Working in the luxury domestic staffing sector can be quite lonely, as no one really understands what the job entails – but that is what the podcast Life in Private Staffing is all about. We talk about the highs, lows, and challenges of roles in private and luxury households, forming a community amongst ourselves. For the first episode of season 3, host Philippa Smith has in-depth conversations with Silver Swan Recruitment team members, exploring how 2021 went, and mapping out what 2022 is going to look like. Amongst other things, 2022 is full of exciting opportunities and roles for any type of candidate.
Support communities for house managers and PAs
Laura Reeves, the senior consultant for private households at Silver Swan, describes 2021 as an interesting and challenging year, with a quiet start which then got progressively manic over the months. According to Laura, 2021 was the year that showed the importance of adapting and thinking outside the box to find new ways to do business.
Laura expects 2022 to be immensely busy with a number of roles to work on. She says that she is looking forward to getting involved in different events and setting up communities amongst different household staff. She explains that two communities have been set up in the UK; one for house managers and one for private assistants. She says that both have been a great success as they provide support and recommendations that can save precious time and effort. The one for UK house managers already has 50+ people, and more want to join. There is a Whatsapp group that allows these house managers to have a network to rely on to fulfil the incredibly out-of-the-ordinary requests that they tend to get. Furthermore, one of the PAs in the PA group managed to secure a new job via the network. Laura explains that as an agency, we don’t usually get immersed in what the candidates are doing, but now we are more comfortable recruiting for different roles because we understand pain points, problems, and challenges that we can help address. She encourages anyone who wishes to join these groups to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Seasonal work is back
Matt Walton, the senior consultant for chalets, villas, and yachts at Silver Swan, uses the term “horrendous” to describe 2021 from his perspective. Since the luxury travel industry took a large hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, seasonal work was practically non-existent; in fact, he only managed to place one candidate. Furthermore, Brexit complicated certain procedures when it comes to British candidates working in Europe.
However, he is optimistic about 2022, saying that seasonal work for domestic staff is very much existent despite the hurdles experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as Brexit. He says that everyone is recruiting, the roles are there, but also adds that European candidates are more likely to be hired than British ones. He explains that this is because Brexit has complicated certain procedures when it comes to working in Europe. However, this is not to say that it is impossible for British candidates to find work.
At the moment, Silver Swan is getting a lot of new clients, so there are opportunities such as executive chefs in private households, travelling butlers, PA roles across Europe, villa managers, and other such exciting roles. Matt mentions that summer seasonal work is also flooding in, explaining that a luxury hotel barge is already keen to secure staff from April-May onwards. Matt invites anyone who thinks they are a good fit for a domestic role to email him at [email protected].
Saudi Arabia team: 2021 busiest period yet
Eve Halliwell, the Saudi Arabia specialist, presents a stark contrast to her colleagues; 2021 was actually the busiest period yet for the UAE team. She explains that during the pandemic, the team doubled, as it was business as usual in Saudi Arabia – particularly for our main client, who could afford private travel and afford to jump through all the hoops at the time.
Eve also says that the team saw a high influx of candidates from different sectors, such as hotel and cruise staff, who had previously thought that their experience wasn’t relevant for the roles. However, she explains that as long as candidates have experience working in a 5* environment, the client is very open to giving chances. This is because what they are looking for is someone who understands what long days and hard work are.
In 2022, Eve actually expects that it will be harder to recruit, as candidates return back to the hotel and cruise industry, while the luxury domesticity sector is looking for candidates. She explains that the Saudi Arabia team has always been working on a major project, which is someone’s private property, and that the property is also expanding. Furthermore, Silver Swan has taken on another large project which requires a minimum of 200 members of staff; from service to housekeeping, laundry, kitchen, spa, and even niche roles such as landscaper and golfer. There are also opportunities to work in smaller teams.
For those who ask themselves: “why would I work in Saudi Arabia?”, Eve has some advice. She says that it is an incredible country and a really exciting place to be at the moment, emphasising that she has worked in Saudi Arabia before and didn’t experience a difference in treatment as a young female. She adds that they offer tax-free salaries, as well as consistency and stability that isn’t really being offered in the sector at the moment.
Listen to the full episode
Hear all of our insights into the domestic sector in the first episode of season 3 of Life in Private Staffing. Click below to listen to the podcast:
If you’d like to find out more about Silver Swan and how we can help you, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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