Da da da da (imagine a real serious music) 😁 Well Okay, I Have been listening to a podcast from founder of a Nanny agency, Lucy, about how we have to give Nanny agencies a break. And I thought I can write my view on the topic. It is a very touchy- feely subject, but I feel I have quite a lot of experiences with Nanny agencies in a different countries, good and bad and really bad.
I was so incredibly excited when I signed with my first Nanny agency. I imagined it as they see me as a great professional who will be a good asset to their portfolio and I was just so thrilled I will be represented by the best in the business. I had deepest respect for them and seen them as the ones who will get me the jobs I want and represent me fairly. I had grown up since than a little, but it still catches me by surprise, that way too often when the Nanny agency places you with the family, they are done with you. That way too often you are not being put forward for the jobs you want (given you do fill all the criteria for it), that sometimes you will even be sent to the interview and there will be no-one there, or the family will be a really bad match for you – even though you said what you are looking for.
Once you learn how they operate (and I have to add it is not all of them that operate the same) than you kind of almost give up, as somehow the middle man (which is the agency) never seems to work in your favour. As much as they say how great you are and how they know you will be perfect for the jobs they are sending you to, it is really up to you to read between the lines and see what the situation is.
This is a view from one side – Nanny side. I also want to say that I do know how much hard work goes in to what the agencies are doing. Lots of times the clients (families) they are pitching the jobs for, have really poor communication with them and sometimes they even disappear. I imagine every day they also have to deal with Nannies who have to high demands – with too little experience. All that said I still feel many of them are not giving enough support to the people who they are actually placing in the positions.
When things go bad with families, and believe me – they do go bad (just scroll down a Nanny facebook page – you can read horrible things daily), the agencies lift their hands of the case and say they can not do anything. I do agree that problems that occurred on the job, you need to solve by yourself, but I cannot help but wonder, what to do when things really go south – when you are in a new country and the family trows you out, or you are not getting paid, being assaulted verbally…ect.). I have a hinge that agencies who are big and busy and are constantly changing their staff, sort of loose the balance and there is no way that that agency is the right one to represent you.
Another problem I see is no update, working in the stone age since forever. But times change, people have different needs and no time. Just an example to give you. When I was looking for a new position a while ago, I signed with a few new agencies. For most of them I had to send in a new application form, which usually is at least 4 pages long, with all my details from my CV written in. Every form has different layout, for some of them I needed to instal new programs etc. Don’t get me wrong, I want the job, I have to put in the work, that is cristal clear to me, but at the time I was working 6 days a week and more plus some nights and every one of the forms took me hours to do. There was only Lucy’s agency that had this clever survey you have to fill in instead of the old boring Application form. I thought that was really good, and refreshing amongst all the other agencies.