Why do the UK’s country houses need you?
At Irving Scott we have recently successfully expanded our recruitment services in some of the UK’s most unique rural environments and domestic staff are required for a variety of placements in stately homes, country manors and private halls across the UK. Each placement has different requirements which, for example, can either be working as part of a team or being the sole staff member following individual direction from the Owner; or having either a strict set of duties and responsibilities to follow or being flexible with an ability to undertake a variety of tasks. Wherever the placement is, each one requires very high-level skills that must be met.
Does rural mean remote?
Not necessarily. Some rural properties are run with live-out staff that commute easily from nearby towns. However a love and preference for the countryside is often prerequisite.
Are they private residences?
Yes they are – and there are more than many people realise. Whilst nearly all the owners of these heritage properties operate other business, and have done so throughout their history, modern necessity has determined a more wide-ranging and creative approach than the traditional country pursuits. Although many have public gardens, there are some that operate tourist attractions, concerts, conferences, wedding venues and cultural events. A few are open to the public all year, most are open seasonally and some are only open on just a few days for specific reasons, from the National Gardens Scheme to weird and quirky events.
Why is this important?
Our candidates are adept at doing their jobs despite being surrounded by, usually, respectful visitors. They have the ability to keep focused on their roles and requirements rather than being side-tracked by the events and people involved, and do so whilst also preserving the dignity and good reputation of the property owners who rely on these businesses to maintain their homes.
Why Irving Scott?
Those owners that have turned to Irving Scott with specific recruitment requests have been impressed by our attention to detail. We are thorough in our research, gaining in-depth understanding of the role the home plays within the local community and society. Once we are fully versed on the characteristics of the setting, we look closely at our database to find the most suitable candidates for the unique positions of chef, housekeeper, gardener, PA, butler or house manager in these households. Most of our candidates join our books with experience of country house employment and those who express a desire to move into stately home employment from other areas of private service are always welcome to contact us to discuss this.
What to expect when working in a stately home?
Repair works – Lots of them! Maintenance work is continual and often disruptive, affecting all areas of the household directly or indirectly. As household managers our candidates show great skill in developing professional relationships with contractors; as butlers our candidates are well-versed in accommodating change so that the least inconvenience is caused to residents; as chef our candidates have shown flexibility with menus and meals in order to deliver under temporary restrictions; as gardeners our candidates have kept maintenance impact to a minimum and the owner’s gardens still beautiful.
Visitors – We’ve already mentioned them, there could be just a select few or many thousands, and none of them will faze you.
Unique staff accommodation – Most of our candidates are provided lodgings in the most delightful of circumstances as many stately home owners pride themselves on the quality of the accommodation they provide for their live-in employees. Often this can be in a separate, self-contained property within the Estate and not necessarily in the Big House itself. Although living in the countryside has its own set of idiosyncrasies, the benefits of a healthy countryside environment always outweigh any of its slight inconveniences.