My wife and I have been together for my entire 10 year career in Recruiting. I have changed industries from telecom/wireless to IT to pharma/biotech currently. Most of the time, she at least knows the industry I am recruiting in, but when people ask her what I do, that is about as far as she gets…

I don’t blame her. Our job is a stressful roller coaster ride, so I try to leave work at work most of the time. So… I guess she has some level of plausible deniability…

That has all changed since we had our first child about 6 months ago. Trying to find, engage, and keep a nanny that is trustworthy and dependable has proven to be no small feat. She got her first taste of needing to keep a steady pipeline when our first hire backed out the day before she was supposed to start…

We were scrambling to find someone for a couple of weeks but luckily had some help from family to hold us over as my wife returned to work. Luckily, we were able to find someone who has worked out pretty well over the past 2 months. That said, she just let us know that come September she won’t be able to commit to the days she is doing now and will be working half of the schedule we currently have her on.

So… back to the drawing board to find help. We were able to source another 5-6 people who seem interested in the opportunity and could make sense for us as a family. Any Recruiter would tell you that having a pipeline of 5-6 people is ideal, especially in the current market.

Then it started… The Hiring Manager (the real decision maker here is my wife, I am only part of the interview panel) started rejecting one after another, before even talking to them. Just based off of their profile or a quick text exchange. Things like:

“She’s only 21, she can’t be mature enough to handle a 5-month old.” (please don’t report her for ageism)

As I would to my clients, I suggested my wife set up a 30 minute call with each person to evaluate them and gain more information. We have a need, they seem to have the experience, and they’ve shown a level of interest in the opportunity. What else do we need to know to take 30 minutes of our time to speak with them? Worst case, it goes horribly wrong and you politely find a way to end the call sooner.

Turns out, the 21 year old is CPR certified, interned at an infant center, and has a 2 year old baby sister who she has cared for. Not to mention, we also really liked her. She starts next week.

A few positives came out of this process. My wife now has a better understanding (and appreciation) of what I do on a daily basis. We were able to find the help we need. But mainly, she was also reminded a valuable lesson that I preach to my clients and candidates – “we don’t know what we don’t know”. Best to pick up the phone and spend 30 minutes learning something. It may just be exactly what you need!


-Taylor Burns

Sr. Recruiting Consultant

Bailiwick Search Group

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