In my opinion, yes. Nannies aren’t paying clients but they are a big part of what brings in the paying clients. Caregivers deserve not to simply be one of a stackful of nanny resumes, but to be truly represented by the agency they choose to work with.
The number one complaint I hear from nannies who are working with agencies is the agency’s lack of follow-up and honest feedback. Many nannies feel stuck in limbo somewhere within the placement process. Did the agency receive their application? How well did they do in the interview? Are they being presented to potential employers? Have they made it to anyone’s short list? Too often they have a lot more questions than answers. Instead of feeling like a valued client with expert representation, they feel like a warm body expected to patiently sit and wait.
One nanny agency, Westside Nannies in Beverly Hills, CA, has departed from the pack and has taken a bold stance – they’ve publically committed to being transparent with nannies and are attempting to give each and every nanny the response they deserve. “It’s an issue of respect,” says founder, Katie Vaughan, “we may not be giving all nannies the response they had hoped for – but we are committed to treating them as the professionals they are – nannies deserve to know whether or not they are being genuinely represented by an agency. They’re doing the work – filling out the application, submitting their resume, interviewing etc. and it is only fair that they be given a straight answer.” This is no small feat, as Westside Nannies has some of the highest application numbers in the country. In a recent phone interview, Vaughan outlined the agency’s new set of policies, which have been put into place over the last few months. 1.) The agency reviews online applications on a daily basis and does their absolute best to respond to each and every application within 3-4 business days. 2.) Nannies who do not meet the agency’s qualifications will be notified by e-mail immediately. Nannies who do, will move on to the next step in the application process. 3.) Once a nanny has been given an invitation to interview at the agency, they will meet in-person with a recruitment coordinator and their references will be thoroughly checked. 4) Westside Nannies will then make a representation decision – this decision takes into consideration the nanny’s background and qualifications, the in-person interview and strength of the references, the general hireablility, and the current candidate climate (how many candidates the agency is representing at the moment, the different backgrounds already represented within the candidate pool, how the nanny compares to the other candidates currently available, etc.) 5.) A decision letter is e-mailed to the candidate letting them know whether or not they have been chosen for representation.
Since instituting the new policy, Vaughan admits that the agency has experienced some backlash. “We’ve had a couple of nannies complain that our decision was unfair. It’s difficult, because they may be perfectly qualified, but unfortunately, because of the high number of applications we receive, the application pool is extremely competitive – we often have to decide between two candidates who are equally as qualified. But at the end of the day, we believe that nannies would rather get a response one way or the other – they deserve a response” Vaughan further noted that Westside Nannies only has the ability to represent a select number of candidates at any given time as they are committed to marketing, coaching, and educating the nannies they do represent – a task that takes both time and money. And it pays off, Westside Nannies is known for placing their candidates in top jobs and they’ve broken records in garnering top salaries for their nannies. Andrea, a nanny who was represented and placed with one of the agency’s celebrity clients said it best, “Westside Nannies really prepared me for my job search – they gave me instructions on how to re-write my resume and gave me in-depth interview and body language coaching so that when the right job came along I was ready – I now have a job I could have only dreamed of!”
What do you think of Westside Nannies’ approach? As always, I’d love to hear your comments.
Click here to hear my interview with Katie Vaughan. She offers great interviewing tips and her idea of what makes an ideal candidate.
Westside Nannies is a referral agency. Pursuant to applicable laws, Westside Nannies does not make referrals or work-related decisions based on age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic or practice, or in an unlawful manner.