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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 Quintessentially People
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 Management.

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?
We 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?
I 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 healthcare industry.

How do you think the LA job market differs from the UK?
Definitely the 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 LA…
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?
I 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?
My last 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 immediately.

Do you have any advice to offer candidates?
Be 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?
I'm 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?