REACHING FOR THE STARS: THE LOS ANGELES WORK/LIFE CULTURE
May 15th, 2014
Have you always wondered what it
would be like to live and work in the ultra-glamorous Hollywood Hills, rubbing
shoulders with the stars?
Here, Quintessentially People’s LA
Director, Samantha Lloyd-Gordon talks about living the Hollywood dream, both
working and recruiting for Hollywood’s most high-profile celebrities.
Tell us a bit about your background and what brought you to
Uniquely I moved out to LA to be
an actress! But I quickly realised my
passion and talent lay in organisation and managing people. That’s when I decided to become a
professional Executive and Personal Assistant which evolved into House/Estate
Quintessentially People, who have
worked exclusively out of London and New York, were looking for someone to head
up their new staffing and recruiting office in LA, someone who really knew the
culture of LA and the families and individuals who require top-notch domestic
assistance. My background was a great
fit as one of my specialities was hiring staff in the homes I supported.
I am really honoured to be part of
the QP family – it’s a respected, reputable and successful company.
What type of jobs do you
predominantly recruit for in LA?
staff every role in the home and the office. For home staffing
that includes: Housekeepers, nannies, doulas, chefs, PA's and EA's,
Butlers, House Managers, Yacht crews and all other domestic support staff one
might need. For office environments, we place Executive Assistants,
Office Managers, Staffing Coordinators, HR generalist and assistants,
Production Assistants, Caterers, temporary assistants...the list is
endless. Do you need a Life Coach? We have quite a few! Our outreach is
very widespread so we have exceptional candidates to present to our clients.
Can you give us some examples
of jobs you have placed so far?
have placed an Executive/Personal Assistant with a billionaire businessman,
housekeepers and chefs, nannies and a trade show hostess in Las Vegas. I am
currently completing placement on an HR Generalist, Yacht
Stewardess, temporary nannies and housekeepers, a traditional Valet/Butler (in
vein of Downtown Abbey) for very old world European family who is LA
based, and an Executive Assistant with a start up company in the
How do you think the LA job
market differs from the UK?
accents! It's a more film-centric town, the entertainment industry families
are the ones who seem to utilize the most domestic assistants from what I've
seen and experienced. There are many other industries in Los Angeles, but if
you say to an Angeleno "that person works in the 'industry' ", they
automatically know it's the film industry.
Describe the work culture in
There's a high
volume of people who are very well trained in the service industry due to the
training programs here and the positions available. They have to keep upping
their skill set or else they'll get left behind, and I'm seeing many
candidates with multiple certifications who want to stay ahead of their competition.
Prior to working for QP you
were a celebrity PA. Do you have any interesting stories to share?
worked for a high profile model (who was truly a great person to work for and
so much fun). She asked me to shoot some photos for her look-book for her
clothing line and had me go with her to the fashion mart in NYC where we had a
huge booth to show prospective buyers her line. The booth had loud music and
champagne flowing (at 10am!) and her great idea was to have a go-go cage in the
booth. Guess who had to dance in it? Oh the things we do for our employers!
Also, she would have me bring her one-eyed Pug back and forth between New
York and Los Angeles so she could be with him when she traveled. He had a
little polo shirt that he would wear to keep him warm that made him look like a
Mafia Don. And for the record, she was one of the BEST bosses I ever had.
We still keep in touch.
How did you make the transition
from celebrity PA to recruiter?
employers moved back to New York and I knew I was going to be looking for a
new opportunity after I relocated them, so I got
very honest with myself and since one of the things I enjoyed the most about my job was
staffing a house and helping people find work, it was an easy decision.
The transition was so seamless I knew it was the right decision
Do you have any advice to offer
professional - in your attire, your attitude and especially with your first
contact to a recruiter via email or phone. What they say about
"first impressions" really is true. I'm here to help you but I
am still interviewing you. We schedule time to meet with candidates and are working
to find you a job, so have the courtesy to call if your plans change and you
decide not to interview. And tell the truth, especially on your resume.
Oh, and network, network, network!
What do you love about
being in LA?
a shopaholic and LA has amazing boutiques that are always popping up.
That I can be gluten-free and vegan and it's the norm out here. The
hiking and mountain scenery. My secret beach cove that my husband and I picnic
at (even in January). Oh and of course, the weather. It's 80F today
here, how is it in London?