Staff of Distinction is the UK’s leading specialist Household Staffing agency. Established in 1996 by Sarajane Ambrose, whether you need a Housekeeper to ensure the smooth running of your home or an Estate Manager to streamline your property portfolio and oversee staff, our team of dedicated experts can facilitate all of your staffing needs.
Recognising a gap in the market for an exemplary recruitment agency where both clients and candidates received an unparalleled service to secure the highest-calibre of staff for clients and the most exclusive jobs for candidates, Sarajane founded Staff of Distinction. To this day, the agency works hard to fulfil the needs of both clients and candidates by ensuring that ethical practices remain consistently at the heart of what they do. To discuss your requirements, call and speak to one of Sarajane’s dedicated consultants now on 0207 795 6255.
At Staff of Distiction, I work closely with my team to find the right solution for the client. While my consultants focus on their specific division and clients, if at the point of registering a client’s position, or even during the selection and interview process the consultant feels the client’s requirements are better served by one of her colleagues’ division, by working closely together, we will always find a solution. As a team, we will always recognise that our client’s and candidates needs come first.
Since founding my companies in 1996, and having become a mother, I understand too well how difficult it can be to fit everything in. That is why my strategy has always been to delegate to the professionals! Whether it is to hire that housekeeper extraordinaire or the detail-orientated personal assistant to help with the smooth running of my family life. Throughout the years, it has often been these members of staff that have provided the backbone to a successfully run home and an efficient working life.
There are three of us holding the reigns at Staff of Distinction alongside SJ, working closely together to ensure we have only the creme de la creme of candidates retained on our Register. With more than 50+ years’ combined knowledge and experience in placing Household Staff in private households, we are specialists in our field.
From the outset, we work hard to hand-select the right candidate for our clients in order to achieve a satisfying long-term placement for both parties.
Having worked for Staff of Distinction for almost 10 years, I am working at the heart of the Agency and closely with the Founder. I place domestic Couples, Butlers, Estate Managers, Chefs and Gardeners and thoroughly enjoy the diversity of my role. My client’s requirements are paramount to my selection process, however, given my extensive knowledge and experience, I can glean which additional skills would be of benefit despite the client not necessarily listing them. I get to know each and every one of my candidates so I am swift to know which personality and expectations will match.
I have been working at Staff of Distinction for 4 years, having graduated from Bath University with a BA in Psychology. I thrive on meeting my candidates in both the London and Bath offices, and honing-in on their skills and strengths in order to match them to my Country Housekeeper live-in roles. I always ensure that those candidates who are flexible regarding their location are fully on-board with my client’s locale before being introduced. I am confident when I interview an applicant that I can quickly ascertain the type of household and family the candidate will suit which ensures they will only interview with clients where they are highly suitable for the role, which in-turn avoids wasting time for both parties.
Having come from a corporate recruitment background, I was used to running a busy desk in another sector. I was quickly accepted into this niche agency and my 3 years have flown. I work from both offices recruiting all London Housekeepers, whether live-in or live-out and all Country daily Housekeepers. My Country Housekeepers are very specific given they will dictate the areas they wish to work in which, when when I take down the right position and area makes for a very swift placement. Do call me to discuss your vacancy or your search for a position and I will work tirelessly to fulfil your requirements.
Did you know in 1900 domestic service was the single largest occupation in Edwardian Britain. Of the 4m women employed, 1.5m were working in domestic service, the majority of them working single-handed in a small household.
Records show that in the 1911 Census that 800,000 families in Britain employed household staff, however, only a fifth of them had a retinue of staff more than three.
Do you know the origins of Claridges Hotel?
It was started by a Mr and Mrs Claridges who met while they worked together for many years as the Butler and Housekeeper at a smart London address. After marrying, they left their employer to start their own business which began as a superior pied-a-terre in London for good families.
Could they ever have imagined what Claridges would become…
Did you know that Butlers were expected to remain bachelors so that they could fully commit themselves to ‘their’ family. If it was revealed that they did have a wife and child while claiming to be single, they would usually be summarily dismissed.
Do you know how Her Majesty The Queen’s grocer Fortnum & Mason was started?
William Fortnum, who was a Footman at the Royal Household of Queen Anne, decided to start a sideline as a grocer. He persuaded his landlord, a Mr Hugh Mason, to partner with him.
In 1707, the first Fortnum & Mason store opened in London’s Mayfair.
By the 1850’s one in 3 females between the age of 15-20 were working in domestic service.
According to the 1871 census, included in the 1.19m listed were 93,000 cooks and 75,000 nursemaids!
At the peak, there were 1,549,502 working in private service.