Each client receives the dedicated attention of a well-trained team of Mahler Private Staffing specialists.
If you are interested in our services, please call us at (414) 347- 1350 and ask to speak with someone in the Private Staffing division. We are happy to send you information about our services, including:
Private Staffing References – Our reference list includes current and past clients. If you would like to speak with any of our clients about our services, please contact us and we will arrange an introduction.
Sample Position Descriptions – We will enclose sample position descriptions providing an overview of the typical responsibilities performed by staff in particular roles. These can be helpful in refining your own criteria for the candidate you ultimately hire.
A Guide to Domestic and Corporate Positions filled by Mahler Private Staffing:
A butler is a trained professional who sees to and anticipates the needs of their employer while providing the highest standard of service. A butler’s skill set includes social etiquette as well as formal service and table setting, care of silver and crystal, knowledge of wines and spirits, and wardrobe management. Most often, a butler has completed a formal certification program and their earlier work history includes experience in the hospitality industry or as an executive housekeeper or houseman for a private family.
Chauffeur / Driver
A driver is responsible for driving an individual or family, seamlessly coordinating transportation schedules, and managing the maintenance and upkeep of the vehicle. A driver has an impeccable driving record, prioritizes safety and discretion at all times, is well versed on all local roads and highways, and provides scheduling flexibility. Drivers often have experience working for car service companies, law enforcement, and can also be trained in security protection.
A houseman participates in the hands-on running of the home on a daily basis. The houseman assists and fills in for other staff as needed. This person will perform a wide range of tasks, including running errands, heavy cleaning, exterior property maintenance, serving, driving and vehicle care, and assisting with events and guests. A houseman may have worked in a fine hotel, in a private cleaning service, or may have transitioned from a high-end hotel cleaning position or a similar role in hospitality
A housekeeper is responsible for the overall cleanliness of the home and performing daily graces. They generally do not have supervisory responsibilities. A housekeeper understands cleaning and caring for fine furnishings and surfaces, antiques, silver, and artwork. They are also proficient in the care of general laundry and delicate fabrics, including steaming and pressing. A private housekeeper may have worked for a cleaning service or in a fine hotel as part of a larger team.
An executive housekeeper is responsible for ensuring the overall cleanliness and appearance of a residence. An executive housekeeper may be the sole staff member or may lead a team and work alongside other housekeepers. An executive housekeeper has specialized knowledge in cleaning and caring for fine furnishings and surfaces, antiques, silver, and artwork. They are also skilled in the care of general laundry and delicate fabrics, including steaming and pressing. An executive housekeeper will likely be responsible for light meal preparation, vendor management, and the stocking of standard household supplies and errands. An executive housekeeper was a general housekeeper at one point and may have experience working for a private cleaning company or fine hotel.
A laundress is responsible for the care of clothing and fine linens in a private home. This will entail laundry functions, ironing, steaming, and the knowledge of caring, storing, and handling fabrics. A laundress will do basic mending, pack and unpack the principal for travel, maintain the dry cleaning log, inspect clothes upon their return, and care for shoes, purses, and belts. A laundress may also maintain a log of dates and events when garments were worn. A laundress may have worked in a fine hotel, retailer, or upscale dry cleaners.
A chef is a trained culinary professional who is responsible for preparing meals, overall kitchen organization and maintenance, and meeting the dietary needs of the principal. A chef is able to prepare a wide variety of cuisines and also manages menu planning, procurement, food presentation, and serving. A chef will also oversee the execution of events, including managing event staff. A private chef has formal training in culinary arts and safe food handling. Their career path likely includes catering and hospitality, as well as executive chef restaurant experience.
A cook prepares simple meals in the home or for delivery and does not have formal culinary training. A cook is also responsible for meal planning, shopping, preparation, and kitchen clean up. The work history of a cook might include basic restaurant or bakery experience. A cook may have also worked in a multi-faceted role in private service, such as an executive housekeeper position, where they were required to clean and prepare meals.
A house manager is responsible for the oversight and management of one private residence and household staff. They ensure the smooth operation of home, manage vendors, formulate schedules, and hire, train, and supervise staff. They have a broad knowledge and understanding of all aspects of housekeeping, household maintenance, and event execution. A house manager often has a background as a housekeeper, houseman, or personal assistant in private service or management experience in hospitality.
An estate manager is in charge of a large property and ensures the smooth operation of the household. An estate manager is responsible for managing staff (hiring, training, and supervising), establishing household procedures and standards, creating and/or maintaining a household manual, and managing projects, large purchases, and renovations. This individual should be knowledgeable in personnel and home management, property and grounds care, basic accounting, and also possess an understanding of high-tech security systems and appliances. An estate manager often has a college degree and may have worked their way up through other roles in the private service industry. This individual may also have a household management or estate management certification.
Director of Residences
A director of residences manages and assumes complete oversight for multiple private residences for one principal. They manage the operational budget and capital expenditures for all projects and properties, oversee management staff at each property, and provide oversight for luxury property construction. This person will have a solid understanding of Human Resource principles. A director of residences also travels to each property on a regular basis to establish and ensure service levels and oversees general operations. The career path of a director of residences includes a high level estate management position or a background in five-star hospitality.
A personal assistant is responsible for handling personal and confidential requests for their employer. They will draft correspondences, schedule appointments, arrange travel and prepare itineraries, purchase household supplies and gifts, liaise with other staff, and run errands. A personal assistant will be highly organized, detail oriented, discreet, and have high emotional intelligence. Personal assistants may have had a career as a corporate executive assistant, an event or travel planner, a personal shopper, or as a family assistant.
A family assistant is responsible for a wide variety of household and family tasks, such as scheduling, vendor management, household chores and projects, childcare, family driving, general shopping, errands, and sometimes light cooking. The background and work history of a family assistant is quite varied. They could be a homemaker, a diligent college student, or someone transitioning from another career, such as a teacher or nanny.
A governess is involved in the care of a child or children, with a special emphasis on education. Their primary focus is teaching and tutoring, but they are also responsible for safety, scheduling, light meal preparation, and communicating routinely with parents and teachers. A governess usually has a four-year degree in education or specific field of study, such as mathematics or a second language. A governess will also have prior experience as a tutor or teacher.
Baby Nurse/Newborn Care Specialist
A baby nurse is experienced in the day-to-day care of infants and is hired to assist a family during the first few months after a baby is born. A baby nurse’s primary goals are to care for and train the infant to sleep through the night, establish feeding schedules, and maintain strong communication with the parents to ensure they feel comfortable and knowledgeable about the care and standard developmental milestones of their child. A baby nurse is sometimes hired before the infant is born to help with preparations, including nursery set up, purchasing baby items, and parental education. Many professionals refer to themselves as baby nurses, but there are a variety of newborn care specialist certification programs available, which provide additional intensive training. Some baby nurses have a medical background, and some have transitioned from other childcare career paths.
A nanny is an experienced childcare professional who oversees the general care and well-being of a child or children. A nanny’s responsibilities include ensuring the children’s safety, maintaining consistent communication with parents and staff, planning engaging and age appropriate activities, preparing healthy meals, managing the children’s laundry and seasonal wardrobes, scheduling play-dates and appointments, and tidying bedrooms and play spaces. Some nannies have four-year degrees and previous work experience in education, therapy, or nursing. Other nannies have built their career working for many families on a long-term basis.
A companion provides care for another individual, most often an elderly person. Their primary responsibilities include: assisting with daily needs, maintaining the calendar, scheduling appointments, driving and accompanying to activities, providing light cleaning services, maintaining general laundry, and preparing simple meals. A companion should be First Aid and CPR certified and usually has experience working in an assisted living facility or a medical background as a registered nurse or certified nursing assistant.
A caretaker/groundskeeper is responsible for the general care and security of a property, including all aspects of the residence, surrounding land, and vehicle and equipment maintenance. A caretaker/groundskeeper manages the overall exterior care of the property and systems and has basic knowledge of plumbing, electrical, carpentry, and simple mechanics. Oftentimes, caretakers/groundskeepers have built their career working in a skilled trade or for a property management company.
A gardener is responsible for the maintenance of the lawn, gardens, and grounds for a private residence. A gardener has specialized knowledge in the care and planting of flowers, trees, and other plants. A gardener understands plant life cycles, plant hardiness zones, pruning techniques and timing, how to identify pests and diseases, and how to apply fertilizers and herbicides. A gardener may also perform caretaking or landscaping tasks, such as fence repairs, equipment and path maintenance, and installations. Professional gardeners have formal training or certifications and will likely have a degree in horticulture and experience working for a private high-end landscaping company.
A property manager is responsible for the overall operation, systems, and maintenance of a residence and grounds. This person serves as the main point of contact for the property. They will open and close seasonal properties, oversee contractors and vendors, perform hands-on maintenance, and arrange all service calls and upkeep for appliances and other household systems. A standard set of skills includes some trades experience, such as in plumbing or electrical work, an eye for detail, and the ability to operate independently. A property manager will often have a background in construction, maintenance, or project work for high-end properties or private homes. Housemen and caretakers can also become a property manager after taking on a greater level of responsibility or moving into a more significant role.
A domestic couple is two individuals who work together as a team at a home or property providing all aspects of personal service and care of the residence. Together, they are often responsible for the routine cleaning of the interior home, meal preparation, laundry, stocking of supplies and general errands. The couple also often maintains and manages the exterior of the home, including lawn care, landscaping, snow removal, pool maintenance, and vehicle maintenance. Each member of the couple may have had an independent background in private service in housekeeping or property care.
Director of Security
A director of security will manage a full staff of security personnel to ensure around-the-clock protection for the person and property of the principal and family members. They will lead security details, formulate schedules, identify and solve potential security issues, and oversee preventative cyber-security measures. The director will also coordinate with other staff to ensure the family is safe while traveling. A director of security will often be a former police officer, military veteran, or former Secret Service member, with additional private security experience in providing personal protection to executives or principals.
Executive and Personal Protection Specialist
An executive and personal protection specialist will ensure the physical safety of the principal and family. They will oversee security shifts, deal with potential issues, operate property security systems, and potentially drive the principal or travel with the family as needed. This person must be diligent, vigilant, and well-versed in security protocol. Former police officers, military veterans, or former Secret Service officers are often executive and personal protection specialists as well as those with past experience providing private security.
An executive assistant provides direct support to a senior executive, often at the C-suite level. They arrange appointments and business travel, serve as gatekeeper, draft correspondence, screen calls, and ensure the smooth functioning of the executive’s daily schedule. Executive assistants also oversee complex calendars, complete special projects, and maintain communication between the executive’s office and other parts of the organization. An executive assistant is usually high organized, proactive, knowledgeable, and able to serve as the executive’s representative. A high-level executive assistant likely has past experience supporting other executives, and can also come from an administrative assistant or office manager position. If this person is expected to execute personal duties for the principal (as well as corporate), the job title can be amended to executive/personal assistant.
Family Office Director
A family office director is an experienced professional who works in a family office and is responsible for a wide array of matters, such as major financial transactions and budgets, wealth management goals, estate and tax planning, and insurance coverage for all properties. They may also have management and recordkeeping responsibilities as they relate to a family’s foundation or human resources for the staff. This person interfaces with the family’s personal professionals, such as attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors. At a minimum, the family office director will have bachelor of business degree and may be an MBA; they will have experience in one or more of the following: investment banking, wealth management, private banking, strategic consulting, finance/accounting, private equity, or family office financial management.
Family Office/Family Foundation Staff
This professional works in a family office or foundation and assists the director to meet the goals of the office or foundation. There are many variations on these positions, depending on the organizational structure. The family office professional will be sophisticated and will represent the family or foundation at the highest level. Family office or foundation staff will need to possess some of the following skill sets and experience: financial acumen (may be a CPA), human resources (to maintain employee files, administer benefits and payroll, etc.), administrative skills, and non-profit administration.
Aide de Camp
The term aide de camp is used in the military to describe someone who is a personal assistant to a high-ranking officer. In private service, aides de camp attend to the comfort and safety of one principal. This person will accompany a principal to meetings and events, drive, perform administrative tasks (such as travel, correspondence, etc.), run errands, keep the residence tidy, prepare light meals, and will care for the principal’s wardrobe. Many aides de camp have served in a similar capacity in the military before entering private service; some have worked as butlers or companions.
Chief of Staff
The chief of staff will support an executive and act as the single point of contact and liaison to the executive’s business, civic, and personal contacts to facilitate the smooth running of an executive office. This person acts as the “eyes and ears” of the executive, a trusted gatekeeper and advisor who foresees possible issues and works to prevent them. The chief of staff also oversees the executive office staff, including hiring, managing workloads and work flow, and conducting performance reviews. A chief of staff may have been promoted from a high level executive assistant position and may have a political or military background.
Ranch staff can include ranch managers and caretakers and often live on the property and work as a team of two. Depending on the nature of the property, ranch staff may be responsible for livestock management, husbandry, maintenance of exterior grounds and outbuildings, fencing, and mechanical equipment. Ranch managers may have financial responsibilities, including staff and project budgets as well as income from livestock. Other ranch staff may have domestic duties, including meal preparation and housekeeping. Many ranch staff have an educational background in husbandry or livestock management; some come from traditional domestic positions, such as property management.