I am a homeowner, and I would like to hire household
staff, but Iíve never done so before. I need some
help deciding what I want staff to do, what kind
of staff to hire, what sort of accommodations and
benefits to provide to them, and so on. How can
I get this kind of help?
Answer: At Professional Domestic Services, we have
two options for the homeowner who needs help hiring
household staff. First, thereís our book, Establishing
Household Service, which we wrote to ease the concerns
of homeowners and families who want to have a well
run home and have their lives become more enjoyable.
In this book, we show you what you need to know
in order to have the satisfaction of experiencing
quality service within your home.
If you would like more personalized help, another
option is our On-Site Evaluation. During an evaluation,
one of our consultants travels to your home to observe
your household. This allows him/her to see how your
household works, discern your householdís wants
and needs, discuss your vision for your homeís management,
and interview any staff already employed in the
home. After this evaluation, he/she will talk with
you about her observations and describe a plan of
action for you and your staff. An outstanding benefit
of the On-Site Evaluation is the placement discount:
when you receive one, you will be given a 20% discount
off all future PDS placements for as long as your
family lives at that particular residence!
Question: I have been caring for my own home
and family for years, doing all the cooking and
cleaning. Why do I need training?
Answer: Even though you are a highly skilled, mature adult,
you will still need to learn how to work in a Wealthy
Home. The politics and expectations involved inside
a wealthy home are as different from the average
home as a plumbing company is from a brokerage house
on Wall Street. A wealthy home usually has more
rooms, more valuable possessions, and more exacting
standards of care than the average home.
The instructors of Professional Domestic Institute
have been training quality household staff for over
20 years. Our Directorís years of experience, along
with our continual research into the most up-to-date
methods and products, ensure that the methods taught
at the Institute are as practical and current as
they can possibly be. Our program takes the skills
and abilities that you already have and augments
them with the necessary tools for a service professional.
The PDI System will teach you how to work within
service standards, and then raise those standards
to provide World Class Service.
Question: I have been a secretary and a personal
assistant, handling many personal issues for my
employer, for many years. Why do I need training?
Answer: Although your office experience will be
very beneficial to an employer, it still does not
prepare you for working in a wealthy home. Our clients
frequently have highly specialized administrative,
clerical, financial and/or personal needs outside
the realm of most people's experience. Often Personal
Assistants help with the hiring and supervision
of other household staff. You need a full understanding
of all positions within the home and what the responsibilities
are for each position. Without the specialized knowledge
of caring for a wealthy home, it will be impossible
for you to properly train and supervise other staff.
It is also possible that you may be called upon
to fill in for a vacationing or vacating staff member,
making this knowledge even more necessary. The personal
needs of a wealthy family are also very different
than "corporate America." Our training programs
will prepare you for this transition and allow you
to become a well-rounded, highly skilled individual
who can contribute to the high level of service
expected in most homes.
Question: I have been a handyman and carpenter,
and have heating and air conditioning experience
as well; why do I need training?
Answer: Most homeowners are interested in having
all staff cross-trained to be able to provide other
services beyond home maintenance. They will appreciate
your formal training in domestic service so that
you can help with large projects and stay busy when
everything is running smoothly. With the ability
to serve for formal dinner parties, provide bartending
services, or even act as an occasional chauffeur,
you will be found even more valuable. All of this
training is provided in our Certified Professional
Household Manager program. By attaining this certification,
you show your potential employer that this profession
is your goal, not merely a job you thought would
make an interesting change.
Question: I have been an upper level manager
for many years and I am seeking a career change.
I have managed many employees and have earned a
very high standard of living, corporate benefits,
etc. Doesn't that qualify me for Estate Management?
Answer: Most career changes require some sort of training
to help you make a smooth transition. Having been
self-employed in upper management is not the same
as running a household. Yes, you will be required
hire staff-but that also includes training staff.
You will need to know and understand the specifics
of domestic service, correspondence, social protocols,
purchasing for the wealthy, and providing service
for your employer. And in order to train household
staff, you'll need to know, yourself, the specifics
of caring for a wealthy home. Your previous experience
reveals that you are probably good at supervising
individuals, can multi-task efficiently, and know
"what it takes to get the job done," but you'll
still need the training to provide the "World Class
Service" your employer expects. Also, remember that
household salary structurs are a bit different from
corporate salary structures in that they usually
include housing and automobile usage with monetary
compensation. You may not be making an even financial
move, but your expenses may go down.
Question: Why is the PDI system of training superior
Answer: Our training has stood the test of time
and experience. The Owner and Director has used
the PDI system on a professional basis for over
The methods taught by the Institute are derived
directly from her years of experience and our research
into the most up-to-date methods and products. We
have all learned under her instruction, and are
able to pass this knowledge gained from experience
and research to our students. Our owner is highly
involved with daily "hands-on" training, meeting
with employers, instructing their staff at their
residences, learning from many highly acclaimed
professionals in the industry, while researching
and continuously "fine tuning" the PDI curriculum
and successful methods used in wealthy homes today.
We train our students so they will be able to walk
into any home and have the tools to evaluate, strategize,
and then implement those strategies in almost any
situation. The basis of our training deals with
proper cleaning techniques, as this is the foundation
of proper home care. From there, we instruct students
in organization, prioritization, and time management-essential
concepts in caring for homes over 6,000 square feet!
Beyond that, our training focuses on meeting the
realistic needs of "Today's Homes and Families."
We train our students to not only provide service
to their employers, but also to pamper them and
surpass their expectations of service. Combined
with all of our other areas of focus such as etiquette
and protocol, people skills, formal serving styles,
administrative responsibilities, negotiation skills,
and providing safety and security, our training
creates the service-minded professional capable
of performing in any home environment. We are true
entrepreneurs of creating "World Class Service."
Question: Can you guarantee you will find me
Answer: Legally, no one can guarantee placement
for you. There are too many variables involved in
matching applicants to clients' needs to be able
to guarantee employment. However, our placement
service has a ratio of success that is unmatched
around the country. Our specialty is not just finding
employment matches; it's finding the right matches
that work toward long-term success. Our long termed
placement consultants are highly proficient and
work tirelessly to find the perfect match for our
applicants and graduates. In our process of placement,
we have you fill out an extensive application and
complete our thorough testing materials that will
help us to understand your skills and give us an
opportunity to know and understand what your wants
and needs are. We also spend generous amounts of
time getting to know our clientele and network constantly
to provide everyone with the best positions available
in the field. We also have free lifetime placement
services for all our graduates who remain in good
standing, many continuing education opportunities,
and a quarterly newsletter to keep everyone informed
of the most up-to-date trends, ideas, and products.
Question: What types of families seek Professional
Domestic Institute graduates?
Answer: All types of families seek our graduates. Our family
profiles are as diverse as the graduates we train.
We place applicants for everyone from the "new money"
families just beginning to set up a household, to
the more established families who may be replacing
their retiring long-time staff or expanding their
home quarters and their staffing needs along with
it. Many of our families are very successful CEO's,
government officials, or famous entertainment personalities,
who may own many homes.
Question: How does the placement process work?
Answer: Professional Domestic Services uses an elaborate
system of oral, written and personal testing of
its applicants. These tools provide our National
Placement Consultants with a true understanding
of each candidate's unique skills and abilities.
We want to get to know our applicants and understand
their skill sets, rather than relying on references,
or the applicant's own stated skills. Some applicants
may not fully understand what we are looking for.
and others may not even realize how truly skilled
they are. That is why we test! We then match their
profiles to the position evaluation forms we have
created from our extensive client interviews. Each
applicant chooses which positions they will be submitted
for. Our clients can relax, knowing that each profile
they receive has been hand picked and carefully
screened to fit the position they are offering.
Only after extensive interviews and an on-site personal
interview will the client offer a position to an
applicant. At this time, the applicant can choose
which position they will take. With all the time,
effort, and communication involved with our placement
process, we have been very successful at placing
individuals in long term employment situations,
alleviating the frustration of staff turnover or
having to look for another job!
Question: What services are available to clients?
Answer: We have many services available for our
clients to take advantage of. We offer guarantees
for our placements and an international newsletter
designed for all household staff and for the persons
who employ them. We have consultation services available
and a variety of staff training options that will
allow staff to grow in their skills and expertise,
and avoid burnout. We have numerous manuals and DVD's
for sale that will help staff improve in their care
of the home and offer advice for the "first-time
employer." We also offer on-site training for staff.
In this training, we evaluate the client's home
and conduct assessments, allowing us to design a
specialized training manual for that home if required.
This manual will contain photos of the client's
home and detailed cleaning lists that will help
the staff to understand the homeowner's priorities
and the finest points of the home. Our Home Study
course can be used not only
by individuals who wish to begin a new career in
domestics or who want to excel in their current
careers, but also by homeowners who want to train
new or current staff, or improve the quality of
care provided to them in the privacy of their own
The Home Study texts are a set of well-written,
comprehensive, copyrighted publications illustrated
with color photos and updated continually for the
most current information.
For those with more available time and desiring
more hands-on instruction, we have our State Certified
School. The Institute offers the finest instructors,
limited class size that allows for the individualized
attention crucial to success, and a wealth of both
time-tested and up-to-the-minute class material.
Household staff can return from their coursework
refreshed and more eager than ever to provide excellent
service to their employers.
Question: Do Household Managers strictly manage?
Answer: Household Managers may be the only staff
in the home and may act as a helpmate to the homeowner,
or they may supervise the entire household staff.
HMs may even report to an Estate Manager instead
of the Homeowner. Every family will differ, and
job descriptions will differ from household to household.
The perfect Household Manager position depends mostly
on the life experience, skill set, and educational
background of the applicant in question. That's
another reason why training is so important; it
can open up more opportunities to the applicant
than they would have had on their own. Our Household
Manager Certification Program offers classes ranging
from home care to staff management, allowing the
applicant to step in and handle any task given to
them by their employer, whether it be handling all
the household chores or supervising all the staff.
Question: How long does it take to find employment?
Answer: Currently there are more positions available
than we have qualified applicants to fill them.
How rapidly you are placed depends upon many factors.
If you are a nonsmoker, have completed or will soon
complete training, are willing to relocate anywhere,
and live alone, you will meet many employers' needs!
Training and a willingness to move are especially
important for someone eager to be placed. Generally,
our students begin interviewing while completing
the last few weeks of the program. They can often
fly out for personal interviews shortly after graduation
and often don't have a chance to visit family before
starting their new careers! We usually have a waiting
list of clients who will hire only our graduates,
and most of our graduates have many job opportunities
to choose from.
Question: What parts of the country do you place
Answer: We place all over the United States, with
many home owners having more than one residence,
some in other countries.
Question: Why would you recommend the Home Study
program for employers?
Answer: The Home Study is perfect for employers
who feel their employees could use additional training
but a) don't themselves have the time to train them,
and/or b) aren't able to give up their employees
for the time it would take to complete the Institute's
certification programs. The Home Study program allows
employees to work at their own pace and select the
classes that they or their employers feel would
most benefit them, or obtain full certification
in one of our three programs. Additional training
can provide employees with the knowledge necessary
to provide the ultimate in service. It can also
help cut down on costly damage to employers' valuable
possessions, thus saving them money, by teaching
staff the proper way to care for such items. The
home study program will also provide employers with
"standards" that their staff should be achieving,
or services that the employee should be providing
to the employer and their home.
Question: What is involved in training on-site?
Answer: In on-site training, we perform an evaluation
of the home and its current cleaning and organizational
process. We take photographs, study all rooms, areas
and possessions, and create lists of all the work
that must be done on a regular basis in that particular
home. We then are able to create a publication that
staff can use to show exactly what they must do
every day, every week, and every month to create
a well cared for home. Employers can then use the
publication to train new or additional staff as
needed, while current staff can use it whenever
they need a refresher. By studying the processes
inside the home, we can also provide tips and corrections
directly to employees that employers may not be
comfortable providing. On-site training can also
motivate employees to provide more exacting, excellent