In the competitive nanny placement market, many agencies have lost business to such do-it-yourself sites like Care.com. For Westside Nannies, founder’s Katie Vaughn’s strategy was to set her agency apart by positioning themselves and their nannies as the best in the business. Today, through her social media efforts on Facebook and YouTube, the agency is known for its progressive business model, tight screening tactics and information resources for parents and nannies alike. When a candidate gets accepted to Westside Nannies, it is a real mark of distinction.
Today, Westside Nannies runs two offices in Calfornia, serving the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas as well as making national placements. Mimi Brady, Director of the San Francisco Office, gives more insight into the agency and her own personal journey into the world of placement…
1. How long have you been in business?
I have ‘informally’ been in this business for as long as I can remember. I was the go-to babysitter in my hometown of Marin County, CA, and by the age of 15 or 16 I was booked for gigs constantly. During my college years at Santa Clara University, I worked at the campus’s on-site preschool for three and a half years. Within two months of my employment there, I met an incredible family who took me on as their part-time nanny for their infant son. I worked for them religiously throughout college, ranging from 15-30 hours per week depending on their needs. It was through this experience that I realized there was so much more to babysitting than playing at the park and making mac-and-cheese. I was suddenly being asked to exchange gifts, sort through the child’s clothing, organize closets and cabinets, grocery shop, and run to the dry cleaners. And I loved it.
Upon graduating from Santa Clara University, I packed up and moved down south to Santa Monica, CA. The daughter of two attorneys, there was a certain pressure to become a ‘business professional.’ But I wanted to be a professional nanny. So I found the best nanny agency in LA, called Westside Nannies.
I was booked for an interview immediately and met with Katie Vaughan, our founder, in her office on Wilshire. As cliché as it sounds, I left her office saying “THAT is the job for me.” The combination of business, sales, and childcare was a dream come true. Katie called me to let me know that the family that I interviewed with had decided to let their nanny stay for a couple more months, but that she needed a little help in the office and thought I would be a great for the position. She said that if the family wanted to hire me back in a few months, it would be a perfect temporary gig in order to pay my bills. I showed up to the Westside Nannies office the next day, and the rest, as they say, was history.
2. What makes your agency unique?
Several things! Primarily, our modern & innovative approach to an archaic industry stands out to private service professionals and clients alike. While some may argue that a placement is a placement, we see it as an experience affected by your agency’s values, down to how they communicate with you (we love texting), and their aesthetic. Being represented is much more than having your resume sent out, and we feel we have modernized the process for our candidates.
Secondly, we are all genuinely passionate about the private service – and nanny – industries. Thus far, all Westside Nannies team members have worked as a nanny in a private home, so there is an inherent understanding we all have amongst each other, and with clients, when speaking about the nuances of private service.
Finally, our dedication to service. No agency will ever be perfect, but we make a very valid and concerted effort to communicate, update, and respond to our clients and candidates in a timely manner.
3. What types of positions do you place?
Hence our business name, we primarily place nannies on a full-time, part-time, live-in, live-out, and temporary basis. However, we do place other household staff members on various occasions such as housekeepers, chefs, and household/estate managers.
4. What is your ideal candidate?
Great question! We often hear candidates and clients get caught up on ‘years of experience.’ While it’s critical to work with candidates who have a certain amount of experience, our ideal candidate is so much more than the years she or he has spent working in a private home. A career nanny of 20+ years sometimes doesn’t hold a candle to a nanny with 5 years of experience, regardless of the fact that she has done the job so much longer.
At Westside Nannies, our all-star candidates are extremely personable, professional, and accommodating. They have a heart for service and genuinely appreciate any opportunity in which they can make the lives of their principal more comfortable. They are flexible in their schedule, understand the last-minute emergencies every family faces, and is more than willing to pitch-in with a little bit of everything when duty calls. After all, basic childcare duties can be taught and learned, but having a genuine passion for childcare and private service cannot!
To learn more about our minimum requirements, please visit http://www.westsidenannies.com/nannies/how-it-works/requirements.
5. Do you place across the country or locally? If so where
While our main territories include Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, we are known for placing some of the best nanny positions across the country. We have placed candidates in positions including New York, Washington, D.C, Florida, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and several positions that travel all over the world from week to week or month to month.
6. Do you look for any special training or certifications, such as college degrees, private service schools, etc
We love seeing additional training/schooling on a resume that is in line with the position a candidate is up for (i.e., Child Development classes for nannies, completion of culinary school for professional chefs, etc.), but this by no means a deal-breaker for us. Some of the top candidates we have placed don’t necessarily have a formal education in their line of work, but it’s always a good sign to see someone who is open to and enjoys continuing their education.
7. Where do you announce your open jobs?
Westside Nannies’ Facebook page is highly regarded in the industry, as we post all of our open jobs here, as well as industry tips, tricks, and updates. Make sure to Like us by clicking here: http://www.facebook.com/WestSideNannies.
For those of whom do not use Facebook, we post jobs on our website at http://www.westsidenannies.com/nannies/jobs
8. How should a candidate apply for a job? Do you want an online application, resume or both?
For those interested in applying with us, please head to http://www.westsidenannies.com/nannies/apply-now. This page contains thorough instructions about what is needed in order to apply with us,
9. Do you belong to any professional associations?
We are proud members of the Association of Premier Nanny Agencies (APNA), the International Nanny Association (INA), and the Domestic Estate Managers Association (DEMA). All have been wonderful resources for us.
10. How can people contact you?
Please feel free to contact our San Francisco office at infoSF@westsidenannies.com, or our Beverly Hills office at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you.
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