Overcoming Your Fear Of Hiring A “Stranger”
Can I get you to exercise your mind for a minute? Imagine seeing a vacancy announced for your ultimate dream job. Let’s assume it is as the Personal Assistant to Alhaji Aliko Dangote (Who is the richest man in Africa right now) on Social Responsibilities (Don’t worry if the position sounds weird. I just formulated it. Lol). You have all it takes to land this job. You tick all of the requirements stated in the advert, the exact experience, degrees and qualifications. You know in your heart that this is YOUR job. When the time for the interview comes, they look at all your degrees and certifications, they seem impressed but they say “Unfortunately we can’t take you because we don’t know you. We’ve never met you before. We cannot employ someone we don’t know. We are scared of entrusting such a vital position to a total stranger. You will be exposed to so much money, people of influence, fortune 500 companies. We can’t trust you not to mess this up because you’re a stranger here”. Huh?
Imagine your devastation. Are they for real? Does my seven years of experience count for nothing? How weird does this encounter sound?
Now to bring it home, imagine if nobody decided to patronize your business because they cannot entrust a stranger with their money. I mean, you have put up all the before and after pictures, posted numerous testimonials, you have behind the scene videos as evidence that what you do is genuine but because potential client’s sister or brother doesn’t know you, she can’t just trust you with her money. What the customer is trying to say is that your experience in the business and results count for nothing. Trust me, it can be so painful.
But isn’t this the same thing we do as women/parents/home owners when we say we can never hire a maid/nanny simply because we have heard of bad experiences around? We completely rule out the possibility of giving hiring a chance forgetting to give exception to the ones who are experienced, trained and qualified.
The dictionary defines a stranger as “a person whom one does not know or with whom one is not familiar”. With this definition, it is understandable why you may want to classify your maid as a stranger. But what you should know just like the scenarios painted above is that “while she may be a stranger to you personally, she is not a stranger to the role or position she is being considered for”. She most likely has the experience, skill and qualifications to be able to carry out her duties very well.
Once your prospective maid has the required qualification to do the job, it should weigh in your books more than her being a familiar face.
However, I understand that the job of a maid/nanny may be more intimate and personal to the employer than that of a personal assistant or customer-service provider relationship. She will be exposed to the things and people that you hold dearest to your heart. For this reason you want to be extra careful to ensure that the person you are exposing to your family has everything it takes. I can therefore infer that what really bothers you is not the fact that you are not familiar facially with this person, but you are not adequately convinced about their qualification and capacity to handle the job, or entrust things into their care.
Now that you know this, it means that while you are contemplating and considering hiring, your focus should be to ensure that your maid, who may be unfamiliar facially, is NOT a stranger to the role. This is what the process of patronizing a credible agency, going through the interview, guarantor verification, medical checks and training ensures.
You see just like a company would never stop at paper resume no matter how juicy it looks, to conclude on the abilities of a new staff, they go ahead to do the first, second and sometimes third interview, you should be as thorough in your process to ensure that your maid is no stranger to the role. What this also means is that even though the prospective maid is coming being referred by a familiar person such as a family member or friend, since we have established that facial familiarity comes secondary; you should still do everything to certify that she is familiar with and fit for the role.
Every day as parents, we entrust our kids to environments, schools, teachers, friends who were once strangers the first day we came in contact with them. What convinced you? I would guess it was because did your due diligence and made your findings for yourself. You didn’t only rely on word of mouth.
Familiar face doesn’t equate to excellent role. There are so many family members who cannot do chores or take care of kids. They end up being an additional burden if they are asked to help out.
I would encourage that you do away with the “stranger mentality”. It holds you back from considering or seeing the possibilities of finding your ideal maid even when she’s right in your face. She may come from the most unfamiliar tribe, have the most unfamiliar body frame but still be the best fit for you.
When next you think of hiring a maid, understand that she’s a different kind of stranger. One that you can trust as long as you have done the necessary work. The only reason you can continue to harbor this fear is when you know that you are hiring at face value. Unfortunately, what you see on paper is most of the time not always what you get.
P.S Look out for my newest resource coming out soon titled “The Ideal Maid Funnel – How to filter your ideal maid from the pack”. This resource will take you through a practical process on how to select a maid who is best fit for your home, from the numerous suggestions your agents/agency sends your way.