When there is Staff turnover in a private residence more may be lost than just time and energy to rehire for that position. There is substantial Financial and Emotional loss for the Principals and family. We will explore these areas below.
First of all, consider the overall knowledge the Staff employee may have of the Procedures in the home and on the Property or the Favorites of the family or guests that are rarely written down. The majority, if not all, of this knowledge is at risk of being lost when the Staff employee walks out the front gate.
Consistency of the day to day operations of the home, property and family schedules will be disrupted. Relationships are created when there is Staff working in a private residence. Separation can be difficult for the family, particularly for children or elderly parents. Familiarity provided comfort and a new hire will be stressful until they are proven to be trustworthy.
It is very important to take the necessary time to write a real Position Description. Fluff will not serve the rehire process or your efforts in the process.
Consider if they have been trained in Private Service, and if their salary requirements are in line to as you sort through resumes. Higher end clients prefer to use an experienced Private Service recruiter or an Institute such as Starkey as they should be expected to pick the high 2-3 candidates that actually fit your requirements and because the industry is unique and excellent Private Service professionals are rare.
Overall replacement of one staff person can take up to 30 days or more. Do not rush the process! Competent hiring practices for private staff are not the same as corporate practices.
When a Staff employee exits employment, be sure to change access codes, obtain keys, cell phones, other equipment and property, change passwords where required, notify security personnel, retrieve credit cards and other financial instruments in their position during the course of their employment. Also, if provided to the employee you will collect autos, facilitate vacating residential property, and processing the final pay. This can take from 2 days to 2 two months to complete determining on policies and agreements.
Now let’s explore the Financial costs with paying your Family Office Representative to complete the above work. The cost of the Representative’s salary could exceed $25,000 for their time during the process plus utilizing a placement agency paying up to $50,000 when hiring a higher end professional. This overall process of termination and hiring can easily exceed $100,000. False starts and bad hires can double this figure.
There is no amount of monetary value that can be placed upon the Emotional loss of a trusted and valued primary Staff employee. Everyone in the family from the children, the principals, and the grandparents will experience the loss. Primary support is no longer there. With new support not privy to the not so obvious, the many special relationships and agreed to duties that had been developed to meet the needs of the family are lost.
The remaining primary Staff employees, trusted vendors, and other support persons will also have to start over with communicating how their work is completed, the expectations, and the emotional value held by the Principals. This also takes time, which the Principal will be billed for. Starkey estimates this could cost your high net worth Employer an additional $50,000.
Security is at its weakest point when new primary Staff employees have to be replaced. These primary Staff employees may include the Household or Estate Manager, Executive Housekeeper, Private Chef, Nanny or Driver. Overall financial cost is a minimum of $150,000. Hire well!
Households without basic personnel policies further place themselves at risk. Specifics include:
Use of Illegal and Legal Drugs and alcohol; remember marijuana is legal in Colorado and Washington
Sexual and other Harassment
Safety and use of equipment policies
If the private principal employs more than 15 staff employees, there are other federal guidelines that must be adhered to Confidentially Agreements
Basic procedures including where to park, which bathroom to utilize, which doors to enter and exit by, where to store their purses/bags and hang their coats and which rooms within the home are off limits
However, if you write it, the policy must be carried out or you further place yourself at risk! In summary, hiring and terminating Staff employees is an expensive and time consuming and tedious process. Do it right and do it once!