Saturday, May 16, 2015

Now Hiring: Estate Manager $350K

...because of the Internet, the number of these recruiters is increasing.  - Judi Perkins

OK, so I don't really have an Estate Manager job available. My bad - I posted an exciting job announcement, in order for you to come take a look at my website. 

No harm, right? Besides, the job could exist, somewhere out there. And no one can prove that it doesn't. Right? 

Anyway, our new client who emailed us but we never actually met and we don't even know quite exactly where they are, told us that maybe they'd hire someone for a big house they were thinking about building real soon, and they'd be "open" to the salary, so we figure it's probably an Estate Manager job that pays around $350K, because that sounds really good - and we bet it could happen. We're still looking into it.

But, first things first, let's get some candidates lined up and ready to email over to them... just in case this turns out to be a real job. So send in your resume and we'll get back to you on that thing.


This week, The Citizen refrains from focusing on the problems with some questionable recruiting tactics such as the above, and in the spirit of appreciative inquiry, instead salutes the best recruiters in the domestic industry. 

But we're not just handing you an easy, paid-for-with-advertising-or-membership-dollars list, however, because the best domestic staff agencies and recruiters will ultimately be defined by you... and only after your own careful inspection, not by third parties (even us!)... whose standards might not meet your own. 

You need to inspect - and to be very selective about - who has the skill to represent both your next employer ~ and you. It will take work on your part to observe their telling behaviors. Closely. 

All we can say is, the best recruiters - and the domestic agencies whose reputations they create - will always behave with honor, first, by laying the groundwork and knowing intimately the details of both the employers' needs and the candidates' talents. Those agencies will be able to recite both of these to each other, without referring back to a collection of post-it notes, without getting back to you about something as fundamental as the work culture of the household, because, simply, they've already thought ahead with due diligence, already taken the considerable time needed to get to know both parties and understand them both very well, instead of simply forwarding stacks of resumes and posting the same boilerplate online advertisements over and over.

Has the recruiter taken the time to speak with you in detail, to interview with you about your domestic service career, and know what you are actually seeking in your next position other than just your "salary requirements"? And, are they skilled enough to articulate this to their client, by actually speaking with them? Or are they just emailing off your resume, to see what happens next? This process to be thoughtful, to be engaged in real recruiting, to know people and know the delicate intricacies of both the family and the candidate takes considerable time, considerable energy, and there's no short cuts. 

Good recruiting, like good anything, is very hard work - and that's why so few people are qualified to do it.

Yet, we're not here today to rant about what's wrong, we're here to promote those behaviors doing better and appreciate those who already are, those who are model domestic industry recruiters for others to follow. Our favorite story about good recruiting comes from Judi Perkins, below. 


A good recruiter can make your job-hunting easier, so be selective about the one in your life if you want to positively affect your career.

Too often candidates aren’t any more selective about the recruiters with whom they work than they are about the [families] with which they interview. That’s understandable considering candidates often buy into the myth that all recruiters are omniscient and omnipotent. When you don’t know how a recruiter works, it’s easy to assume they know what they’re doing – until you find out differently.

So how do you tell if a recruiter is adept at their profession? Here’s a hint: Don’t bother asking how long they’ve been a recruiter. It’s irrelevant. Instead, ask a few questions about the position they’re representing. If the only thing they know is the salary range and they tell it to you, proceed at your own risk. If a recruiter fails to take an in-depth search assignment from a client, how does the recruiter know what the client is looking for? More than that, how will the recruiter know if they come across that person? Without a detailed profile of the position, the company and the hiring authority, all the recruiter is doing is faxing resumes and hoping something will work. It’s tantamount to shooting arrows at a target in a dark closet.

Furthermore, if a recruiter is deficient in that area, he’ll also be deficient in other areas. It’s likely he’ll have little to no influence in subtle decisions that are made, because his input carries no weight. He won’t be acting as a hiring consultant to the [family office] because he hasn’t set himself up that way from the beginning. What does this mean to you? You’ll learn nothing about where you stand in the hiring process. You’ll be kept waiting until the employer feels like getting back with the recruiter. You may learn little more than “they liked you” or “they didn’t like you.” Granted, you can’t get hired if you aren’t in front of the hiring authority. So in that sense, even a bad recruiter has some use. However, if that happens, probably the only service the recruiter provided to you was to send your resume to the company.

With a thorough and experienced recruiter, you can expect a multitude of questions and a lot of them are very personal. If they’re to present you to a client, they need a total picture of you: career, family, salary history, job search strategy, what you’ve done, what skills you have, what you want, and where you envision your career going.

Judi knew what mattered.
So when one approaches you with a position and you show interest, do they dig deeper to learn who you are, or do they just get your resume and pass it on to the employer? Do they grasp over time what you’re suited for, or do they continue to run things by you that have no appeal at all? Is it about your career or their commission?  There are subtleties to the business that too many recruiters miss. The most basic is that every company and individual is unique. The good ones understand this. The others think that if they just throw out enough lines, they’ll eventually catch a fish. They’ve completely missed the point of why a recruiter exists. They rarely make a placement, except by accident. They function more as a resume service and less as a recruiter. Their fees are likely to be very low or negotiated.

Unfortunately, because of the Internet, the number of these recruiters is increasing. The Internet means a recruiter doesn’t actually have to work at recruiting. Any contingency recruiter can call an employer and join the race in the first resume to the finish line. They find your paperwork posted on a job board, and you – who are more likely passive than active in your search and haven’t carefully thought out your requirements for your perfect job – are easy picking. Off to the interview you go, possibly with unsatisfying results for everyone involved.    

An effective recruiter can make a difference in your search by fully understanding the depth of what’s involved in bringing a company and an individual together long-term. These recruiters are in it for the long haul. Their rewards are repeated business with client companies, referrals from relationships they’ve developed with individuals and the joy of a candidate who’s ecstatic about the new opportunity.

It’s your career. When you’re looking to further it, shrewd discernment will always bring you closer to what you want. 

- Judi Perkins


So, modeling our own appreciation for appreciative inquiry, to all those recruiters in the domestic employment industry who fit Judi's vision above, we salute you.