is a full service doula agency supporting families with Birth + Postpartum Doulas, Private Childbirth, Newborn Care, Breastfeeding Education, and Back-to-Work coaching and classes for mothers leaving maternity leave. Their mission is to support and embrace their clients - both as mothers and professionals as they make their way through the journey of childbirth into motherhood. Baby Caravan understands that women are more than their pregnancy and postpartum experiences; they are business owners, CEO’s, heads of departments, employees, partners, best friends, sisters and mothers. With an open mind and judgments left at the door, they hope to guide each one of their clients lovingly into motherhood and back out into the world where she can feel creative, confident and grounded in her identity.


Duties of a Modern Butler

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What comes to mind when you think of a butler? Is it the formal, British domestic service staff from Downton Abbey? Or do you think of Alfred’s stoic and tech-savvy service to Batman and Wayne Manor?

If you are looking to hire a butler for your home, it is important to understand the modern butler’s duties and how one may support your unique household.

A butler is usually a valet or major domo for the gentleman of the house or the entire household. He or she will hold a certification from a Butler school, often from England or the Netherlands and will be well-versed in wines and may hold a culinary degree.

In the late twentieth century, the number of homes employing butlers decreased dramatically. In response, the role evolved to extend beyond valeting and serving and began to take on more managerial responsibilities. Due to this change and a boom in household income, especially in countries like China, hiring a butler has once again become a common solution to household staffing.

 

Traditional Butler Duties

The term “butler” at its conception, referred to the middle-ranking servant of a home who was in charge of the wine and liquor stored in the buttery. In early America, the butler’s duties were still focused on the wine cellar and food storage, especially before refrigeration became common. He also cared for valuable china, crystal and other silver and gold items in the home. As the world adopted Victorian standards, the butler’s role became more formal and included managing other members of the household staff as well.

 

While the British butler is most common in cultural portrayals, the occupation is much more French in its origin. Modern butlers are most often employed in the USA and the Middle East, and a large majority of those butlers are Swiss. The premier butler school is located in the Netherlands.

 

The traditional butler may be thought of as a formal, British, male staff member; however, female butlers are gaining popularity. Depending on the cultural traditions and preferences of the family, a female butler or manager may be preferred over a traditional male professional.

 

 

Modern Butler Duties

Regardless of how the role of the butler has changed over time, the position is dedicated to discreet and competent service.

 

Modern butler duties vary and may include, but are not limited to, managerial responsibilities, keeping accounts, marketing, and maintaining the wardrobe for the Master of the house. A butler will be well versed in etiquette and serving and have a thorough understanding of formal home care. In many cases, he or she may speak several languages.

 

In many households, the role of butler and house manager may be combined or overlapped, depending on a home’s particular needs. A butler/house manager is typically responsible for a family and staff schedule, household finances and all household-staffing issues. They deal with vendors, pre-empt maintenance issues and ensure the smooth running of the household.

 

 

A Butler’s Role in a Fully Staffed Home

The modern butler’s role is more fluid and specific tasks are determined by home size and location. Because of the role’s Swiss-Army-Knife-like functionality, many smaller estates employ only a butler to oversee the management of the home and serve the principal/s.  

 

He or she may be the only staff in a small home serving an individual or couple. In larger homes, the butler usually serves as a house manager or right below the house manager. Tasks may include supervising staff, hiring and training staff, compiling and organizing the household manual, seeing to maintenance and repairs, planning events and menus, and caring for fine clothing and managing wardrobes.

 

 

Hiring a Butler for Your Home

Your butler will quickly become essential to the smooth running of your home. They have intimate knowledge of all structures, staff and principals and dedicate their energies to operating efficiently and without difficulties. This means that the process of hiring the right household butler for your family and home should be approached with care and patience.

 

Knowing what needs are particular to your home

Understanding the needs of your home and lifestyle will be critical to finding the right butler. As every home and family is unique it is important that your butler not only be experienced but a fit in expectations and demeanor. When working with an agency like British American Household Staffing to hire a butler, the first step will be to discuss your needs and expectations so that you are only presented experienced, professional butlers that match your criteria.

 

Average compensation for a butler

The average butler works 60 or more hours a week. Depending on location and specific responsibilities, a butler may make anywhere from $70,000 – 150,000 as an annual salary. Living accommodations or stipends are often offered to aid in expenses and contribute to a lower offered salary.

 

Experience level and training also play a role in a butler’s requested rate. Those trained in the British butling style or those who have experience in formal, fully-staffed homes are often paid at a higher rate for their expertise.

 

Working with BAHS to hire a butler

We are proud to be the leading agency for butlers and formally trained household staff in the United States and England. We have a roster of trained butlers, many of whom are valets, chefs and house managers. Our offices serve the New York City area, including southern Connecticut, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, the San Francisco Bay Area and Palm Beach, Florida. Our international team serves the UK, Europe and the U.A.E.

 

Our expert team sources qualified candidates and conducts a rigorous screening and interviewing process. Reference screening and background checks are also handled by our team to ensure only the highest-quality candidates meet with our families. For us, success is a placement that results in a contented household and a butler who enjoys long-term job fulfillment.

 

Learn more about our standards or contact our office to begin the process of hiring a butler.

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