Orange pink and white gradient

Barbie’s Career Record: How One Doll Racked Up $45.2 million and 72 Jobs

Barbie has always sparked controversial discussion over her 58 years in existence: she’s too skinny, she’s too blonde, she projects unrealistic expectations of how a woman’s body should look.

open passport with lots of stamps

Working Visa UK Requirements & Application Guide

If you’ve not worked in the UK before, or want to find out if you’re even able to, it can be hard to find the answers. Even if the job you’re applying for is based in a ski resort in the Alps, a palace in the Middle East or a Private Household in Europe, you still may need UK immigration to give you the right to work here because as a UK-based recruitment agency the majority of our clients are also based here and so employ their staff on UK contracts and second them overseas on UK work permits.

desk with phone, notepad and laptop

What Is A DBS, Do You Need It & How Do You Get One?

If you are working within the Private Household industry you will most likely have come across DBS checks or CRB checks at some point. It is becoming increasingly more common for families to request a full criminal record check be carried out prior to having new members of staff join their households.

What is a DBS Check?

A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, once known as the CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check, is becoming more and more important when working within the Private Household industry. Majority of positions will request all candidates to have a valid DBS certificate before starting in the role. The Disclosure and Barring Service helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. There are 3 tiers of DBS Checks available:

  • Basic DBS – the lowest level of disclosure which checks the Police National Computer for details of all current criminal convictions. Often used to support an immigration application, to vet prospective tenants or to volunteer.
  • Standard DBS – covers those working in other occupations to children, vulnerable adults and the elderly but where they need to be of ‘good character’ and not have a criminal record. This could include someone applying to be employed as an accountant, working in a pharmacy or legal practice, someone applying for a firearms license or a senior manager at a bank or financial services organisation. Organisations employing someone in this sort of position want to assure themselves that the people they are considering haven’t got a lengthy criminal record for dishonesty, drugs offences or violent crimes.
  • Enhances DBS – the highest level of disclosure required for those positions that can involve caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of children or vulnerable adults. An Enhanced CRB will show the following offences: sexual, violence, the supply of drugs and safeguarding.

Who Needs a DBS Check?

If there is ever a safeguarding issue within your household or organisation and the people working or volunteering with children and/or vulnerable adults have not been adequately checked, you could be held legally liable. To prevent this possibility SAFE advises standard or enhanced DBS checks are conducted on all eligible staff and volunteers within your home or organisation. 

How to Apply for a DBS Check

Most recruitment agencies will be able to apply for a DBS Check on your behalf as part of your application process. If you are not working with a recruitment agency then you can apply for a Basic DBS Check yourself, only an organisation is able to apply for a Standard or Enhanced DBS Check –all checks can be applied using this ONLINE APPLICATION FORM.

How Long Will a DBS Check Take?

You should normally receive a copy of your DBS Check with FOUR WEEKS, however, do be aware that at certain times of the year, the DBS has a backlog of applications to process which may cause a delay in their response. Enhanced checks may take longer.

How Long Does a DBS Last?

A DBS has no official expiry date however SAFE recommends that all DBS checks be renewed at least once every 3 years or sooner if there has been a significant gap in employment.

How Much Does a DBS Cost?

Basic DBS – £45.99

Standard DBS – £55.99

Enhanced DBS – £68. 99

What do you Need for a DBS Check?

You must provide a range of ID documents as part of the DBS check application process. There are 3 routes of ID checking:

ROUTE 1 – All applicants must initially be considered for route one.

  • 1 document from group 1 (refer to the list of valid identity documents below); and
  • 2 further documents from group 1, 2a or 2b

At least 1 of the 3 documents above must show the applicant’s current address.

ROUTE 2 – 3 documents from group 2 consisting of;

  • 1 document from group 2a; and
  • 2 further documents from group 2a or 2b; one of which must verify their current address

ROUTE 3 – Birth Certificate (UK & Channel Islands) AND 4 further documents from group 2 consisting of;

  • 1 document from group 2a; and
  • 3 further documents from group 2a or 2b; one of which must verify their current address.

DBS List of Acceptable Identification:

Group 1: Primary Trusted Identity Credentials

  • Current valid passport
  • Biometric Residence Permit (UK)
  • Current driving licence (UK), full or provisional. Photo card only for Isle of Man/Channel Islands licences, which should be presented with the associated counterpart licence (except Jersey)
  • Birth certificate (UK and Channel Islands), issued at the time of birth. The full and short forms are both acceptable, including those issued by UK authorities overseas, eg Embassies, High Commissions and HM Forces (photocopies are not acceptable).

Group 2a: Trusted Government/State Issued Documents

  • Current UK driving licence (old style paper version)
  • Current non-UK photo driving licence (valid for up to 12 months from the date you entered the UK)
  • Birth certificate (UK and Channel Islands) issued after the time of birth by the General Register Office/relevant authority (photocopies are not acceptable)
  • Marriage/civil partnership certificate (UK and Channel Islands)
  • Adoption Certificate (UK and Channel Islands)
  • HM Forces ID card (UK)
  • Firearms Licence (UK and Channel Islands)

Group 2b: Financial/Social History Documents

  • Mortgage statement (UK or EEA – non-EEA statements are not acceptable)
  • Bank/building society statement (UK and Channel Islands or EEA – non-EEA statements are not acceptable)
  • Bank/building society account opening confirmation letter (UK)
  • Credit card statement (UK or EEA – non-EEA statements are not acceptable)
  • Financial statement, eg pension, endowment, ISA (UK)
  • P45/P60 statement (UK and Channel Islands)
  • Council Tax statement (UK and Channel Islands).
  • Work Permit/Visa (UK – UK Residence Permit, valid up to expiry date)
  • Letter of sponsorship from future employment provider (non-UK/non-EEA only – valid only for applicants residing outside of the UK at time of application)
  • Utility bill (UK), not including a mobile telephone bill
  • Benefits statement, eg Child Allowance, Pension
  • A document from central/local government authority or agency giving entitlement, eg from the Department for Work and Pensions, the Employment Service, HM Revenue and Customs, Job Centre, Job Centre Plus, Social Security (UK and Channel Islands)
  • EU National ID Card.
  • Cards carrying the PASS accreditation logo (UK and Channel Islands)

Updating your DBS Check

A subscription to the Update Service lasts for one year.

You can renew your subscription through the Update Service, either:

  • when you first register, by choosing automatic renewal
  • or, up to 30 days before your current subscription ends – but you cannot renew on the last day of your subscription

Go to the DBS website and sign in to your account to renew your subscription.

If you do not renew your subscription before it ends, you’ll need to apply for a new DBS check and register for the Update Service again.


Silver Swan Recruitment has a whole range of Private Household Jobs currently available and we are able to apply for your Enhanced DBS Check as part of your application process. Simply get in touch to discuss further.

sunset view of a city with lights

7 Places You’re About to Add to Your Bucket List

With 195 countries making up this incredible world we live in, there are only so many you can physically visit each year. So, to make sure you don’t miss out, we’ve compiled a list of seven of our favourite and most unique destinations, all with an underlying theme – vivid colour! Enjoy!

Gen Z Workers

Everything You Need to Know About Recruiting and Retaining Gen Z Workers in 2019

Generation Z is the follow-on from millennials, but just because this younger generation is the baby of society at the moment doesn’t mean they’re not about to impact your daily work life on a big scale. In fact, Gen Z is made up of everyone born from between 1995 and 2010, which means that the oldest are about 22 years old now and have either been working for a good few years or have just finished university ready to make their mark.

In the same way the media has turned its attention to millennial work habits in recent years, that same level of scrutinisation is about to hit Gen Z. And while there’s a lot these two generations have in common, there’s also a lot that is about to change.

For starters, most (54% of) Gen Z-ers expect to stay in their first job for less than two years – at least a year less than millennials, who shocked bosses everywhere when they claimed they expected to have 15-20 jobs in their lifetimes. With 75% of the workforce to be represented by Gen Z by 2030, this is obviously an alarming prospect for employers who don’t want to have to worry about replacing the majority of their workforce every few years. However, there are a lot of benefits that will come from having the younger generation working for you.

Generation Z combine a lot of the positives of previous generations, coupled with a can do attitude founded on the phrase “if you want it done right, then do it yourself”: they’re practical and realistic like baby boomers, while also being passionate about what they love like millennials, with an ability to process information and manage their finances like the Great Depression’s silent generation.

Clearly, there are a lot of good reasons to hire Gen Z-ers. But once you have, how do you keep them? Like their predecessors, Generation Z are loyal employees, to employers that will show them the same loyalty, and will give them the room to grow and improve. Having grown up in a world where everything in life is customisable, they want that same flexibility in their work life as well. If you can provide this, then you’ll have a very happy, very loyal employee on your hands.

Insights on Gen Z

So, as we begin the New Year, we’ve analysed a variety of data sets and surveys to find out everything you need to know to successfully recruit and maintain Gen Z-ers in 2019. Have a look at our findings below.

Key Insights

From our analysis, there were a number of key, recurring insights that stood out to us as crucial when successfully hiring and keeping Generation Z employees in 2019.

How to recruit Gen Z

How to recuit Gen Z

In the technological society we live in now, it’s understandable that the new generation want to work with a company that can demonstrate technological sophistication. In fact, 91% of Gen Z-ers surveyed, claimed that the technological level of the workplace – and the people there – would impact their decision to work there. In order to get their attention, employers need to utilise social media to advertise roles, and engage with young people who are looking for work.

In line with this, the impact of social media has meant that Gen Z is much more visual in nature than previous generations. They don’t want long, lengthy job descriptions and lots of content; they want short, snappy, to the point bullet points of information that tell them what they need to know to apply for the position. Everything else can be sent and explained later.

Morality and Ethical Policies

The political and social environment is teetering on the edge in a lot of the developed world, so it’s no surprise that Generation Z are feeling this on a personal level.

Generation Z embraces multiculturalism as the cornerstone for who they are as a generation, and this influences a lot of their decisions, and how they view society. For Gen Z, racial and gender equality, and same-sex marriage are a given, and any less than this is a failure. They have also grown up in a world where the climate around us is failing – because of human activity – and 54% of Generation Z has said they have either deliberately purchased or stopped using a brand because of its ethics.

With this in mind, Gen Z look for employers who are committed to environmental programmes, and racial equality, and the number one factor for Gen Z-ers when trusting an employer is how equality-minded they are. In fact, 93% of Gen Z say that a company’s impact on society would affect their decision to work there, and 94% believe that companies ought to address social and environmental issues. They want the company’s purpose to align with their personal purpose, and the majority of the time this will involve environmental, social, and political attitudes and initiatives.


One of the most important traits of Gen Z workers is that they are ambitious. The average attention span of Gen Z is only 8 seconds, 4 second less than millennials, and so it’s unsurprising that the number one work value priority for Generation Z is interesting work. Not only this, but 83% of Gen Z employees said they expected to make employment changes early on in their career. It’s important to them that their job description fits them personally; they would rather write their own job description than be given a generic one, and they will happily make changes to the work they’re doing to ensure they are doing the best job they can.

They want a job description that details what’s expected of them in their role within one, three, six, and 12 months, so they have clear goals in place and something to work towards. 75% of Gen Z-ers also claimed to desire multiple roles within one workspace; they have an entrepreneurial spirit at their core, and they work best when given the chance to share their ideas and have the freedom to enjoy their own work. Clearly, this is an ambitious generation – but ambition is only a bad thing if the employer is unwilling to nurture it.

In light of this, it’s crucial to give Gen Z-ers direct, constructive criticism – they can handle it better than their predecessors, and they crave it in order to improve at their jobs. The flip-side of this, however, is that they also equate high salaries with success, and they expect to be paid fairly for the work they’re doing. Ultimately, an empowering work culture and the potential for promotions are the key things to make Gen Z-ers stay in a job for longer than 3 years – especially considering many Gen Z employees expect to be in their dream job within 10 years of starting work, so they’re not shy of “job-hopping” to make this happen.

The Work Environment

How Gen Z Work

Generation Z maintain the same desire for personal contact within an office environment as millennials did, but that’s about where the similarities end. While it’s true they would prefer communicating with their co-workers and managers in person rather than by email or phone, 64% would prefer to work in a small team within an office setting, rather than in a large, open-space workplace. This is likely because 72% of Gen Z workers feel competitive with people doing the same job, and they’d rather work on their own in a small team where they receive credit for their work and individual achievements.

They might require seemingly constant (but nevertheless direct and constructive) feedback, and resent working in a team too often, but Generation Z will have a progressive, positive impact on your business. A generation that is much more creative and entrepreneurial-minded than those that have come before them, Gen Z have developed pragmatic mindsets for planning and preparing for the future, and they understand the necessity of listening to a target market in order to come up with new ideas and continue to drive their business to the very top.

It’s More Than Just a Job

How Gen Z are impacting

A job is no longer just a job for Generation Z; if they’re going to be spending the majority of their time somewhere, they need it to be worth their time. That means incentives beyond just a higher salary, such as fitness and transportation reimbursement to lighten expenses. Implementing initiatives like these prove to employees that you care about their welfare more than just as someone who is doing you a service – you want them to feel happy and comfortable where they’re working, knowing that they’re valued.

They place a high value on mentorship, with 33% saying that it was the most important benefit an employer could offer. Basically, they want employers to take the time to train them properly, to make them feel like they’re being heard and that they provide value to the company. Gen Z-ers are also partial to employers that offer strong mental health support services, once again proving they want to be valued as people rather than just for the job they’re doing.

Keep an Open Mind

The younger generations will often get a bad reputation, but stats show that having a workforce that includes members of Generation Z will be a great asset to your business. Just remember to be transparent in your policies, have a forward-thinking mindset, and be ready to listen to new, innovative ideas.

What Gen Z want

Dubai skyline at sunset

7 Things to Expect (and to not) When Working in The Middle East

The Middle East is a part of the world that everyone has heard of but not many really know a lot about, and with widespread media coverage portraying this part of the world as dangerous and unfriendly, many Westerners are understandably apprehensive about visiting, let alone living and working here.

However, there’s an abundance on offer in this unique region; from vast sun-kissed deserts, to some of the tallest, modern cities in the world, and cuisines to delight every kind of palate. Aside from these pastimes, there are also real opportunities to gain top-level experience and forge a solid career, all whilst earning (and saving) a lot of money. More than anything, it’s a chance to try something completely different.

So, whatever you’ve heard about the Middle East, here are 7 things to, and not to, expect when coming to work one of our roles in the Middle East:


1. All-expenses paid

plane in the sky between buildings


And we mean all expenses!


With the roles we recruit for in the Middle East, everything from your flights to your accommodation and working visa are all paid for you – including a fully expensed stay at a 5* hotel in London whilst we process your working visa application.


Then, once you land, we provide your uniform – often luxury designer clothing if working front of house! Depending on the client, there will often be a private chauffeur to drive you to and from work each day. You’ll also receive full medical cover and a very good, tax-free salary. So basically, everything you earn, you keep!


2. Luxury Accommodation

You will often be living in private, European compounds – basically a mini-city with swimming pools, gyms, bars and some of the compounds even have a cinema. Each employee lives in a brand-new apartment or villa, with state-of-the-art facilities, which you’re allowed to furnish as you wish once you arrive. There are often no clothing laws within these compounds.

villa with a pool at night with stars

3. A Growing European Community

camel and man lying on the desert sand

More and more people are coming to work in the Middle East, being drawn by the quality of living and doing something completely different – it’s nothing like how it’s often portrayed in the media. The rapidly growing community of Expats, Europeans and Westerners will help you to feel at home when you first arrive, and also give you a chance to make friends with people from all around the world. There are also plenty of Facebook groups to join and meet other Europeans.


4. Activities Outside the Compound

There is often the opportunity to travel and visit other parts of the Middle East during your time off. With a vast array of culture, cuisine and creativity on your doorstep, you’ll find new experiences which just aren’t on offer in the Western world – such as dune riding!

dune buggy driving over sand dune

5. Help and Guidance Every Step of the Way

No matter who you are, or where you’ve been, it’s always daunting to try something different, especially in a new country. Your managers and colleagues will often have experience in guiding people when they first arrive and will be able to help with everything from getting settled into your apartment to understanding cultural etiquette and best-practises in the Middle East. As long as you’re sensible and respectful, like anywhere in the world, then you’ll have the time of your life.

desert road with sand blown across


6. A Great Addition to the CV

ornate gold and white palace inside walls


Aside from making amazing memories and superb money, you’ll also be adding invaluable experience to your CV. Although everyone is encouraged to show their personalities, the standards of work expected are incredibly high and you’ll be working with some of the best hospitality professionals in the world. This is a unique opportunity to experience an extremely high-profile environment in some of the most glamorous locations, which you simply can’t do anywhere else.


7. Something for Everyone!

Middle East palace lit up in blue and white at sunset


As this region develops, there will be more and more opportunities for experienced Europeans hospitality professionals to relocate and join a VIP family based anywhere in the region. We work with a handful of clients across multiple countries, often recruiting for a variety of positions, so there really is something for everyone. Whether you just want to try something new and go for a short fixed-term contract or want to build a longer-term stable future for yourself, there are new projects and positions opening of daily – so contact us today to discuss your options further.


For more information, or to speak to one of our Middle East recruitment specialists, send your CV to

diamond ring

How Long Would It Take You to Afford the Most Expensive Things in the World?

If you had all the money in the world, and you could spend it on anything you wanted, where would you start? Some people would still be sat clipping coupons, while others would blow millions on a house and a vintage sports car all in one day because, at the end of the day, having money doesn’t necessarily mean people change overnight. Indeed, a lot of rich people are just as careful with their money as your average Joe – that is how the rich stay rich after all, they never spend their money.

bicycle with pink background

Nevertheless, it’s fun to fantasise about being one of the richest people in the world, and what you would do with that money if you ever got hold of it. That’s why Silver Swan Recruitment have come up with a handy little calculator that lists some of the most expensive items in the world, and how long it would take you on your current salary (and your dream salary) to afford each one. This ranges from the world’s most expensive diamond – the Graff Pink diamond that costs $46,000,000 – to the world’s most expensive burger – the Serendipity 3 Diamond Encrusted burger – and everything in between.


So how do the figures look?


Well, if you were earning the average salary in the UK (£27,600), it would only take you one month to afford the most expensive burger in the world – if you could justify spending £227 on one burger, that is. Or, it would take 63 years to save up enough to buy the world’s most expensive television: the Stuart Hughes Prestige HD Supreme Rose Edition that costs a staggering £1,732,500. Australia doesn’t fare much better; it would still take you four years to afford the Clive Christina No. 1 “Imperial Majesty” perfume, on the average salary of £45,225.75.

huge burger with bronze filter

Alternatively, if you live in America, where the average salary is $56,516, it would take you 9 years to afford the world’s most expensive bicycle: the Trek Butterfly Madone, which retails at $500,000. Even in Norway, which has the highest average yearly income in the world at $103,630 it would take 4,346 years to afford the world’s most expensive painting: the Salvator Mundi by Leondardo da Vinci.

diamond encrusted perfume bottle

Try out the calculator for yourself, and see how your salary matches up:


Alternatively, if you fancy getting a head start on these numbers, and want to try your hand at saving up to buy the Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam on the Parana River (the world’s most expensive man-mad object), then why not have a look at some of our current vacancies?

sunset motor yacht mediterranean

How to get a job aboard a superyacht

It can be difficult to know how to get a job aboard a superyacht if you’ve never been involved in the yachting world, however, once you’re in, the benefits of such a job are endless. Working with a fantastic team, who become like your family, travelling to and staying in some of the most mind-blowingly beautiful places in the world, and let’s be honest, the incredible pay! Here are our top tips to help you achieve your dreams of working aboard a superyacht.

Yacht in sunset

What experience is needed?

To become a Yacht Stewardess, any good hospitality experience will help your CV, preferably 5-star experience within a service role, or a position doing housekeeping. Doing a ski season is also a fantastic way to gain the transferable skills needed for work aboard a superyacht.

To become a deckhand, any practical skills, painting, sanding, varnishing, carpentry for example will help you get your first yacht position. Diving and water sports experience will also look good on your CV.

To become a yacht chef, fine dining or 5-star restaurant experience is valued highly.

What qualities are needed?

There are some core ideal characteristics of someone wanting to become yacht crew. These include being well presented, being a hard worker, enjoying taking care of appearance, and being fit and healthy, as you’ll need to be able to keep up with the extremely active role on board.

Sailing Yacht

What qualifications are needed?

All members of yacht staff need to have an STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers) Certificate. In order to gain this qualification, you must do a 5-day course which costs approximately £800 – £1000. You must also get an ENG1 Certificate from your local GP, this is a free, seafarer medical fitness certificate.

Deckhand positions regularly require a Powerboat Level 2 certificate, and any other courses you can additionally do will really help your CV stand out.

Yacht Chef roles are primarily based on experience, rather than qualifications, however you might want to consider doing the Ship’s Cook Certificate to progress your career once you’ve had some time at sea, as you’ll need this on commercial vessels or for boats that run with more than 10 crew.

How to write a great yacht CV

Your CV is a fantastic way to let people know how skilled and experienced you are and is often the first impression you can make on yacht crew or yacht recruiters. Follow these simple tips to make sure your CV really sells you well:

• Keep everything on your CV short and concise.

• Add a picture! This is really important as this is the first thing they’ll look for.

• Add the right kind of photo. A good head and shoulders shot, preferably in a polo shirt or smart attire, against a plain, or is possible, a nautical backdrop. This is the captain’s first impression of you – a selfie on your last night out isn’t suitable.

• Keep it to within two pages, no longer.

yacht cv template

What next?

Once you have all the necessary certificates, the best thing to do is to get down to a yacht hub, e.g. Majorca, Antibes, Fort Lauderdale and NETWORK! Book yourself in to stay in a crew house (similar to a hostel, but filled with aspiring yachies), many are run by former yacht crew who have lots of experience in the industry and will have the contacts to help you out, providing you make a good impression. Crew houses are great places to find contacts, get started, and to get advice on your CV.

While there, be friendly and socialise with everyone and mingle in the local bars, you never know who you’ll run into. If you meet a captain, however, don’t be too bold as to ask for a job straight away as they’ll have had that many times that evening already, instead focus on making a good impression by being polite and keen to learn about the industry.

Dock walking

Dock walking is where you walk up and down the docks and marinas handing out CVs, trying to meet the crews and captains in the hope of securing some day-work, it is one of the best ways how to get a job aboard a superyacht. Here are our top tips to succeeding at dock walking:

• Dress smart, and ready to work. A plain polo and smart chino-style shorts will make you look professional and ready to go

• Keep your make-up and hair simple, and don’t forget the sun lotion!

• Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be walking for miles each day

• I know it’s tempting to skateboard to the docks but leave your board at home! Skateboards are not favoured among yacht crew and will get you started on the wrong foot

• Take a lot of printed CVs with you, you need these to hand out to many boats

• Arrive around 8 am, at this time you’ll catch someone putting up the flag on their yacht and you’ll be able to approach them easily and explain you’re looking for day work, and ask if they are in need that day

• You’ll have much better luck if you can approach a boat alone, your friends are your direct competition while out dock walking

• Don’t ring a boat’s buzzer (doorbell), as you never know if the boss might be on board. Boats will have really tight turnarounds, and if the buzzer rings 50 times a day, they’ll get annoyed with you. If you can politely catch the attention of someone onboard, this is the best way to approach them

• Some larger boats will have trays where you can leave your CV, use these

• If you’re really keen, try going dock walking later on in the day too, you might catch people having a beer after work on the dock. This is a great time to approach them as they’re less busy and it’ll be much easier to strike up an informal conversation to ask for future work

• Be polite to everyone you meet, it’s a very small industry so you’ll never know who you may meet again down the line

• Be patient and keep trying, day after day. There will be thousands of people in the same boat as you (pardon the pun!), so you have to do your best to stay professional and do your best to stand out

• Be prepared for rejection, you’ll get 100s of no’s, sometimes for weeks on end. The yachting world is a very difficult industry to break into, however, once you’ve got some good experience you’ll be all set for a fantastic career on the seas.

Yacht Deck crew

Day work

When on board listen well, learn as much as you can, and always listen to instructions. The boats you’ll be looking after are extremely expensive, so your little mistake could cost thousands, and will prompt a very awkward conversation with the captain and owner, so stay switched on at all times, as references are invaluable in the yachting industry. Sometimes that first day-work position can turn into a seasonal or permanent position if you make the right impression!

Once you have a season’s experience, you can then approach recruitment agencies, such as us, Silver Swan Recruitment, and we’ll be able to find you your next seasonal position. Click here to see our current yacht roles available.

mansion in the distance

Interview with an Estate /House Manager

Silver Swan Recruitment recruits for a number of private households and estates worldwide. The private household industry can offer a very rewarding and lucrative career and can provide the opportunity to travel the world. Working in a private household can often be challenging as no two days are ever the same, however, this variety helps to make roles really enjoyable. You become an integral part of the family and are relied on heavily to keep the household running smoothly. To give us a little more insight into the working world of Private Households, we have interviewed an extremely experienced Estate/House Manager to better explain what it’s like to work in such a prestigious role.





Russell Orford has most recently worked as an Estate/House Manager for a UHNW client based in London. He oversaw the running of their 5 homes worldwide – 2 based in London, 3 overseas.


How did you start working in Private Households?

I spent 12 years in the Army in the Scots Guards, wearing the red tunic and Bearskin Cap. This gave me a large number of skills which were incredibly useful and transferable to the world of Private Households. When I left, I helped a friend of a friend with their maternity cover managing a house for a Titled Couple in Chelsea. I loved the variety of the work, and coming from the Army, I thrived on doing a good job and making things perfect.

I had a brief dabble in ex-military recruitment which really helped me understand where my skillset was, but most importantly how the job market works. The benefit of a good, tailored CV and understanding what good recruiters can offer you, both as a client and a candidate.

I then landed the job which started everything for me, managing a very large house, for an UHNW businessman with bordering OCD tendencies. The standards were incredibly high and he was extremely demanding – not unreasonable, but everything was either perfect, or it was wrong.

In your experience, does the role of Estate/House Manager differ among households?

I think the role of Estate or House Manager covers such a wide range of responsibilities that it can only ever be different due to different requirements. Some require cooking, some a little housekeeping, others need a real hands-on approach, while others want a more set back managerial style.

sports cars private household jobs

What is your typical day?

There is no such thing! I have my standard things which I would do on a daily basis, checking the whole house, fixing the dressing room (resetting all the hangers, to be equally spaced etc). I would also make time to speak to all the staff every day, to ensure they were happy, knew what they were doing, and also felt connected and supported.

When it comes to my workload, I would class it as a good day if I got to complete 50% of the work I planned to do that day. There are always changes, always problems to fix and last minute immediate tasks given by the Principal.

What challenges do you face on a day to day basis?

The biggest challenge I find is staff disagreements. As in every workplace, there can be disagreements between staff members, and this will always come down to you as an Estate/House Manager to fix. Just yesterday I had two housekeepers in two different properties have a row, and both handed in their notice before 0900. Not my favourite morning, but after some listening and talking they are now both staying!

candelabra on posh dining table

What do you find most enjoyable in your role?

I love doing a good job, and fixing problems, whether it’s staffing, technical, logistical or sourcing hard to find items. I don’t look for praise, but am very pleased when there is no criticism – if there is nothing wrong, then everything is right! (I have been pulled up for the length of the wicks on candles which have already been burning for an hour!).

What do you think makes a good House/Estate Manager?

The ability to adapt to anything, listen to everybody but make your own decisions, hear everything and say nothing. You must be there first, but put yourself last, behind not only your Principal but also every other member of your staff. It is an amazing privilege to be in the position to work in the incredible houses we are allowed to serve in and to manage a team of people whose sole aim is to make someone’s life better. It’s not always easy, but when you get it right, it’s perfect.

polished wine glasses on table

Fancy working in a Private Household?

If you have some good hospitality experience and feel you have the right personality traits to suit working in a private home or estate then please get in touch and we will help you either find a new opportunity or secure your first role within a private estate.

Browse our current vacancies here and click here to get in touch.

zipline val thorens

7 Best Ski Resorts in France

As a recruitment agency that places incredible staff in luxury chalets all over the french alps, we’ve spent our fair share of time enjoying the best ski resorts France has to offer, here are our top 7.

Val d’Isère

heliskiing in val disere

Good for: varied and challenging off-piste skiing.
Best activity: Helicopter tours or heliskiing.
Best place to eat: L’Atelier d’Edmond, a pricey but incredible fine dining restaurant with an outstanding menu.


outdoor pool in courchevel

Good for: Novice skiers, and British speaking kids ski schools.
Best activity: Relaxing in the Aquamotion Spa and Pool while the kids enjoy the fun water play area, indoor surfing or climbing wall.
Best place to eat: Azimut – an incredible fine dining restaurant with a Michelin star, open from Dec-May.


folie douce meribel

Good for: Partying and all-round skiing.
Best activity: Après Ski at La Folie Douce then onto the Rond Point (The Ronny) for more dancing.
Best place to eat: Tsaretta, an incredible and affordable Indian restaurant.

Val Thorens

zipline val thorens

Good for: excellent snow conditions all season round.
Best activity: La Tyrolienne, the world’s highest zip line spanning over 1300 m connecting Orelle and Val-Thorens, taking 1min 45 to cross.
Best place to eat: Au Mazot, a quaint, affordable restaurant which serves local dishes in a friendly setting with fantastic vegetarian options.

Les Arcs

fat biking in les arcs

Good for: Boarders and intermediate/advanced skiers.
Best activity: Fat Biking, available to hire from Twinner in Plan Peisey. Hire for a half a day is €35, and a full day is €60.
Best place to eat: L’effet Boeuf – an affordable vegetarian-friendly steakhouse.

La Plagne

ice grotto la plagne

Good for: Lower to intermediate skiers and boarders and families.
Best activity: Visiting The Ice Grotto at the top of the Plagne Bellecote glacier. Filled with beautiful ice sculptures it is a fun and beautiful experience for everyone.
Best place to eat: Le Ti & Yu, a busy little pizzeria is a perfect spot for quick, easy and incredibly tasty food for on the go. A firm favourite amongst locals.


mer de glace train chamonix

Good for: Advanced boarders and skiers.
Best activity: The Montenvers – Mer de Glace train. Enjoy history and glaciology by hopping on board the famous little red railway train which climbs the mountainside running through the forest before arriving at the stunning panorama at the foot of the famous Mer de Glace glacier.
Best place to eat: Le Vert Hotel Restaurant, a gem by the lake serving contemporary dishes, including an incredible Sunday roast with fantastic views of Mont Blanc from the Bar.

We regularly recruit hospitality staff for luxury ski chalets all over Europe, click here to see all our fantastic ski season positions in France.