Based on my personal experience in this industry, residential staffing has certainly evolved over the past 10 years. With the introduction of Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Craigslist, the prevalence of email, and the launch of many new, more automated staffing agencies, I have seen a dramatic change in the way clients go about finding staff for their homes.
Staff can be found today in many ways, and there are both expensive and inexpensive ways to find good candidates. With time becoming more precious every day, my clients tell me they don’t have the luxury of meeting with a lot of different candidates in order to find the right person for their home. They’d prefer to see just a few very qualified applicants and move forward. By personally meeting and vetting each candidate I work with, I have a good sense for proposing the most appropriate candidates and have found there’s nothing better (for all parties) than finding the right match quickly and efficiently.
Chemistry is more than half of what staffing is all about, and with today’s brave new world of more advanced electronics and less face-to-face communication, chemistry is often taken out of the equation. What you’re left with are black-and-white résumés and references as opposed to a person meeting a person and referring that person to another person. Good, old-fashioned matchmaking.
So my suggestion is to go ahead and embrace the electronic age, but be smart about your expectations from a staffing agency and what you’re really asking them to do. Because in the end, it’s about first understanding what you want, evaluating skills, evaluating chemistry, evaluating character, and matching the client with the right candidate.