how to find work inside a private household

Choosing a Household Staffing agency to work with: For Job Seekers

The relationship between domestic staffing agency and private staffing professional should always work in harmony; after all, one party cannot work without the other in most cases. The job market for qualified household staff is booming at present, with more and more affluent families wishing to hire staff to meet their lifestyle demand. I wanted to give job seekers a few tips on choosing a recruiter to represent them when trying to secure employment within a private household. There are a few tell-tale signs of unsatisfactory recruitment practices which can help you distinguish and evade improper recruiters with less-than-impressive performance standards.

Is There A Service Fee Required?

Whilst a rare occurrence in the domestic staffing industry; if the agency informs you that there is a fee for you to use their services then alarm bells should start to ring. Recruitment agencies make their commission from the family that employs you. Do not sign a contract where you are obliged to pay the agency for something the employer should be paying for, regardless of a ‘100% successful’ sales pitch. It is 2015, job seekers should NEVER have to pay anybody to assist with the procurement of employment unless it is for a specific service such as specialist CV writing etc.

How knowledgeable is your consultant?

If not, why are they in the recruitment industry? Recruitment in general is a pressure cooker sector where the competition is aggressive. Consultants who come across as unknowledgeable about a particular job sector or position then they are simply wasting your time. It can be an indicator of the recruitment agency does not get the required level of training in terms of consistent performance, or simply that they cannot really be bothered – in this industry you will find that a good portion of recruiters are ex-household staff themselves, so an ‘errm/errr’ situation as mentioned above would be far less-frequent than that of the general recruitment industry. To get to the point – You need a recruitment agency that will give you 110% so as to give you the best opportunity to get back into employment.

Are Your References Their New Business Leads?

Obviously a very tricky one to find out, but a sure sign that the recruiter is focused on business lead generation rather than finding you a great job. A good idea would be to contact the referees of which the agency should have contacted in the early stages of recruitment. Ask the referees if they have been contacted by the recruitment agency and if anything else was discussed; such as a service proposal. This is as good as reason as any to find yourself a professional private staff agency who are interested in finding you work just as much as securing a commission fee.

Are They Disconcertingly Overconfident?

Nothing in life is guaranteed, especially when it comes to employment, but when a consultant is in your face stating he or she can guarantee you a job is a sign that their approach to recruitment is unrealistic. Only the employer who employs can make guarantees. Honesty is a key attribute, so look for this in your consultant as at the end of the day; they are representing you and your search for a prospective employer.

Is your consultant pushy?

A recruitment consultant has the responsibility of finding you a suitable position which fits your very own career ambitions. The consultant should not be pushing you towards positions which do not match your own aspirations and in turn directing you towards positions of which they would earn a bigger/easier commission. Make it clear from the outset that you only wish to hear about relevant opportunities which you deem relevant.

Are they generating leads from your application?

Be cautious with consultants who ask you a myriad of questions about your previous employers or employers of whom you have had correspondence with in relation to potential employment. This can be construed as covert lead generation which your consultant may use for other candidates.

I have known this to be the case when speaking to one or two consultants who say it is part of the recruitment culture. The consultant will have you tell them who you have sent your CV off to in order to avoid sending it again, as it would ‘damage your chances of getting the job‘ – With the names of employers you have handed over to the consultant, they now have a list of employers/private families who are actively recruiting with which they can then use to promote their services and begin sending other candidates to. This is counterproductive to you as it inflates your competition.

Now for the good news…

There is a plethora of fantastic household staffing agencies out there in many countries around the world with whom I have personally had the pleasure of chatting to, who take great pride in their ethical approach to recruitment. But it is definitely worth remembering these basic guidelines. Reputation is a really important factor in terms of choosing an agency to assist you in finding work. Ask around – people who have used a certain recruitment agency will gladly tell you their experiences which you can then use to make a decision. Another route when it comes to choosing a recruitment agency to work with would be to check out some of the associations which operate globally and check with whom they have a relationship with.

About Andrew Tilston

As well as running Estate & Manor Magazine on a daily basis, Andrew is also a digital marketer with his own bespoke marketing consultancy where he assists various global entrepreneurs and businesses with their online sales, presence and social media. Andrew worked in Moscow for 10 years where he worked for one of Moscow's wealthiest families as a household governor.

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