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Case Study - The Bubble Nanny

The Task:

In the early days of the pandemic, Portico Inc. was approached by a longterm client to recruit for an experienced nanny who could bubble 100% with the family for a six-month period with an option for extension. There was a severe immune compromised situation in the household, so extreme measures were required. The client mentioned that they were looking for a “unicorn.” Our response? We love looking for unicorns.


So, off we went in search of a “unicorn”. We looked for experience, empathy, strength of character, an ability to assist with online learning, familiarity with the ups and downs of being fully live-in, and a willingness to pitch in during a high stress period within the home, etc.


The Response:

We developed a job profile targeting nanny “unicorns”. We leveraged our significant nanny network. We accessed a database that had grown at the time to approximately 10,000 individuals. We thought outside the box and looked for out of work teachers or individuals with a background in early childhood education. We did what good recruiters do. We put our collective nose to the ground and got creative.


The Result

Portico Inc. managed to find four highly-qualified individuals who were willing to take on the challenge. Each had strengths and weaknesses, but we’re all human and we all have strengths and weaknesses.


Virtual interviews were organized. Applicants were carefully screened. We consulted and helped the client with the following:


  • Conducted reference checks and a background check

  • Assisted in the developing an employment contract

  • Developed a pre-bubble protocol, which included renting an AirBnB for 14 days so that the individual could pass what at the time was considered a COVID-19 incubation period

  • Recommended various delivery services so that the incubation period could be maintained. These were early days in the pandemic and there were not many businesses offering the amount of delivery options that came online later in the pandemic. We had to be resourceful.

  • Recommended COVID-19 protocols for the residence including daily rapid testing

  • Provided ongoing support for both candidate and client during a period of extreme isolation that recognized the unusual nature of “bubbling”

  • Troubleshooting when the isolation reached a point of “Can I do this anymore?”


When we hear the sentence “I think I’m looking for a unicorn,” we don’t run away. We get excited by the challenge and succeed in finding that unicorn more times than we fail. The candidate who was chosen worked their six month contract and had it extended another six months. At the one year point, it was accepted graciously that a further extension was not possible and so our “unicorn” search began anew. We succeeded at that too.

© Portico Inc., 2022



Positions We Place
  • Housekeepers

  • Cook/Housekeepers

  • Executive Housekeepers

  • Nannies

  • Laundresses

  • Elder Caregivers

  • Personal Assistants

  • Office Butlers

  • House Managers

  • Private Chefs

  • Butlers (Household & Corporate)

  • Domestic Couples

  • Estate Couples

  • Chauffeurs

  • Companions

  • Corporate Flight Attendants


© 2017 - 2021, PORTICO INC.

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