Setting Up Your Residence With The Right Domestic Staff - Hiring An Estate Manager

Setting Up Your Residence With The Right Domestic Staff - Hiring An Estate Manager

Are you upgrading your home? Relocating or just thinking of restructuring? Here is an article to help you make the right choices so your residence runs as smoothly as possible.  Running homes well is like setting up a small but growing business.  The same structure, hiring and operational complexities are involved when it comes to domestic staffing.  Setting up homes isn’t unlike setting up a corporation.

First hire an estate manager, the right one will depend on the size of your home and the numbers of homes you need managed.   This person is the equivalent to a CEO for the residence/s. 

An estate manager will work on setting up a sold structure for your home and understand how to hire correctly and implement processes to ensure the daily structure covers all areas necessary.  The estate manager will assess your needs by discussing your desires and necessities such as nannies, housekeepers, chefs, house managers, personal assistants and more.  The estate manager will know how to screen and hire the ideal staff for the schedules and size of home.  The best executive housekeepers tend to work 8 hour days, 5 days a week and slot in with each other.  To attract the best housekeepers you want to pay market rate or above market rate and ensure you hire housekeepers on a live-out schedule, as those are the best candidates (good candidates have more choice and will choose the job position that appeals to them the most). Market rate for a good executive housekeeper is $35 an hour, for 8 hours a day and health insurance after 3 months of employment.  The estate manager will understand how to structure your home with the ideal schedules and amount of housekeepers so the cleaning is done well, correctly and all shifts are covered.  Examples are two or more housekeepers on Monday to Friday, 7am to 3pm, one housekeeper from 11am to 7pm or Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm to 8pm and a weekend housekeeper to cover the weekends, which are traditionally busy and often involve dinner parties, which call for later shifts on the weekends to cover serving a clean-up.  An estate manager will use a top-tier domestic staffing agency to send them the best candidates.  They will understand how to screen several housekeepers to ensure they work well together, and understand how to manage laundry, organizing, serving, art and antique care and deep cleaning.  Once the housekeepers are set up, the estate managers will work on childcare, if needed.  This is a more complex hire and the parents are usually more heavily involved in this hire.  Career nannies have experience working in larger residences.  They understand childhood development and will ensure the right nannies are hired for the principal’s needs.  These could be specific languages, special needs experience, twin experience, infant experts or school age and tutoring experience.  Nannies are hiring with expertise in the age group of the children in the home. These nannies will often have experience working with families who fly privately and often last minute, so organizing the children and packing correctly is something these nannies do swiftly and well.  Yacht travel experience is also something a career nanny will have experience doing and they will be expert swimmers and understand how to correctly and dress on a yacht, how to manage children safely on a yacht and is able to help the children with sleep schedule issues that usually occur when traveling to a different time zone.  The best nannies are found by appealing to the schedules and salary they are able to get.  Depending on the number of children, the ideal nanny set up is one career nanny, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.  A nanny housekeeper to help the children set up for school form 7am to 3pm.  Another career nanny to work on weekends if that is needed. Live out is ideal and live in for all nannies when traveling.  It is best to pay a weekend nanny very well, as good nannies don’t like giving up their weekends.  Ideally, a live out weekend nanny could be a teacher or completing her PhD or Master’s degree, so the weekend schedule is ideal for them. A full-time career nanny salary ranges from $80,000 a year to $150,000 a year, depending on their experience and skill-set.  A French speaking career nanny is always heavily in demand so offering them a competitive salary and schedule is the wisest approach.  Sometimes and evening back up babysitter is a good option to slot in with the weekday nanny and weekend nanny.   An estate manager will understand how to hire the ideal nannies for the set up necessary and number and ages of children.  Hiring chefs can be challenging and the estate manager will hire a chef or chefs who specialize in the dietary needs of the family.  This could be a chef experienced in Paleo, Vegan, Low calorie, pure foods, French, Italian, Austrian and more. The estate manager will hire the chef once they have done a trial tasting for the family to ensure the food is top-notch.  The estate manager will also hire the chef depending on the personality, to ensure they are flexible and easy to work with.  This goes for all staff types, nannies, housekeepers – a good estate manager will hire on personality, references as well as skill set and experience. Many homes are unhappy homes due to one or two difficult personalities in the home.  The estate manager will ensure this doesn’t happen. Lastly, after setting up the home with the correct staff, the estate manager will do the same for other residences you may home.  The estate manager will manage current staff, deal with any gripes and fire and rehire if necessary.  It is important you listen to the estate manager and they will see a difficult or ineffective staff member who may be close to one of you/the principals and not show you their real self.  The estate manager will have an open dialogue with all the domestic staff and know where the issues lie.  Lastly, the estate manager will hire a housemanager for the larger residence/s to oversee schedules and daily issues like vendors, parties, overseeing the daily details of the staff, report problems back to the estate manager and manage all the detail overseeing of housekeepers and nannies.  The housemanager’s job is to report back to the estate mangers, who will ensure the problems are solved.  A butler is often a housemanager while he also looks after service, serving, the principal’s wardrobe needs and more.   The estate manager then oversees all homes, the payroll, legal issues and financial concerns outside of the family office and accountants.  They will create, implement and continuously update processes and operations.  The household manuals for each home will be in place and updated according to the growth and needs. The estate manager also managers private planes, yachts and car collections to ensure all these are up to date, safe and well maintained. If you want a smooth-running home, start by hiring a top-quality estate manager and this set up will ensure you don’t feel or hear of any problems and the home runs like a 7 star resort.  The secret to a happy home is having the right person in the estate manager seat to oversee hiring, training, implementation of processes and constantly overseeing legal compliance.  Estate Manager salaries range form $150,000 to 400,000 a year.  If you want to hire the best domestic staff, contact British American Household Staffing and we can start fixing any issues to ensure your home is perfectly optimized.

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