It is a very personal and nerve-wracking choice to bring someone into your home, welcome them into your family, and give them the keys to your life. This family had three children (pre-teen and teenage girls) who this person would interact and manage on a daily and consistent basis. Responsibilities also included liaising with other household staff, handling errands and projects, organizing family vacations, and being a true problem solver around the house. This person needed top-notch scheduling and organizational skills and a true eye for detail, but also the personality to juggle the minutia of everyday life, including instructions to the driver, checking the linens in the guest rooms, communicating with the florist, and arranging travel to vacation destinations; while still being able to play Barbie with the youngest child. The candidate would also be required to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas and travel with the family over the summer months.
Filling this position was all about instinct. We began by getting to know the family, their children and the vibe of the household. We were able to pinpoint the qualities to be successful in the role. We created a strategy to target the profile; someone with administrative/executive support experience and a demonstrated interest in working with children and families. Knowing that many college students take on nanny or au pair roles, we leveraged our university relationships to create a steady stream of referrals. We also contacted nonprofits related to children and families to create referral streams with their volunteer coordinators.