The domestic staffing market is highly competitive. Generosity wins the day and allows families to hire the best available candidates. Talented Private Service Professionals (PSPs) in any given market or role likely have multiple job opportunities to consider. They will always choose the most attractive and generous offer.
Situations that make a particular employment offer less attractive to most candidates include:
- Excessive commutes: long drives and heavy traffic usually lead to turnover; candidates tire quickly and resign.
- Excessive hours: a typical work week should be between 35-50 hours per week. If “peak season” regularly goes beyond 60 hours, consider adding seasonal staff.
- Unreasonable schedule: all staff need two consecutive days off each week for rejuvenation and a balanced lifestyle.
- Undefined Multiple Roles: Staff should be assigned a primary role. If needed, a secondary role may be added with clearly defined priorities, directives, and tasks. Staff who are exceptionally talented in one area can often function well in a secondary role. However, they risk burnout because they are working outside their natural talents. Adding permanent tertiary roles or responsibilities leads to high rates of turnover.
Most families offer between 6-15 paid holidays each year. These days are in addition to paid vacation and sick days:
Basic Benefits Package
- Healthcare plan or compensation for the employee: 100% or 80/20. Compensation ranges from $500-$1000 per month.
- 10 paid vacation days
- 3-5 paid sick days
- 6-15 paid holidays
- Year-end discretionary Bonus: 10-25% of base pay (based on performance)
- Mileage reimbursement (IRS rate for 2024 is 67 cents per mile)
- Cell phone/computer or compensation
- Per-diem for work-related travel
- Yearly wage and performance review
- Industry-related Membership dues
- Continuing Education + Professional Development allowance (average $5k/yr)
Enhanced Benefits Package + Perks
Adding even a few of the benefits below to the Basic Benefits Package makes for a top-level offering that undoubtedly attracts the best candidates in the market and leads to greater staff retention.
- Sign-on bonus: usually $5K-10K
- Healthcare plan or compensation for the employee’s spouse and dependents
- Dental Plan
- Vision Plan
- Health Savings Account
- Life insurance
- 16-30 paid vacation days
- Guaranteed year-end bonus: 10-25% of base pay
- Provided vehicle for work and personal use
- Vehicle stipend for fuel, insurance, and maintenance costs
- Transportation costs (train and bus tickets)
- Retirement plan + employer match
- Stock options
- Housing or allowance
- Tuition assistance for employee, spouse, and their children
- Clothing Allowance
- 5-year anniversary bonus: $30-50K
- Meals or meal allowance
- Dining allowance (chefs)
- Gym membership
- Structured bonus plans
- Birthday, holiday, and work anniversary gifts
Professional Development is Fundamental
Ongoing professional development is standard, if not required, for staff working in nearly every business sector, in every corner of the world. The Private Service industry is no exception to this rule. In fact, most Principal employers find the long-term benefits to their staff far outweigh the short-term inconvenience of ‘doing without’ for a long weekend. Because Private Service is a very isolating career path, it is difficult for Private Service Professionals to cultivate professional relationships with peers outside the estate they serve. Professional Development opportunities are fundamental in shaping their current role as well as the trajectory of their career path.
Common benefits to Principal employers include exposure to the latest tools and best practices allowing employees to excel in their current positions while keeping them and your estate ahead of the curve.
Professional development keeps great employees focused, challenged, and interested in their assigned duties far longer than those without such opportunities. These experiences help cultivate and retain the best staff, maximize staff loyalty, and minimize turnover.
Conferences and courses for professional development create opportunities for newfound knowledge, confidence, skills, and strategies. They boost morale, increase productivity, make staff feel valued as individuals, and respected as professionals. Industry veterans find opportunities to pay it forward, mentor, share trade secrets, establish themselves as Subject Matter Experts, and leave the industry better than before.
Download this PDF to share and discuss the value of Professional Development at your next staff meeting!