Hiring a House Manager, Butler, Palace Manager, Property Manager
Many people would still imagine Jeeves when you talk about a Butler and in traditional households duties such as formal table service, serving drinks, valeting and care of the wine cellar, are still essential.
However in the last few years the ‘modern’ butler tends to be multi-skilled with some principals entertaining less on a grand scale so may combine other areas such as overseeing the cars and acting as a driver or chauffeur, Always with an Eye for detail and the ability to anticipate in advance and adapt accordingly. With Financial accounting and administration they need to have up to date IT knowledge and be familiar with household systems such as Creston and all packages such as Excel, Office based software packages- PCs Apple Mobile phones and modern technology such as TV and music systems.
When clients in country homes seek a butler using Domestic Bliss I am most often asked for skills experience and knowledge of shoots, care of guns and the ability to organise a shooting weekend and manage seasonal staff.
Head butlers often run the work schedules for other household staff and carry out security, driving as well as hospitality duties. They may also be a valet for the principals wardrobe management including packing for holidays and trips.
When clients talk of a House manager they look for previous experience of overseeing the maintenance of properties including the grounds, overseeing building projects and working with supplies and trademen.
Supervision recruitment and training of domestic staff such as housekeepers chefs and childcare, chauffeurs and gardeners, ensuring high standards. Also part of the day to day responsibilities may be the house administration including secretarial work such as emails and filing and projects.
The skills, knowledge and experience of a butler and house manager tend to be unique based on individual experience and duties may reflect the size of the properties they have previously been responsible for and the lifestyle of their principals and the employer’s family situation.
This can include complex roles where the House manager overseas multiple residences in the UK and overseas.
At State and Royal level this is known as a Palace manager and could involve managing hundreds or even thousands of Domestic and office staff as well as overseeing state banquets, overseas tours and the housekeeping department.