Secure Home, Happy Family: Pre-Hire Security Protocols

Ok, so you’ve made the decision that you need to hire professional help to keep your residence and family running smoothly.  This is precisely the moment that you should also begin thinking about security and safety protocols. You can think of this as the first out of three phases of maintaining security. The second phase is during active employment and the third is post-employment. Let us look more closely here on the first “pre-hire” phase in protecting your assets, privacy, and above all loved ones…

Step 1: The Job Description

To attract the best candidates, the duties and responsibilities of the position should be accurately listed. However, refrain from providing identifying information. For example, a description might list “school-age children” rather than the specific ages of the children. The location might also be generalized (for example – Upper East Side or Westchester County). The goal is to create a clear picture of qualifications, duties, and culture without revealing potentially sensitive details. However, if the details are too vague or fictionalized you may end up attracting mismatched applicants.

Step 2: Selecting Resumes for Interview

Before making even a preliminary phone call you should Google the applicant. This is a crucial and often time saves a step. A Google search will bring up Facebook pages, LinkedIn accounts, as well as links to any existing public records. Even if the search brings up absolutely nothing it gives another small glimpse into those you are considering inviting to work in your home. In an ideal world, you will run across nothing but a mix of innocuous material (like old phone numbers, publicly listed addresses, and perhaps links to community boards) and welcoming reads (like graduation announcements, links to credentials, and professional reviews or news). One other step you may want to take before scheduling a call is to align any online resume you find the one you received. How do they compare? It is normal for applicants to have multiple versions of their resume since there are different ways of arranging and emphasizing a work history. But, if there are significant discrepancies such as inconsistent employment dates you may want to think twice before proceeding any further. Also, it should not take someone like Nancy Drew to parse out a resume. If there are discrepancies that you cannot seem to untangle, a common kitchen adage proves helpful, “when in doubt, throw it out”.

Step 3: The Interview

There is rarely a need to have a first in-person interview in the home. Schedule the meeting at a quiet off-site venue. A nearby coffee shop, local café, or hotel lobby/bar are popular venues for clients. Corporate and family offices are also common for first-round venues.  Pavillion also offers clients access to a private conference room for ultra-discreet interviewing.  No matter where the interview is being held, have the interviewee’s full contact information and an executed non-disclosure agreement logged into an electronic recordkeeping system before the scheduled meeting.

We conferred with one of our Residential Security/Executive Protection experts about best protocols for interviews taking place within a residence. A non-disclosure agreement, he advised, is a great start but it is not enough alone.  Experienced Heads of Security or other Protection Specialist will restrict access and reduce any unnecessary exposure to potentially sensitive areas of the home or family members. “It is not necessary to walk the candidate through the entire personal residence. This interview should occur with the Primary in a private area of the residence.” Security, in short, is made up of different levels. While it may not be the White House, it’s your house!

Step 4: The Offer

As an experienced domestic placement agency, Pavillion conducts reference and background checks for clients. Even so, we strongly urge prospective employers check the candidate’s references as well before an offer is extended. Again, this is to check for consistency. But, it is also because there is an advantage in speaking principal to principal. While it doesn’t happen often, there are the rare instances where a former principal may divulge something to a direct prospective employer that they may not feel entirely comfortable sharing with the agency. It is just one small extra step that will make you feel even more at ease with your new-to-be employee.

Step 5: Contact Pavillion Agency to Aid in Your Search

As an experienced placement agency and domestic staffing consulting service, Pavillion Agency can assist you in your search and make sure you are introducing the best candidate to your family. If you are looking to hire a Protection Specialist, an Executive Chauffeur with a law enforcement background, or a Head of Security we can help! Please call one of our Placement Specialists to initiate a search.

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