Working as a PA for a high-net-worth (HNW) or ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) individual or family is an unusual job. While it absolutely demands the kind of efficiency and organisational skills found in most PA roles, the requirements are a lot tougher.
At PA Business Support, the level of service we’re used to providing translates perfectly to the expectations of our HNW/UNHW clients. It’s not unusual, for example, to see us become a crucial addition to the client or client’s family support team, helping to source other household roles. Our process for searching and selecting candidates for these kind of roles is designed to leave no stone unturned. First, we offer a completely individual and tailored recruitment process from start to finish, handled exclusively by our directors, Sophie and Sabina. This is to make sure that the person we find is professionally, socially, and culturally, exactly the right fit. Second, we action a bespoke – and discreet – marketing campaign built specifically to the client’s individual needs. Thirdly, we are very particular about who we put forward. So what exactly do we look for?
High performers in HNW environments
What we look for in a candidate for this sort of role is someone who is able to remain patient, diplomatic and helpful in high pressured situations, in HNW environments, social or otherwise. Our PAs are used to liaising and building trust quickly with all strata of society, but, crucially, our private PAs have the skills, tact, and wit, to handle themselves in a room full of HNW people.
Unphased, at any hour
Our HNW clients rarely work a 9-to-5. Candidates we talk to for these roles must be used to, and amenable to, that. An HNW client will need support at unusual times, seven days a week. They need to know that when the phone rings at 4am because someone has forgotten to take their passport to the airport, it’ll be answered and dealt with efficiently. We look for people who are prepared to offer this kind of flexibility, while at the same time are resilient enough to handle it!
World class networkers
When we select candidates, we pick people that are well connected. A PA to a HNW individual or family is primarily a facilitator, and for this they need to maintain their little black book of contacts – if the boss makes a request, they need to know, who, when, and where to go to. Over time, they will need to become familiar with everything about their employers’ life, who they talk to, what their tastes and opinions are, so this is something they will need to be focused on.
Companions and confidants
Being a HNW PA isn’t just about organising and managing, it’s about integrating into someone’s life; it’s not unusual for a PA to travel with their boss, or bosses, attend their family events, take care of their personal shopping, etc.. This type of PA will often double as confidant, which is why discretion is such a highly valued and essential part of the job. It’s also why, when we put a candidate forward for this kind of role, we look for someone who will be the right personality fit. They must be comfortable building a relationship with the client, but, at the same time, know the professional boundaries.
The lynchpin of your whole operation
Our PAs will frequently be expected to look after various teams, such as household staff, nannies, office workers, social media experts, PR agencies and more. If there’s one thing we’re careful about, it’s ensuring that anyone we place in a HNW PA role is an experienced manager and comfortable assuming this kind of responsibility.
If you’re looking for private PAs, Housekeepers, Lifestyle Managers, Chiefs of Staff, or similar, PA Business Support should be your first stop. We are well-versed in finding the kind of unique people who thrive in these roles. We’re also finely attuned to the things you don’t usually find on a CV: like empathy, intuition, self-awareness, attitude, stamina, resilience and even charm. If this sounds like what you’re looking for, then drop us a line.