Cadbury the Butler Q&A


Dear Cadbury,
I am upset with my agency. When I signed up with them they asked my salary expectations and I explained what I was making and desire for a bump up in pay in my next position. I was thrilled at the conclusion of my third interview with a great family, the Madam said “We want you, now work out the details with the agent”. When I saw the agent’s proposed employment agreement the salary was substantially lower than I had advised him of in the beginning. “Oh, the family won’t pay such a high salary as you are seeking”. Your thoughts?
Wasted Time

Dear WT,
What happened is a classic bait and switch. You thought you were interviewing for a position that met your basic search perimeters, but the agent misled you and hoped that somehow the chemistry and the lure of the new job would cause you to overlook such a “little thing” like salary. SHAME ON THAT AGENCY! Give them a couple of days to come back to you with a proper offer. After that, you need to walk away and stick to your position. If you happen to have the family’s direct phone or email, contact them and thank them for your time and apologize that a mutually satisfactory agreement could not be made. Try not to complain about the agency, simply respond honestly to any questions if asked. Then I would send the agency a bill for any un-reimbursed interview expenses. Don’t hold your breath on payment though they would be smart to settle with you. You can always file a letter with the Better Business Bureau in your state (if you are in the USA). This organization will then send the agency a request for their side of the story which will also go on file with them and these records are open for public access. Maybe some of the readers have comments?
– Cadbury

Dear Cadbury,
In the past year we’ve worked with 3 different local agencies, and we had bad experiences with all of them.

Perhaps I just have the wrong impression of what an agency does. I expect since *we’re* paying for the service (and not the applicants) that *our* interests will be paramount. This has not been the case with any of the previous agencies that have looked after the applicants and not us.

Agency #1 grossly inflated the salary requirements of their prime candidate for no other reason than to increase their percentage (this confirmed to us by the applicant himself). Agencies #2 and #3 both didn’t even *seriously* discuss our requirements to the applicants, they just kept throwing them at us hoping for a bite. And agency #3 was the icing on the cake when they offered someone that we had already hired a better paying job with someone else! What are your thoughts on the agency situation?

Dear LV,
I can appreciate your frustrations. Private service involves sharing a very personal aspect of the employers life-the home and personal space. Because of this, bringing together the right employee with the right employer is even more difficult than it is in the business world.

Agencies are clearing houses where candidates and employers meet, greet and evaluate each other. Every single employer and candidate is different and the job of a good agent /agency is to evaluate the needs of both parties and only suggest an introduction when the desired profiles of each party are basically aligned. Some agencies are experienced and interested in being in business long term. They tend to do it right. Others are not so professional, as you have found out.

Take the time to get to know an agency. Ask about their methods, where they get candidates from and ask for a reference. In return, understand that agencies deal with many “false alarms”. These are clients who do not fully cooperate, who stall paying their obligations and demand a lot of services before paying any retainer or registration fee. Once you have an agency you like, demonstrate that you are serious by returning their service agreement promptly and meeting any financial obligations in speedy fashion.
– Cadbury