Occasionally we get feedback from clients who have had a bad experience hiring a nanny on their own or through another nanny agency. Often times, these experiences are easily avoidable by re-vamping the hiring process. Here are seven common mistakes to avoid when hiring a Nanny or Private Educator.
1) Rushing The Process
Allowing enough time for the process is one of the most important keys to success. While it is tempting to put the process off until the last minute, it often causes you to make a rushed, uninformed decision about the most important hiring decision you could make. The entire recruitment, vetting, and hiring process can take several weeks or longer depending on the needs and expectations of the hiring family.
2) Unrealistic Expectations
Some common examples are: expecting a seasoned career-level nanny for part-time hours/pay, hiring only one person to do several people’s jobs (i.e. hybrid nanny, housekeeper, and personal assistant), or hiring the nanny to work around the clock with no personal time off or downtime.
3) Hiring On Gut-Instinct Alone
We highly discourage hiring the first nanny you like or hiring a nanny on-the-spot. If you interview someone you love, employ the policy of interviewing at least one more person. Also, be sure to complete the ENTIRE screening process which includes a follow-up trial interview, before making the job offer.
4) Hiring Without A Trial Period
No matter how excited you are about a candidate, we always encourage having a trial period in your contract. You want to give your family a few days to get to know the nanny before deciding if they are a good fit for you.
5) Hiring Without An Employment Agreement
This is the mistake we hear about most often. It’s so important that when you work with Adventure Nannies, we absolutely require an employment agreement, and we even help you draft it. This is an at-will agreement, which outlines expectations, protocol, pay, benefits, and departing policies. It is crucial that you and your nanny are on the same page before beginning the new relationship. This document is considered “a place to start” and should be regularly reviewed and updated as the family and the relationship develops.
6) No Dedicated Training Period
Take the time to train your nanny, even if they are a seasoned pro. Each family’s routines and norms are different, and it is essential to show your new nanny the ropes, even in areas that seem like second nature to you. If you have a specific place for the keys, a favorite way of loading the dishwasher, a pet peeve they should know about, spell it out during training. Beyond the household training, be sure to explain your discipline and parenting philosophies as well. Don’t assume the nanny knows what you expect of her without discussing it. If you have a favorite parenting book, suggest they read it then have a discussion about how to put it into practice with your family.
7) Undervaluing Your Childcare
There are lots of schools of thought on childcare and the value of it. Here’s the one we support: A nanny is going to have a huge impact on your child’s safety, development, and education, and you should hire someone highly professional who will enrich their lives. If you have decided to work with a recruitment agency, it’s safe to say you clearly care about the quality of care your children receive. There is nothing wrong with paying your high school-aged neighbor minimum wage on date nights, but if you are looking for a college-educated, professional care provider who is invested in your children, they need to make a livable wage. If the nanny’s responsibilities are not adequately reflected in their pay, they may seek another job.
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