I have been running a housekeeper / nanny service for the past 40 years, and because of my qualifications in this field, I believe that I am an expert in finding the best help for people.
The single biggest mistake that people often make is in the way that they narrow down the field of possible candidates.
Very often an employer will call me to ask my assistance in finding a housekeeper or nanny for their home and say, “ my last girl was in her 20’s, from Poland and she was great. Please find me the same thing.” After further discussion I realize they will allow no latitude. They do not want anybody younger or older or from any other country of origin.
Conversely, I may get a call saying,” I just had the worst experience. I had a woman in her 50’s from Trinidad and she was awful. Don’t send me anybody in that age group and definitely do not send me anybody from Trinidad.”
I certainly can understand somebody’s personal experience in this type of situation, but as someone who has dealt with thousands of employees, I am confident that these people are compromising their chances of finding the best possible worker.
The best applicants can come from anywhere and be of almost any age. Preconceived ideas based on limited experiences are simply counterproductive. I have found the best and worst applicants coming from the same country.
Another suggestion I would make is for am employer to consider an applicant for housekeeping or child-care who has been out of the work force for a while.
Sometimes I interview a woman who has been a mom and homemaker and would now like to do the same type of work and get paid.
If an employer is at home and can monitor the ability of the person they hired, they should consider someone who does not have references in that field but has plenty of personal experience.
If your goal is to find the very best candidate to watch your children or clean your home, you should keep an open mind and make an effort to expand the pool of people from which to choose.