Many times we get calls from people who have recently had a bad experience hiring a nanny on their own. Most often, the reason that things fell apart can be traced back to the hiring process. I want to share with you 5 common hiring mistakes to avoid:
- Minimal Screening: It is tempting to hire someone because you get a good feeling about them, or you have heard about them from a friend. However, you are taking great risks if you skip any of the checks that we believe are fundamental with a nanny hire. Extensive background checks (criminal, driving, sexual offender database, etc.) and reference checks of all past employers are checks you can’t afford to leave out!
- Hiring Without a Working Interview: We recommend “trial time” for all of our families/nannies because it’s the best test for both parties about whether or not it is going to be a good fit. A week of trial time with one or two nannies will really give you a great indication of how well things are going to work long term.
- Ignoring Red Flags: Families sometimes look at on-paper experience and education over the connection between the two parties. They convince themselves that the nanny must be good if she has so much experience. However, if your gut is telling you there is a personality clash or a difference in philosophies, chances are this is only going to get worse!
- Unrealistic Expectations: If you think you got such a good steal for a nanny, it’s probably too good to be true. If a nanny’s duties/job description is not commensurate with her pay, she will likely either 1) become resentful, or 2) be keeping her eye out for a better job. Make sure that you have a good feel of what the market is paying for what you are getting.
- No Employment Agreement: You thought it was perfectly normal to have her cook dinner, or to stay late when you have to work late, or to not pay her on Memorial Day. She thought her only duties were childcare, that her schedule was set, and that you’d pay her for all major holidays. If you were too casual in the hiring process, you probably left off important details. We have a detailed Employment Agreement we ask families to complete and both parties to sign to start things professionally (but friendly!) and keep them that way!
If you handle all of these issues up front, you will know that you did as much as you could to ensure a long term relationship. If you prefer to have the expertise and screening of Mom’s Best Friend, don’t hesitate to contact us regarding hiring a nanny.