Employer guide on how to hire a butler for your home

How to hire a butler successfully

For many years now, families around the world have looked to hire a butler to provide exemplary private service and to contribute towards the smooth running of the household. When you think of the word ‘butler’, you could probably picture an older, impeccable gentleman eager to prepare your favourite evening cocktail on a silver platter.

The truth is, the modern-day butler’s responsibilities go far beyond the traditional Victorian-era service style – of course, a family looking to hire a butler can still expect high-quality, formal silver service if desired, but a butler is also there to alleviate the pressure on daily household schedules and family lifestyle demands through effective household management.

For families who can afford the luxury of a full-time butler, they can rest assured that the butler will ensure that household tasks and duties are managed accordingly. A butler will always ensure that everything is as it should be on a day-to-day basis, that’s the real benefit!

The modern-day butler combines a personal butler service which of course incorporates informal and formal gatherings, whilst also being capable with managing the other household staff, organising and maintaining stock deliveries as well as being able to manage household bills. Butlers are more than capable Household Managers.

 

Where can I hire a butler?

There are a few recruitment options when it comes to finding a butler for hire. Depending on which part of the world you live in, be it New York, Los Angeles, London, Monaco… you will be able to connect with domestic staffing agencies who assist families all over the world in finding private service professionals such as butlers.

Typically, a recruiter will require the family looking to hire a butler to give them certain details – such as expectations, prerequisites, remuneration and package details, amongst other things. The more clear and concise the description and ideals are, the more accurate the search.

Domestic staffing agencies will generally utilise Facebook groups, LinkedIn networks and free job boards to try and find suitable candidates to fill any position. They will then interview the candidates and see who is a potentially be good suiter for your household

Domestic recruitment is not as straight-forward as the typical 9-5 workplace, having domestic staff working in your household five or six days per week means that both you and the butler need to click and have a synergy.

Sometimes, employer and employee will click straight away, but more often than not, it requires patience and time to see if a bond and a trust is developed. Only the employer will understand who fits and who doesn’t. No tests will be able to help you determine this….only time and patience.

Through our magazine and private service job site, we have helped private employers, luxury operations and even domestic staffing agencies around the world receive high-quality applications for their job openings. This is a great option for families looking to confidentially get a feel for the current butler candidate market in their local area or nationwide, without the commitment of having to pay recruitment placement fees.

Employee background checks are also fairly inexpensive in 2018, so when hiring a butler you can easily pay a firm to run reference checks and do all the background digging on prospective employees without really needing to make too much effort. If you wish to not be so hands on with the recruitment process it would be worth considering a reputable household staffing agency who would be able to help with every stage of the process.

How much to hire a butler?

There are two factors to be considered when it comes to hiring a butler: The salary and package and the cost to find a butler for hire

What salary should you offer a professional butler?

When considering the salary and the overall job package for a butler there are certain things which will affect the remuneration.

Firstly, experience plays a huge part in the expectations where the offered job package is concerned. The most experienced butlers can demand anywhere up to approximately £80,000 GBP in London for example, while across the Atlantic in areas such as Los Angeles and New York, a top private butler come house manager can earn in excess of $130,000 USD. Less experienced butlers or recently trained academy butlers would be significantly less.

It is normal that notoriously expensive cities such as the aforementioned London, New York, Los Angeles as well as other global wealth spots like Geneva and Monaco usually require that higher salaries are paid due to the expensive cost of living.

What should be included in the package when hiring a butler?

One factor which will affect the offered salary is the living arrangements. Living arrangements for domestic staff usually come in three forms; live in accommodation, live out accommodation, without accommodation.

If you’re hiring a butler and are able to offer some form of accommodation, then usually that tips the balance where the offered salary is concerned – particularly if a separate apartment is offered. Live in accommodation with full board is also an option for those looking to hire a butler if there is ample room within the residence for the butler to have his or her own quarters.

This also affects the offered salary as it is considered part of the package. With positions where no accommodation is offered, you would have to consider the cost of renting if the chosen candidate has to relocate from another area of the country.

Employers may wish to consider an extra housing allowance/stipend on top of the salary which would contribute towards monthly rental payment.

How many hours does a butler work?

A butler will typically work between 50 and 60 hours per week over 5 or 6 days. Butlers working 10 hours per day over 6 days will require a higher salary to compensate for the longer hours. The hours to be worked will obviously depend on the set duties for the week and fair, realistic time allocations for the tasks

What does it cost to find a butler?

Employers looking to obtain the services of a domestic staffing agency to hire a butler can expect to pay a placement fee of up to 25% of the annual salary, but the average across the industry is 20%.

This means that if you hire a butler and pay him or her a salary of £50,000 GBP / $66,200 USD, you would be expected to pay the agency a fee of £10,000 GBP / $13,240 USD – if your butler placement does not work out, you are usually provided with a free replacement, but bear in mind, if your replacement does not work out, you would typically not be eligible for any placement fee refund by the agency – this is why you should be 110% clear on what your ideals are.

So you really need to ensure the candidates presented to you are the right ones to avoid losing your investment. You can find a list of household staffing agencies on our site and contact them directly.

You can post a job opening and find a butler on our very own career site for domestic staffing professionals if you would be looking to avoid paying any placement fees. As mentioned before, posting on a targeted private service job site like gives you a good idea of who is out there, and which professionals are interested in your position.

Within minutes, you can post a confidential job classified starting at a one-off fee. As well as our existing private service network, your jobs are also pushed out to highly targeted professionals across other platforms meaning that you only receive relevant applications for your job opening.

Unlike generic job sites, we have spent and continue to spend a lot of resources on building a highly-targeted domestic staffing audience. Advertising your private butler job on generic job sites will ensure your inbox is flooded with applicants from far and wide as there is no focus on a specific niche.

Whichever route you decide to take when hiring a butler, always ensure your initial description is clear and concise. Job descriptions which contain correct and detailed information will always yield the best responses on specialist domestic job sites and almost definitely through domestic agencies. Transparency is absolutely key for long-term domestic recruitment success.

 

Want to hire a butler for a party?

A common trend where a family will have a rather large, private gathering and wish to obtain the services of a butler for a day to add a touch of decadence and to obviously impress the guests! For a one-day event, you can easily get in touch with a number of specialist private service agencies who may be able to provide you with a professional butler for a one-day assignment.

if you are hiring a butler for a day, there is probably a good chance you would also want somebody to cook the food that the butler will present. Hiring a private chef can also be hired easily through a domestic staffing agency or a private chef consultancy. Daily rates again will depend on the experience and expectations of the chef.

In 2018, employers looking to hire luxury lifestyle staff have a plethora of options available to them, such as recruiters or online platforms to enable you to request a butler for a party or other staff such as private chefs, servers and nannies.

Are you interested in hiring a Butler?  – Visit our career site for household staff where you can connect with multiple domestic professionals such as butlers, housekeepers, nannies and even estate managers, personal assistants and more…

Request a butler here

 

About Andrew Tilston

As well as running Estate & Manor Magazine on a daily basis, Andrew is also a digital marketer with his own bespoke marketing consultancy where he assists various global entrepreneurs and businesses with their online sales, presence and social media. Andrew worked in Moscow for 10 years where he worked for one of Moscow's wealthiest families as a household governor.

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