Never before in history has there been such a demand for domestic staff that serve the super-rich. The need is insatiable and domestic staffing agencies are working overtime to fill the demand. During the Covid lockdowns, staffing agencies took a bit of a hit. But now, headhunters that serve the ultra-wealthy are in a new gilded age.
"I've never seen anything like this," said Brian Daniel of The Celebrity Personal Assistant Network. "I've been so busy that I've had to partner up with other agencies just to handle the overflow. In fact, I've raised my placement fees and candidates' salaries are skyrocketing."
Daniel's firm specializes in elite personal assistants, estate managers and executive assistants for ultra-high net worth families. He used to work for American aristocracy (the Johnson & Johnson family) as well as the Saudi Royal Family.
What staff are the billionaires hiring?
You name it, they want it: Executive PAs, butlers, estate managers, nannies, chiefs of staff and even elite tutors. It's a mad frenzy and there are literally bidding wars for top talent. "Just about every industry nationally is short of talent, and domestic staffing is no exception," boasts Daniel. "And with the super-rich, money is no object. If the PA that they really want has a job offer for $120,000 from another employer, then the billionaire who really wants her is going to bid higher until they get what they want. It's like we're at Sotheby's."
Just how high is the demand for domestic staffing?
The demand for private service professionals to work in mega-mansions and sprawling estates is phenomenal. Here are the wealth statistics by the numbers:
With over 700 billionaires peppered throughout America, it would take a lifetime to send resumes just to them. These ultra-wealthy families employ small armies of staff to cater to their every need, and that's where domestic staffing agencies and elite headhunters like Brian Daniel come into the picture.
What backgrounds do the domestic staff come from?
The "new money" families in the United States don't like as much formality as Europe. Plus, we have a shortage of butler schools in America anyway. Many high-net-worth employers look for domestic staff from hospitality backgrounds and poach them into private service.
It's actually a very easy thing to do because 5-star hotel employees are only working for $20 an hour in big cities like Los Angeles, so it's a no brainer for recruiters to get them to switch sides. The elite hotels bear the costs of the training; but ultimately, it's the ultra-high net worth families that reap the benefits.
Billionaires are also hiring specialists to take care of the exotic car collections. If the VIP has, say, 20 or even 30 cars, that's a full-time job to get them detailed, insured, and take them out for "exercise." In 2023, this is the new normal for the ultra-wealthy.
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Written for assistants and estate managers working for celebrities, CEOs, UHNW families, billionaires and royalty