How to become a Private Household Manager or House Manager Job Description
The role of a private ‘Household Manager ‘or simply ‘House Manager’ is an integral one to any busy, active family whether the household is large or small and a good, experienced & professional ‘career’ House Manager will soon find themselves indispensable!
So, what are the steps to becoming a Household Manager/House Manager and what skills and knowledge are required to become one? Undoubtedly you will possess a very flexible and hands on attitude, as the Household/House Manager role involves taking on a huge and diverse range of tasks and responsibilities. The Household/House Manager essentially oversees and manages the day to day operations of a household to ensure that they run smoothly and efficiently. And here’s how…
Gain relevant experience:
Often the best place to start in any house management role is to gain experience in some of the other household staff roles that can involve some similar responsibilities and management of part of the household. This could include working as a Personal Assistant, a Housekeeper, Estate Manager or Nanny. Any of these household staff roles will help you gain valuable experience, insight and understanding of household management and also give you the skills needed in managing daily household operations, organisation, scheduling and very often problem-solving!
Develop your skills:
In addition to gaining practical experience, you could also consider developing more specific skills that are relevant to household management. There are a vast array of on-line, short courses available and accessible classes that could offer you very worthwhile housekeeping skills such as: budget management, event planning, inventory management, maintenance and repairs, antique and silverware care, culinary skills, leadership & communication skills. Many of the household management skills acquired through courses and workshops will carry certification and/or accreditation so will be a good enhancement to your resume.
Build a comprehensive knowledge base:
A Household/House Manager needs to have a good understanding of all the aspects of household operations and the duties involved. This is likely to include some knowledge of recruitment/hiring of household staff on behalf of your employer, managing and leading a team of household staff, understanding home security systems and the upkeep and maintenance of a household, sanitation guidelines and general etiquette when dealing with your employer/the family and their guests.
Learn to prioritise and multitask:
a key skill relating to your efficiency as a Household/House Manager will be the ability to prioritise tasks and manage multiple responsibilities simultaneously – this is an essential skill for a Household/House Manager. It is therefore very important to work on continuing to develop your organisational skills and testing your ability to handle multiple tasks efficiently.
Network within the industry:
It is a good idea to develop a reliable network of Household/House Managers who are working within the industry and you can do this by attending industry events, joining professional organisations or simply connecting with other Household/House Managers on the many social media platforms that can easily be accessed. Networking in this way can help you find job opportunities and will also help you stay up to date with industry trends and best practices.
Create a professional resume:
A good, well written resume is essential. Be sure to highlight all your relevant experience, skills, training and qualifications, including any accreditation or certifications you have obtained. Also, it is a good idea to highlight any notable achievements in previous household management roles.
Start applying for positions:
Look for Household/House Manager positions across various sources such as online job boards, professional networks or through recruitment companies that specialise in private staff recruitment. It is important to tailor/adapt your application and supporting materials to each position as this allows you to showcase how your skills and experience align with the specific requirements of the role. For example, in one position you may benefit from highlighting that you have managed and held responsibility for multi, more formal households across a portfolio of properties, in another position the household may have been smaller and less formal.
Prepare for your interviews:
When you are called for an interview, be ready and prepared to discuss in depth your experience and skills, explaining in detail how you would handle various household management tasks and challenges. Demonstrate you are experienced at multi-tasking and can deal with a diverse spectrum of responsibilities such as construction projects & outside contractors, special occasion planning & events, security, client visits, catering/menu planning, running errands and so on. Doing a little research beforehand about the prospective family/employer or the household you are applying to work for, will show your commitment and genuine interest in the role. It will also allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and give them reassurance that you have some understanding of the nature of their requirements.
Continuously learn and improve:
As a Household/House Manager, it is important to stay up to date with the latest trends, technologies and best practices in household management. Continuing to seek out educational opportunities and professional development resources to enhance your skills in order to stay competitive in the field will be a real bonus and you will certainly stand out from the crowd.
Working as a House Manager
Working as a Household/House Manager and/or Private House Manager will usually involve working closely with your employer/the principal and their family, so it is crucial that you are good at building relationships and are an effective communicator.
The role of a private Household/House Manager is undoubtedly diverse, challenging and very ‘hands on’ but it is also very rewarding and will allow you to showcase and put to good use all your house management skills in the following areas;
Typical Household/House Manager Job description
Of course, every household is totally unique and every family has different requirements for the management of their household, so it would be virtually impossible to list every duty and responsibility! There are, however, a number of typical tasks and duties that are associated with the role of Household/House Manager and those are what we will discuss here:
The Household/House Manager will work closely with their employer/the family to establish their specific needs and requirements and will almost certainly include the following responsibilities:
Staff management: this will involve hiring, training and supervising any other household staff members such as a Housekeeper, Cook, Gardener and Nanny.
Household organisation: responsibility for developing and implementing good working systems and schedules to ensure the smooth, day to day functioning of the household. This would include creating cleaning and maintenance routines, managing inventory and organising household documents and records.
Event planning: a busy household will see the Household/House Manager involved with the planning and execution of events and special occasions hosted by the employer. This will include coordinating logistics, catering/temporary staff, writing menus, managing contractors and services and overseeing guest arrangements.
Budgeting and financial management: this is a crucial element to the Household/House Manager role and involves monitoring the household’s budgets, tracking expenses and managing financial records, overseeing bill payments, bank account management and coordinating with the employer’s financial advisors.
Household maintenance and repair: a large part of the role will be to oversee the ongoing upkeep of the property/properties which includes maintenance and repair tasks and involves coordinating with contractors and ensuring that necessary repairs are completed in a timely manner.
Travel coordination: the family may travel often to other properties they own or it may be frequent business travel is necessary. The Household/House Manager will therefore assist with travel arrangements and itineraries, including booking flights, accommodation and transportation and will also ensure all necessary travel documents are in order.
Handling confidential information: this involves maintaining strict confidentiality and discretion regarding the employer’s personal and professional affairs and handling sensitive information with care and professionalism.
Personal assistance: providing personal support and assistance to the employer is a key part of the role and may include undertaking errands, shopping for groceries/household items, managing appointments, diaries and schedules plus assisting with personal tasks and requests.
On a general note, there are also a number of common skills and attributes that are required of a Household/House Manager to undertake this challenging role. For example:
- Previous experience working in a similar role, such as in a private residence or hospitality industry. Strong organisational and management skills, with the ability to multitask and prioritise effectively.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to build and maintain relationships with staff members, vendors, and service providers.
- Proficiency in budgeting and financial management.
- Attention to detail and a high level of professionalism and discretion.
- Flexibility and adaptability to accommodate changing needs and priorities.
- Knowledge of household protocols, etiquette and formalities.
- Basic computer skills for managing household records and documents.
- A valid driver’s license and willingness to drive as needed.