Professional Domestic Services and Institute
Phone (614) 565-5043
 
 
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Frequently Asked Questions...

Question: 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 to others?

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 20 years. 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 a job?

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 home.

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 in?


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 service.
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Professional Domestic Services & Institute,Ph. (614) 565-5043