How many household staff do you need?

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Just like the houses they work in, household staff come in all sizes and structures. In this guide, we will help you put together a team that keeps your home in order and your family looked after, wherever your property is located, and no matter the size.

Read on to learn about each of the household staff roles and their average salaries. Before that, however, you will need to understand your unique household requirements.

Calculate your household needs

If we were to ask you, ‘How many household staff do you need’? how would you respond? There are several factors to consider:

Types of staff

Once you’ve calculated your needs, you should research the types of household staff and the tasks they cover. Some will have the skills to cover several job roles so, when it comes to hiring, it’s worth enquiring about this.

Let’s look at the most typical household staff.


The role of butler is one of the most varied of all household staff, and they can be an invaluable help if you have a particularly busy lifestyle. Their responsibilities include greeting and waiting on guests, answering phone calls, looking after the family’s schedule, cooking, housekeeping, managing other staff, and more. The best butlers can often perform many other tasks as well, making them a more cost-effective option for mid-sized properties.


As your on-call driver, a chauffeur is of great benefit to you in countless situations. Perfect if you live in a remote area, need to work on the go, or are often back and forth from the airport.

Chef and kitchen staff

Chefs and kitchen staff are a great help to a single working homeowner, or a household where both partners work and need help preparing dinners and schools lunches for their children. Depending on your schedule, you may want to hire a private chef full-time, part-time, or even temporarily for a summer house or dinner party.

You should also consider whether a private chef is necessary, or if a butler or housekeeper with cooking skills will cover your needs. Private chefs are specialists who will create highly bespoke meals, but their salaries may be much higher as a result.

Close protection

If you are a HNWI, UHNWI, or well-known person, a close protection officer is a must. They are highly trained and qualified specialists who will provide protection for yourself and your family at home, locally, or abroad. How many you wish to hire also depends on the size of your family and your property, and it is best practice to consult a specialist who can assess your risks and advise accordingly.

Estate manager

For significantly larger properties, including those with multiple buildings and extensive grounds, an estate manager is highly recommended. An estate manager will oversee all maintenance and upkeep of the properties and grounds, such as hiring building contractors, landscapers and groundskeepers. They may also manage household staff.


A well-kept garden can make all the difference in turning a house into a home, so for mid-to-large size properties, a gardener is a worthwhile investment. Their expertise will ensure your green space is presentable all year round, ready for garden parties or a morning coffee on a sunny day. Properties with large amounts of land may even require a groundskeeper to tackle issues like pests and security.


If you’re looking for a simple all-round option to keep your small to mid-sized property in top shape, a housekeeper is a great choice. Sometimes called maids or servants, the duties of a housekeeper include cleaning, laundry management, stocking cleaning products, and occasionally greeting guests and cooking. These last two tasks are not always completed by housekeepers, so you will need to enquire with your recruitment consultant, but if you can find a housekeeper with experience in all these areas, they can present a more cost-effective alternative to a butler.

House manager

If you have decided to hire several of the above positions, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the logistics and schedules. A house manager is the perfect remedy for this. They will oversee all household staff, arranging their schedules, pay, holiday, and sick leave. As your point of contact for all other members of staff, they streamline many processes, and can help advise on additional hiring needs.

Live-in couple

In larger properties needing constant work and attention, a live-in couple is a practical solution. They are often entrusted with a combination of housekeeper, chauffeur and butler tasks, taking care of all aspects of household running. Due to the necessary closeness of the relationship between the family and live-in couple, great care needs to be taken to find the right match between both parties. Your recruitment consultant will advise you on this.


If you are juggling young children and a busy lifestyle, you may benefit from hiring a nanny. Nannies can be hired on an ad-hoc basis when needed, or as a permanent live-in or live-out member of the household. You may also wish to hire a travelling nanny to accompany you on family holidays. Qualified nannies will typically provide care for children from birth to around eleven years old.

Assessing your staffing needs

Now that you have a better idea of the different specialists you can hire for your household, you can match them to your needs and budget. Make an honest assessment of the tasks you’ll need assistance on and those you can handle yourself.

Managing household staff

Before hiring household staff, you should also consider how you will manage each member of the team – setting their schedule, assigning tasks, arranging payment and booking their time off. With a smaller team, you may be able to take care of this admin yourself but, if you don’t have the time, there are alternative options.

One option is to hire a house manager to handle staff and be your single point of contact for the whole team. Another is to take advantage of Tiger’s payroll services. We can arrange contracts and payment for your staff, taking on the burden and liability. Get in touch  with Tiger Private to find out more.

Hiring household staff

Once you have a firm idea of the type of household staff you need, it’s time to begin hiring. Domestic recruitment agencies are the best route to securing experienced, vetted staff for every position. Our consultation process is thorough and allows us to fully understand your personal situation and find the best staffing solutions for your property. We’re always on hand to discuss your needs, so make a hiring enquiry today.

What is the English household staff hierarchy?

The modern household staff hierarchy typically consists of a butler, household manager, or estate manager at the head. Staff that report to them include housekeepers, kitchen staff, gardeners, chauffeurs, nannies, and close protection.

Frequently Asked Questions

What staff are needed for a house?

The type of staff needed for a house depends on the size of the house and lifestyle of the family. Housekeepers are usually the most common roles, while more specialised staff like estate managers and butlers are suitable for larger properties and homeowners with busy lifestyles. Speak to a domestic recruitment consultant to help assess your needs.

What are the duties of household staff?

Household staff perform duties including cleaning, laundry, cooking, gardening, chauffeuring, close protection, groundskeeping, childcare, greeting and entertaining guests, serving meals, household budget, staff management, and estate management.

What is the English household staff hierarchy?

The modern household staff hierarchy typically consists of a butler, household manager, or estate manager at the head. Staff that report to them include housekeepers, kitchen staff, gardeners, chauffeurs, nannies, and close protection.

Author David Morel Tiger Recruitment Team

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