Finding the right placement as a Private Service Professional begins with working with the right placement agency. But there is more to simply showing interest and waiting for the offers to roll in. Tiffany Kolosick, a Placement Specialist at Precise Home Management, shares her professional opinion on how to succeed in your next placement.
Tiffany, you often hear how solicitations for private service professionals are unlike those applying for other jobs. Are there any behind the scene details a placement agency has to consider that are outside the published job description?
It’s important to remember that we see the resumes the clients respond to, so whenever we ask a candidate to add something to their resume, there’s always a good reason behind it. We are also watching how they deal with our process to see how they would deal with the client. We are looking for great character first and foremost, timely responses from the candidate, a high level of professionalism (not complaining when we ask them to update their resume or fill out online application), how they present themselves (are they dressed professionally for the video interviews), resourcefulness, ability to format a simple resume correctly. Our process is basic. If they cannot get through it, we know they will never be successful in any position we would place them in. We want our candidates to succeed. It’s in our best interest that they do.
Are what clients ask for typically the same during the hiring process, or are the requests as different as the clients?
Every client is different, and what they ask for from our candidates can be very different from one to the other. The clients drive the hiring process more so than the agency. Different dynamics are going on where they want a certain type of person or personality, not just someone who is qualified. Personality match is key. You are in their private home (not in the office where people can hide) you must get along with the client and their other staff. Many of our clients have family offices with policies that can be very different from others. Policies can also change based on situations a family experiences with other staff.
Being a good fit is just as important. The people who do best in private service are the go-with-the-flow kind. Things are always changing in these positions as you are living life with people. The needs change over time. The really smart people see the new demands coming and learn those skills. If they don’t, they will eventually be replaced by someone who can meet their evolving needs.
Do PSPs still have to prepare a resume, or is it all done by referral, or who you know?
Yes, a resume is important. If you have an updated resume, you can move to the front of the line if it includes things like;
· An easy-to-read format
· A chronological order of positions with your most current position listed first
· A professional headshot on the resume itself
· No mysterious blanks on your resume – if dates are unaccounted for, explain what you were doing during that time
· A clearly explained reason as to why you left each job.
The candidates willing to work on this in a meaningful way tend to have better results. If they listen to our input, they will have a higher level of success. We know what the client is looking for, which resumes they pick out of a stack, and what they look like. So it would also be wise for the candidate to take our input meaningfully.
Being a PSP can be very demanding but very rewarding. So how does a prospect set themselves up for success to get what they want from a career as a PSP?
People come into this world in very different ways. Some start as housekeepers who cross-train into other positions. No degree is necessary, and often a person who works their way up, pays attention, takes the initiative, and goes with the flow (you are going to work some holidays, and vacations are moveable) can make 6-figures fairly soon after starting (within years).
What’s the best way to stay top of mind with an agency?
Although there’s no secret formula, there is a kind of “how things get done” regarding placement. Here it pays to know the right balance of responding on time without becoming a nuisance. There’s also the grace expressed when you don’t get a position when it’s not a perfect fit.
Of course, completing the online application and attaching all pertinent documents to the online application is key. Leaving anything out can cause delays in getting your information to the client. In these situations, if I have another candidate with a completed application, I consider them first. Applicants can also participate in our referral program. It will keep their name at the top of our minds and keep us in more contact than usual. Also, make sure we have an updated resume for you on file at all times. Finally, sign up for our newsletter and participate on our social media.
Is there an etiquette to the placement process that makes things go smoothly for the candidate, client, and placement agency?
Every PSP should watch the Anthony Hopkins movie, The Remains of the Day, for a master class in private service professionalism. For example, when asked his opinion on the war, Hopkin’s character demurs, replying simply, “I am unable to assist in these matters. May I offer you a refreshment?” For the entire movie, they try to get Hopkin’s character t break his professional demeanor. But by not breaking it, he demonstrates what it truly means to be a professional. Being a professional at all times is the name of the game.
When dealing with an agency, it always helps to discuss what you have to offer the client before asking about salaries and benefits. We see better results when the client has a chance to fall in love with what the PSP can offer. That’s when you have a better chance of getting everything you’re asking for. For example, I showed up in full Mary Poppins style when interviewing for a nanny position. I brought a homemade dinner and my craft bag so I could do crafts with the children and a positive attitude. I had lots of competition, but it was an easy choice for the client because I was the only one who went the extra mile. I also got more than what they were initially offering for compensation.
When it comes to dealing with a client, being friendly but not familiar is key. Getting too close to the client can make them really nervous. Finally, make sure ALWAYS to write a thank you note for any interview you have. It’s old-fashioned, but everyone loves it and shows professionalism that impresses people.
Demonstrating professionalism early in the placement process, taking your skills seriously, and realizing that private service is a calling that can be a career are only some key ingredients for success. Combining these with taking well-intentioned advice on how to succeed as a Private Service Professional from experienced agencies like Precise Home Management makes all the difference.