How to choose a nanny
How to choose a nanny is one of the most common questions between parents and families. When a family considers nannies for the first time for their beloved child or children they are often facing the arduous task of finding the best one for their needs. Where to search and what to look for, how to prepare an advertisement or where to advertise. It is all simple nowadays thanks to the internet, but there is some important starting point before it all begins. Let’s see all the points you need to think about before you start the process.
1. Discuss what you want to gain from hiring a nanny
This decision will determine what skills, what level of education and experience you will desire from the candidates. You might want a nanny or maternity nurse from day one for your new baby, or you might want your toddler to be guided through their development stages or want a buddy for your child to gain confidence, a gym buddy, etc. The good news is that there are plenty candidates out there to provide what you need. Most importantly you have to know what you want.
2. Your Child`s needs
It is the most important factor. You need to know those before you make your choice. Don`t forget that you as a parent hire the nanny but not for yourself. Hire them for your child. For your nanny also this point should become the number one priority from day one.
Just a reminder.Even the best nanny will not be able to cover all.Children`s primary need is love, affection, and attention from their parents.Please keep it in mind.
3. Time, wage
There are many possibilities. You can hire a nanny for few hours a week or full-time, long-term or temporary, live-in or live-out. All depends on your goals and financial status. It is easy to research how much you should spend. You can see other advertisements similar to yours and get a general idea. A good nanny with excellent references and education with excellent English level will cost more but will be very beneficial for your child. Nannies usually look after children 8-12 or 24 hours each day, so you want to have the quality to surround your kids. Right?
4. Agency vs. Private
So which path you should choose? We might think that nanny agencies know best how to choose a nanny but should we try to find one on our own? Well one path is a bit more cost effective but a longer and time consuming at times.
Path 1: Nanny Agencies
There are plenty of nanny agencies around who are specialized in finding the best match for your needs, so it is a good idea to contact the best nanny agencies out there for a consultation. Ask them how they can help, how big is there database, how long it takes to find the right candidate, ask them about their interview process in detail. It is easy nowadays thanks to the internet to select the best nanny agencies. You should look for signs like:
- quality website (you would not believe how many still not makes an effort to have one)
- valid contact details and fast communication (max 24 hrs response time)
- wide range of services
- optimal pricing structure with variety of payment options
- number of positions on offer
- dedicated agent
- valid and good reviews
- activity on social sites
We mention only few to have a general idea about what companies you should avoid:
- outdated websites with outdated information
- no contact info
- no terms and conditions
- no clear pricing table, payment structure and payment options
- bad reviews
- communication problems
- no activity or no profile on social sites
Its only few but these will be visible for you straight away as you reach the company website and soon you will spot these warning signs.
Path 2: Private
To find a nanny the private way can take slightly more time to achieve but it has its own benefits. Firs of all it can save you money as you skip the agency fees and you can make your own deal with your nanny. At the same time you have to do everything including create an ad, post the job, select applicants for the nanny interview and after choosing the right nanny you need to deal with all the paperwork. Contracts, visa, medical insurance etc.
Another benefit is that big and busy nanny agencies sometimes overlook some real talent in the process. Some of them might not even able to register to them because they not meet some of the minor requirements. Most of the time agencies register only native English candidates so even if someone has an excellent English and excellent education, experience etc. wont make it to the agency. So it worth to look around who is available outside the agency.
5. How to choose a nanny. The interview
Not many of can say that we love interviews. Almost everyone you will interview will be the same. It is a perfect opportunity to spot a gem or simply find a thing you dislike in an otherwise perfect candidate (on paper). Does not really matter what the candidate said on his application this part can change things. What to look for:
- Dressed smartly and arrived in time is No 1 sign. It will give you and idea what you can expect while working together. Do not fall for expensive look rather look for good balanced image.
- Quickly go through the dry written details and look for accuracy. Ask if something don`t mach.
- Look for body language.
- Candidate should show confidence in his abilities and focus on what he can give for you instead of talking too much about him or herself.
- Good sign if the candidate ask questions and leads part of the conversation. It means he gathering information and reacts to your needs.
- Create a situation and ask the candidate how would he react or what would do in that situation (child asks a tricky question, lost something, child gets sick, child misbehaves etc.).
- Candidate late or dressed inappropriately.
- Written and said details do not mach.
- Bad body language.
- Total lack of confidence.
- Unprofessional answers to situation questions.
- Communication issues.
Of course an interview is never easy for a candidate so please keep these in mind but there are certain interview situations when the negative signs are just too obvious to see. Even if everything goes well sometimes feeling makes us choose or not to choose.
So until now we covered how to choose a nanny, and you made your decision. It is equally important that you give honest feedback for both the chosen and the rejected candidates. First of all your nanny will love to know what was the reason behind your decision. It will give an extra confidence boost and motivation. So they will make maximum effort to do their job well.
The rejected candidate will also appreciate an honest feedback so they can move on and they can be better next time. Nothing worst than to receive an email template saying the same thing what you heard a 1000 times before. This way they can not progress.
They should know how they can improve. Agencies, companies or parents should think about everyone as a person who works hard to get there. Imagine that your honest feedback might gives a better chance to someone in life and for you it cost nothing. So please do it from now on.