Chef Xclusive

Client strategy

Are you using the best strategy to find your Private Chef?

A major decision when initiating your Private Chef Recruitment is how many agencies should you engage. Price and value for money are important, along with choosing an agent with in-depth industry experience, but strategy is key. Finding a chef fast doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve saved time; you may well have missed the best candidates. If you need to fill your vacancy fast then there are solutions designed to bridge the gap while allowing the time to search thoroughly for your perfect candidate. Our article,bridging the gap is coming soon.


Retaining one agent for your search, the strategy known as a retained search, produces excellent results for both the client and the agent. There will be the opportunity to negotiate a preferential rate and extended benefits, increasing your return on investment. This method of sourcing your new chef will give your agent the time needed to implement and execute a thorough recruitment strategy. You will work with your agent to design a very detailed job analysis to lay the foundation for the search. Your agent will have the time to investigate their existing candidate database, talent community and professional networks thoroughly, resulting in a short-list of candidates matching the job brief accurately. You will be able to liaise with your agent to arrange interviews and trial periods in an organized manner. When retaining a sole agent to source your private chef, ensure they are highly experienced in the culinary arena, if you are using one agent then make sure it’s the right one.


A search facilitated using multiple agents, the strategy known as a contingency search,will deliver CVs thick and fast. Your agents will work quickly to deliver possible candidates in the hope of filling your position first. Clients often feel that they will be exposed to more potential talent using this method; in reality a large proportion of the talent community could be missed. The brief for a private chef position is very detailed and complex, requiring specific skills for the brief to be fulfilled. To facilitate the search thoroughly it is often the case that passive candidates that are not necessarily searching for a job could match perfectly. Reaching these passive candidates and other hard to reach candidates takes time to investigate, which is not always the case with a contingency search utilizing multiple agents. If you are considering this strategy then it is imperative your agents have an excellent talent pool and culinary focused networks.



Both the retained search and contingency search have the potential to fill your vacancy, however due to the ability to deliver very thorough searches and the opportunity to build a strong relationship with an agent, clients often favor a retained search. Make sure you consider your options carefully and in either situation pick an experienced agent.

Philip is the founder of Chef Xclusive; a niche recruitment and consulting agency specializing in private chefs for luxury lifestyles. Operating globally they are positioned at the forefront of international private staff recruitment.