There are many types of housekeepers you can find, but few are as iconic as a Downton Abbey style Housekeeper. The grandeur of the large countryside mansion with many different servants, butlers, and housekeepers working to keep everything afloat. Although the costumes of Downtown Abbey might not be suited anymore for a modern-day housekeeper, you can still find a housekeeper in that same style.
So for your household big or small, what is, and how can you find a Downton Abbey Style Housekeeper?
One of the main characteristics of the Downton Abbey household is that there is a large group of staff. Normally they would be working in a hierarchy. When you have more than one housekeeper working in your household, it is important to have a Head Housekeeper. Just like they do in Downton Abbey.
When you have more than one member of staff, it really is recommended to appoint someone to be in charge. You will simply not be able to instruct everyone. Or check up on people, making sure tasks are done and to a high standard. Putting someone in charge, such as a Head Housekeeper, helps with this. In the very Downtown Abbey style, you will create a hierarchy of staff. A Head Housekeeper or House Manager can manage the staff, oversee tasks and make sure all is running smoothly.
Especially when you are living in or sourcing staff for a large property, you should really consider having several members of staff with one head of household. One housekeeper simply can only do so much. And especially when it comes to keeping the standards high, it is important to have a (small) team of housekeepers in place. Just to make sure everything is being covered. And so that the team does not have to rush to finish any of the tasks at hand.
Although the Downton Abbey style clothing is rarely seen in any household in this modern day. It can be very normal for staff to wear uniforms.
When thinking about the type of uniform you want your housekeeper to wear, think practically. Of course, you want to make sure the housekeeper looks neat and presentable. But they should also be able to move freely and be able to do physically intense work. A housekeeper might be kneeling, bending over, carrying heavy things. So whatever they wear shouldn’t be too tightly fitted so they can do all their work without feeling restricted. If you want to read more about dress code guidance, this UK government booklet can be helpful.
What a Downton Abbey style housekeeper mostly is known for, is for providing ‘invisible service’. These types of housekeepers are extremely skilled in being in the house, but not being overly present. Typically in larger more formal households, this style of work is preferred. The housekeeper makes sure everything is clean, and kept up, but will not be in the same room as the family.
They have the fine skill to pre-empt what the family or household members will do next. Making sure that that room is clean, clear and ready for them to use. These housekeepers work silently and efficiently. They are not ‘part of the family’ and normally have their own living and sleeping area. Away from the family. They do not interact with the family or household unless specifically asked. If this is the style of a housekeeper you would want for your household, the Downton Abbey style housekeeper could be right for you!
Where to find the Downton Abbey Style Housekeeper
These types of housekeepers generally can only be found via high-end specialist domestic staff agencies. These housekeepers are highly experienced, high-end professionals. Therefore they mostly only work with high-end agencies for a new role. Make sure to do your research and speak to an agency to understand their process of recruitment and selection. You want to make sure the agency does their due diligence in their selection of candidates and is able to match the right person for your household.
How can Polo & Tweed help?
Polo & Tweed are world leading experts in finding the best high end, Downton Abbey style housekeepers. Having a worldwide reputation for being market leaders in finding high end, experienced staff, the process couldn’t be easier. Polo & Tweed will take all the hard work out of the recruitment process for you.
Do get in touch with us here and one of our recruitment consultants can talk you through what we can do for you.