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2015 Job Seekers Guide (PART 1 OF A SERIES)
 
 

This is part 1 of a series of “2015 Job Seekers Guide” for all Greenhouse Agency candidates and anyone reading this article.

STARTING WITH THE AGENCY IN THIS “JOB SEEKERS GUIDE”

I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt. However, it can be a bit frustrating when I see people who do not take the initiative to do their best. This is especially important in the “job seeking process.” We can help you, however you have to want help and be willing to put in the work also.

As a Household Staffing Agency, we are teammates. We want you to be great and we want our clients to be happy. We are reflections of each other. When we say we have top notch candidates, we mean it. Yet, I think for too long people have felt domestic workers are not Professionals. They just clean, drive, cook, and take care of people. NO!!!!!! WE ARE MORE THAN THAT! We are hard working thinkers, educators, motivators, and problem solvers. We take initiative, act as the gatekeepers & protectors of our bosses most prized possessions. Every day our goal is to meet our Employer’s highest expectations. The only way to change any negative mindset is by being as professional as you can be at all times. This starts from the beginning of your relationship with a Placement Agency.

How you conduct yourself, how professional you are when you come in goes a long way. Sometimes, a Candidate who is properly prepared with their credentials and shows beyond any doubt they have great and legitimate experience will instill the motivation in us, where we waste no time to send them for an interview that very same day. Then there are those who have excellent experience but come in so unprepared we have to waste time waiting on documents, preparing resumes, etc. We can see that although they could be an excellent Candidate, they are not proactive nor professional in the way they present themselves. This can be a huge problem when it comes to interviewing. Here are some tips that you may or may not know leave good or bad impressions.

Let’s start from the VERY beginning.

FOLLOW UP ON RESUMES:

People will send a resume at 11am and then call to ask if we reviewed it at 12pm. The Placement Specialist here are busy and have other candidates to interview, call, clients to deal with, etc. You should at least wait 24 to 48 hours. Give them a chance to check their email.

NOTE: If you are sending a resume make sure it’s for the specific ad you are responding to. Every ad or posting Greenhouse runs has a contact person’s name. Know that Placement Specialists name! Also, if we say you have to be a legal citizen and live in the U.S. please don’t send a resume from another country.

PHONE CALLS:

The way you handle yourself on the phone tells me a lot. You would be amazed at the amount of people that call and have no idea who they are calling or don’t even know the name of our company. Multiple times throughout the day we get calls like this:

Me: Hello! This is Greenhouse Agency how can I help you?
Caller: “Hello, I need a job.” or “What do you guys do?” or “Who is this?” or “Somebody called me.”

This is not a joke. I am always amazed at the amount of people who call with no information. They have no idea what type of agency we are, they don’t listen to their voicemail to see who called them, and they don’t even know the name of our company before or after we say Greenhouse Agency when answering the phone. If you are looking for a position at any company, you should do your research. At least know the name! All companies have websites now. Look up the company and get background information. Mostly all the questions you have can be found on the website. Then, if you still have a question, make the call. If you don’t have a computer, there are plenty of ways to access one via the public library, Staples, Fed Ex Office, and numerous other office stores with computer access. Use them! This is a great segue to the next tip.

PREPAREDNESS:

I have literally felt sorry for the people that come in here and are not prepared, but now I don’t. Why? Because YOU have to CARE about YOUR presentation. If you don’t why should anyone else? People come into the agency sometimes with nothing. They just really need a job so they decided to come in. While I commend the grind, I don’t respect the hustle. No matter how good you are it shows me that you are not proactive and you don’t care. It’s 2015 and you should have the following when applying with a Domestic Staffing Agency.

  • Resume – Any job you are applying for you need this. But at the least, there is no excuse for not having a detailed “work history” neatly, hand written on a sheet of paper? Also, remember all those places I just mentioned that allow access to computers. We will help you if it needs work, but you should at least have something for us to work with! In the coming weeks we will help with this and Cover Letters.

NOTE: Just because you emailed it to a counselor doesn’t mean you should show up without a copy.

  • Reference information – Domestic Agencies and its clients hire based on the people that you have worked for. Why wouldn’t you have their address and phone numbers? You worked for someone for over three years and you don’t know the address? We need to verify this stuff. Withholding it or not having it is very problematic. Would you want to have someone in your house and you don’t know if what they say is true? Remember, Greenhouse Agency is an “Employer Fee Paid Agency!” This means there are NO costs to the Candidate. The Employer pays our Agency Fee. What does this really mean? The Clientele who calls on Greenhouse for Staff are willing to pay our Agency Fee. Not all Employers are willing to pay Agency Fees. Some use Agencies that do charge fees to Candidates and some utilize different sources through the internet or advertise on their own. Employers like this tend to pay lower salaries and are not seeking the true Domestic/Household Professionals which Greenhouse is known to recruit. Greenhouse’s Clients call on us because they expect us to do the best job possible. They know we are selective. That we do insist on the addresses of all references and do check these references. So please, do not come to an Agency and say: “I don’t remember the address.” or “I don’t remember the husband’s or wife’s first names.” or “I don’t know their phone number, they never gave it to me.”
  • ID and Proof of Citizenship – If we plan to place you we have to run a background check. You are going into people’s private homes. In order for us to do this we need a State issued Photo ID. For most of our jobs we also need to see if you’re legally allowed to work in the U.S. or what is your legal status. You have to show a hardcopy. How can you apply for a Chauffeur position and not have your Drivers License? See what I mean people?
  • Reference Letters – Not everyone has this and that’s workable, but if you do its golden. If you spent years working for someone in their home keeping it spectacular, taking excellent care of their children, their parent, running their estate, then they should write you a letter of recommendation. Don’t be afraid to ask. The only thing they could say is no….which they probably won’t.
  • Certifications – Any certifications you have will help you stand out. First Aid/CPR, Driver License, Baby Nurse Certification, Child Education Certificates, and other certificates which are relevant.
  • Extra Golden – Photos of your food, sample menus if you’re a chef and even a nanny (for kids). Any other items that will sell you!!! It’s your package make it count. Always bring anything and everything which can “help us, help you!”

NOTE: Make sure you have copies of all these items. It’s not professional to come in here and ask for extra copies of all your items.

DRESS:

I feel like I shouldn’t even have to talk about this, but seeing first hand, Candidates (someone looking for a job) come in with sweats, flip flops, and hair wrapped up, I feel I need to. You came to our office for us to interview you…right? So be sure you dress for an interview! What if we have a perfect match for you and can send you out that day???? We can’t.

Whew! I vented. I needed to. I want so badly for you to succeed and if you have the right mindset and drive you can. I hope this advice will help you or someone else you may know. Please share this information. This not only will help you with our agency, but with any other career you may choose. For some, it may be self explanatory, but for many it will be an eye opener. If you have found yourself lacking in one or more of these things all you have to do is take note and make the change!!!!!!!

I hope this part 1 of our “2015 Job Seekers Guide” will be very helpful to you.

Bring it 2015!!! Greenhouse Agency Candidates are ready to WIN!!!

By: Justine Hall

* * *
  Nannies, Housekeepers, Available at Greenhouse Agcy Ltd.
(7) Most recent on top
  • A very good vent!
    The only comment I have to make is in reference to your “reference information”.
    When I was a nanny my family moved and I didn’t go with them due to space.(worked with this family for only 5 yrs)
    I did get a written reference from the family but after 8 years when they moves again I lost track of them.
    I guess what I am saying is that sometimes it is not the Nannies fault that we don’t have a address and phone number to confirm the written reference.
    Otherwise your vent is what I have been telling the younger Nannies that I meet for a couple of years now!
    Keep up the good vents!
    Carol

    • Avatar Justine Hall says:

      Hello Carol!! Thank you so much for responding. What a great response! You can’t imagine how many times we come across this situation. This is what we ask:

      1. Give us the address that was relevant when you did work there
      2. Tell us the names (first and last) of the parents and the children
      3. Phone numbers that were relevant
      4. Business information that was relevant
      5. Emails, etc.
      6. Anything to help us find them and to prove you did work at that address

      With today’s technology, we could locate them. If this was the only other experience you had it would be important for us to make SURE that you did work for them. Our clients are very picky (I don’t blame them) and expect us to do our job thoroughly. Too many times, people will say this exact thing and can’t remember the names or anything. What can we do? We can’t prove it. Clients want “our” word not the candidates.

      The new trick is to say you worked at a great address, give us a cell number, and have someone answer pretending to be the employer. Ughhhhhhh!!!! lol. Now we have to demand an address and request house phone numbers. We have to dig even deeper……..oh the times Carol….oh the times……

      Have a great one!!!!

      Justine

  • Avatar Roger T says:

    Hi Justine,
    I enjoyed your “vent” and I agree. I wanted to ask a question about your above response to Carol. I had an employer where I signed a NDA and confidentiality agreement. When I left they did not provide a reference letter (I was terminated due to an unhappy, long term housekeeper). I don’t hide or gloss over what happened, and I did a good job for them but they declined being a reference. I am not going to tell you who they are out of respect for them, and their wishes. But you aren’t going to be able to verify this, so where does that leave us?

    Thanks,

    Roger

    • Avatar Justine Hall says:

      Hello Roger!!!! Great question. If you have other references that we could check then you would be fine. If this was your only reference, then it would very difficult for us to place you. Both, the agency and the client want to feel safe and be sure that you can do what you claim. It is very unfortunate for those that have spent years for one client and cannot use them as a reference. However, a reference is the key. Its like a seeing a doctors PHD 🙂

      Best Wishes,

      Justine

  • Thanks so much for the article. It is a great reminder. I shared it with our nannies.

  • […] Part 1: Working with the household staffing agency – a look behind the magic curtain at their world and how you can maximize your chances of success. Read the full article. […]

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