10 Tips for Hiring a Nanny
November 8, 2012 | in Nanny Tips
Hiring a nanny can be a tough process. In addition to being such an important decision to make, it’s also a very personal one. Here are some tips that can help you effectively move through the search process and hire a nanny who is a great choice for your family.
- Understand your search options. Families hiring a nanny have a few choices in how to search for the nanny. Parents can use a full service placement agency, online nanny job sites, online classifieds or tap into the word-of-mouth network. Which search avenue is right for your family depends on how much time, energy and money you want to invest in your search. Placement agencies are more expensive, yet require less time and work. Other avenues cost less, but the lower price tag means that parents have to do a lot more legwork.
- Research the nanny rates for your area. Offering a competitive salary and benefits package is the key to attracting quality caregivers. Talk with local placement agencies, nanny support groups and area nannies to get a feel for what the going rate is for the type of job you are advertising.
- Know what your family needs. Before you start your nanny search, spend time creating a detailed job description. Think about the hours you need for your nanny to work, the tasks you want her to take on in her role, and other unique responsibilities she’ll have, such as traveling with your family or working a flexible schedule. When you have a clear picture of what your needs are, you greatly increase your chances of hiring a nanny that can consistently meet them.
- Make sure that you have reasonable expectations. More and more families are tailoring their job description to meet their individual needs. It’s important to remember that even the best nanny can’t do everything. Think about how much time and energy your nanny has during the day and how much of that you want dedicated to the care of your child, then build your job description around that. Although nannies don’t have scheduled breaks during the day, even the most energetic caregivers need some down time to rest and rejuvenate.
- Have a clear idea of what type of nanny you’re looking for. Nannies come with a variety of different backgrounds. Think about the experience, education and skills you want your nanny to have before you begin your search. Having a clear vision of the type of nanny you’re looking for will help you quickly and accurately identify potential candidates and speed up the initial screening process.
- Take the time to do an in-depth interview. After you’ve narrowed down your choices, put each candidate through a comprehensive interview. Talk about what she can bring to your job, how her experience and education will be put into action with your children, and how she’ll fit in with your household. Make sure to leave time for the nanny to ask questions too.
- Use a working interview to help you make your final choice. Before you officially offer a nanny your job, invite her to do a working interview. This will give you the chance to see her in action and it will give her the chance to get to know your family better. Most of the time, the working interview simply confirms your decision. But sometimes, it brings an issue to the surface that would have become a problem later on.
- Talk with all of a candidate’s references. Before you decide on a nanny for your family, talk with her past employers and her professional references. Those people will give you a more complete picture of who the nanny is and will help you uncover potential problems before she’s on the job.
- Don’t skip the background check. It can be tempting to jump right to the hiring stage after a great interview and reference check; however, it’s important to run a full background check on the candidate before making that final hiring commitment. Most of the time, nothing will show up in the criminal or driving check. But sometimes a problem does come up, and you want to be aware of it before you invite the nanny into your home to care for your child.
- Work through the details of your nanny contract before your nanny starts. Usually both the parents and the nanny are anxious to get started, especially if either party has been searching for a while. It can seem like a reasonable idea to put working through the details of a nanny contract on the back burner so that the job can start sooner. Unfortunately, when the establishing the contract gets put off, those details end up being forgotten until a problem arises.
Finding the right nanny for your family is an important decision. Being smart about the search process and taking the time to really get to know potential candidates will help parents make the best hiring choice for their family.← 30 Must Read Blogs for Those Considering Hiring a Nanny | Skills Every Nanny Should Have →
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