Carrie Starner Keenan, president of a concierge service in San Francisco, knows just how valuable personal staff can be. She started out working within private residences and worked her way up to become a high-profile estate manager. For over 15 years Keenan was in charge of hiring all personal staff members for her clients.
So when is it time to hire some people to help manage the everyday tasks? Keenan says, "Hiring of household staff usually occurs when daily tasks are not able to be handled or met due to professional and or family commitments. Or, it can be as simple as the client does not want to cook or clean... " So, if you are someone who can't keep up or if you simply don't want to spend valuable time completing the tasks, it might be a good idea to look for personal staff. One agency with an impressive list of clients is Celebrities Staffing Services.
Hiring someone to come into your life is a big decision. It requires trust on your part and discretion on theirs. When looking for life-management staff Keenan says, "The first search option, and many times the best, is word of mouth. Ask your friends and colleagues if they can recommend someone."
If you are the first in your social group to hire a team, Keenan says, "For a fee, options include search firms and/or private staffing agencies (which perform background checks and also check references)." If you choose to go with a private staffing agency, Keenan says to make sure the placement agent conducts on-site visits to the residence prior to their candidate search.
A tip for ensuring your entourage investment: think long-term. Keenan says, "[It is] crucial to ensure a good fit, and [think about] long term employment — especially because turnover can be high in household staffing." If you want to make sure you get exactly what you want, she also mentions, "It is important to be as clear as possible as far as job description and expectations. References are key, and work history... many times if a candidate has a track record of jumping from job to job, this may be a red flag." She also tells us that if you are hiring more than one staff member, make sure they have good interpersonal and communication skills.
If you find the right team, having an entourage to help keep your world moving can be a huge relief. In Keenan's experience her clients found, "It is a great help and convenience to have staff. To have the assurance that all of life's little details are being handled, it frees clients up to spend time with family, friends, working, pursuing hobbies or volunteering."
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