Interview with Daniel Wood at Domestic | Match
I had a pleasure of working Dan and his company, Domestic | Match for the past several years. Domestic | Match is the Bay Area’s most exclusive domestic staffing agency. Thanks to Dan , I was able to fulfill my goal of becoming a private sushi chef, serving various prestigious private clients in San Francisco Bay Area.
Though I never met Dan in person, and we only communicated via emails and phone calls, I immediately liked his style and felt that I would like to work with him because I felt I could trust him and he was running a great business. He is very soft spoken, calm and firm at the same time.
Well, I guess my feeling turned out to be correct – Domestic | Match just received 2016 DEMA Agency of the Year award.
Here is the picture of the award.
So, here is an interview I did a couple of years ago, which I never published. (sorry about the delay, Dan.)
Q: Would you briefly describe how you started your company and where the inspiration came from?
Dan: Domestic | Match is a household staffing agency based in the San Francisco Bay Area. We help families find the ideal staff for their home, estate managers, butlers, housekeepers, et cetera. We also have a division of Domestic | Match called Private Chef | Match, we work with clients around the world who have the need for private chefs to work on their estates, aircraft, or yachts.
After many years of working as a recruiter for a private chef placement agency I decided to take the leap and open Domestic | Match! Before working as a recruiter, I was a private chef and estate manager for families around the world. Domestic Staffing is foreign to many recruiters; I believe that it’s almost impossible for recruiters to understand private service, unless they have worked for a private family themselves.
Q: What’s your company’s Unique Selling Point?
Dan: We have been there; we understand private service and work to make smart matches. An equally important selling point is just plain old honesty and integrity. It’s such a small world, bending the truth to make a dollar is a means to an end.
Q; What is it that your clients love about Domestic | Match?
Dan: Clients have been very excited by the candidate profile page on our websites. They love to read the bios prepared by the candidates; it helps give them a glimpse into the candidate’s background. We also offer very personal service; we visit client’s in their home to get a better understanding of their needs. It helps us to explain the job opportunity to interested candidates.
Q: What is the most valuable asset in your company and why?
Dan: There is only one answer to this question; it’s the relationships that we form with our candidates. Domestic | Match will always be about people. Our fun tech toys are exciting but helping someone find their dream job trumps everything!
Q: Did you have a mentor when you started your business? If so, how did your mentor come into your life?
Dan: I really did not have a mentor in the traditional sense of the word, I turned to my wife for support and guidance as we built the business. I also brought on a consultant to help me with the tedious tasks, business licenses, securing insurance, et cetera.
Q: If you were to become a mentor for someone who is thinking of start a business, what are some of the advice you can give?
Dan: It seems obvious but make sure that the market will support your business, research and then research some more. Get to know your competition and build your business to be a better option for future clients. I would also recommend working with a business coach, it’s important to have someone who is entirely unbiased on the team.
Q: What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made that, in turn, made you and your company stronger than before? How did you turn that around? What was the most important thing in turning those situations around?
Dan: Our biggest mistake was over-complicating our application process; our initial process proved to be terribly popular, to say the least. We are currently redesigning our application and hope to have the most user-friendly version out soon. Keeping an open mind and listening are absolutely crucial for any business owner.
Q: How important is it for your company to utilize the latest technology such as the web, social net, and mobile technology?
Dan: Technology is extremely important for us; it is the backbone of our service. At the moment we are working on making our website more “mobile friendly”, we made this decision because we track our website traffic daily, we can see what percentage of our visitors are on a mobile device - it’s a much higher number than we imagined. We also work with an amazing Applicant Tracking System that is light years ahead of our old system. Being fast and organized is crucial to our success.
Q: What are some of the challenges your company is facing right now?
Growth. It’s a wonderful challenge to have. We are just in our second year of business and staffing requests have exceeded our expectations, we are actively searching for a skilled recruiter to join our team.
Q: What do you love the most about your job?
Dan: I love making people happy; it’s exciting to know that I played a small role in someone’s professional life. Last year we worked with an amazing candidate who had just moved to the US a couple of years prior, we were able to secure her a position with one of our clients - she told me that we helped make her American dream come true, it doesn’t get much better than that!
Q: How do you see your business in 5 to 10 years from now?
Dan: Domestic | Match will be one of the nations’ leaders in domestic staffing and will have offices in several metropolitan areas around the country.
501 Walnut Street | Second Floor
San Carlos, California 94070