Bilingual & Multilingual Candidates
It is generally understood that the ability to fluently speak more than one language expands life’s horizons – being able to communicate, work, socialise and live in a wider variety of countries and territories around the world opens up many possibilities.
For household staff this is especially true, as there are many principals with residences, businesses and family in more than one country. It naturally follows that they are always keen to employ bilingual or multilingual staff, and thus these candidates are highly sought after for a number of key roles.
- Families seeking nannies, governesses or other childcare staff are highly likely to request bilingual or multilingual candidates. Languages have a direct impact on a child’s education.
- This is especially true for governesses/governors, with a specific language in mind. For example an Italian, French or German speaking governess will teach the children the desired tongue as a second or third language.
- In families with an international footing it’s quite common for the mother and father to speak a different first language. A nanny or governess fluent in both can help to ensure that the children grow up to be truly bilingual.
- Many UHNW (Ultra-High Net Worth) families travel a great deal, and the children might not always be able to speak the language of their current location. A multilingual nanny or governess can assist greatly, both in their native tongue and in introducing the new language.
- Butlers are often required to travel internationally alongside their principals. A multilingual butler is obviously a huge asset to a principal who does not speak the local language.
- As the butler is often the de facto head of the household staff, the ability to speak several languages greatly aids communication with the rest of the staff, who might well be from a variety of countries.
Household, Estate and Palace Managers
- Depending on the structure of the household staff, ultimate responsibility for the smooth running of the residence/s is often overseen by a household manager, estate manager or palace manager. As with butlers, the ability to communicate in several languages with other staff, outside contractors and even the principal’s wider family, is a boon.
- The language barrier is often cited as a major impediment in managing a residence in a foreign country.
- A private PA can be said to act as the eyes, ears and hands of their principal. For many UHNW clients, a bilingual or multilingual PA is therefore a very attractive option.
- This is clearly an asset, easing communication in key territories where a different language is primarily spoken. For example, making travel arrangements will be much more efficient, and assistance can be offered in business dealings.
Being bilingual or multilingual is an advantageous skill to possess in any career. While we’ve only touched on a few roles here, with the international aspects of modern household staffing it can open up a world of possibilities.