ANDREA RODELL HEALD & BIBI LEMOS

TOWN AND COUNTRY STAFF

City
London
Category
Spear’s Black Book
Company Size
UK
Phone number
020 3174 2446
Email address
andrea@tandcstaff.com

Andrea Rodell Heald and Bibi Lemos first met when they were both working for another domestic staff recruitment agency. They clicked over a shared idea of how to run an agency distinctively, and three years ago decided to take their 30 years of expertise into business together. ‘Most agencies work in vertical markets,’ Rodell Heald explains. ‘What that means is there’s a desk for housekeepers, another for butlers, one for nannies etc.’

Lemos and Rodell Heald wanted to run their agency with above all, consistency, and so subverted this model. Lemos deals with candidates and Rodell Heald with clients. ‘We represent both and both have value to us,’ they say, ‘but it is very important that clients and candidates always speak to the same person.’ Both advertise their availability to talk to a client or candidate any hour, any day: and while once a candidate is placed they take a step back, they are always happy to take a call, or help out where possible. The very personal and bespoke service they offer is, they believe, integral because it reflects the nature of the industry. ‘It is an intensely personal business — you’re not buying a commodity,’ says Lemos. ‘It’s all about having the time to listen and to understand so you get the right person for the job.’

The domestic staff landscape is changing, as traditional roles are becoming less strictly demarcated. Butlers can cook, housekeepers run around after toddlers and maids polish silver. Despite this flexibility, Lemos and Rodell Heald believe that homes are kept at a better standard than ever. Whatever Downton Abbey might have you believe, there is no typical client. ‘We never use the word class,’ says Rodell Heald, ‘we don’t judge people in that way. We are here to provide a service.’ That service is enacted primarily through listening intently to the needs of the client, and meticulously searching for the correct person for each specification. The two ‘only ever aim for quality’, they say. ‘It’s about finding the right person for the right job.’

Behind the reasons to employ domestic staff is perhaps an instinct to create a place where at the end of a busy and stressful day you can feel at peace. ‘Your home is your home,’ says Rodell Heald, ‘and your sanctuary, especially for those with high-pressured lives.’ A good team of domestic staff will know what you like; what makes you unwind, and create that in an understated and discreet way. They will do so much more than clean; they will light up the reception area with a flower arrangement, make a beautiful guest room, and whip up a delicious shepherd’s pie to sooth the soul.

Whatever Downton Abbey might have you believe, there is no typical client. ‘We never use the word class,’ says Rodell Heald, ‘we don’t judge people in that way. We are here to provide a service.’ That service is enacted primarily through listening intently to the needs of the client, and meticulously searching for the correct person for each specification. ‘We only ever aim for quality,’ they say, and believe that can be achieved through listening well. The qualities the pair look for in the staff they recruit are ‘honesty, reliability, flexibility and discretion.’ Apart from these qualities, there is no universal fit. ‘It’s about finding the right person for the right job,’ says Lemos.
Behind the reasons to employ domestic staff is perhaps an instinct to create a place where at the end of a busy and stressful day you can feel at peace. ‘Your home is your home,’ says Rodell Heald, ‘and your sanctuary, especially for those with high-pressured lives.’ A good team of domestic staff will know what you like; what makes you unwind, and create that in an understated and discreet way. They will do so much more than clean; they will light up the reception area with a flower arrangement, make a beautiful guest room, and whip up a delicious shepherd’s pie to sooth the soul.

 

Andrea Rodell Heald & Bibi Lemos