This is going to be the most important hiring decision of your life, so make sure you leave no room for error. Below are some of the most common mistakes people make when hiring a nanny.
Starting the search too late
If you only have a few weeks before you head back to work, it’s a little late to begin your search. It’s going to take time to find the right person to care for your children except you get lucky. If you wait too long, you might end up making a desperate last-minute decision and end up with the wrong person.
If you give yourself enough time to find a nanny, you will be able to conduct all of the necessary interviews as well as call references, complete background checks and even have the nanny come in for a trial run. It’s during the trial run that you’ll determine if you’re compatible with each other. As mentioned earlier, the trial run will allow you to assess the nanny’s professionalism and confirm that everything she has told you about herself is true. If you don’t take the time to do all of this, you might find yourself looking for a new nanny at the last minute when the first one doesn’t work out, and you don’t want to go through all of that again.
Failure to consider the entire family’s needs
Most parents forget to think about the whole family’s needs when hiring a nanny. Because the nanny will be working in your home, it’s important that the candidate has the interests of all your family members in mind. If it’s important that the nanny help with Christmas decorations or volunteer to pick up slack when it’s needed, make sure the candidate will be on board.
Letting the nanny’s rates affect hiring decisions
Some parents make their hiring decision based on the rate the nanny asks for. Just because a nanny asks for a low salary doesn’t mean that’s the right one for you. Nannies that ask for more money may have more skills and qualifications than those that don’t command a high salary. Before you make a decision based on cost, compare the more important factors, such as qualifications and experience.
Offering an unrealistic salary
Some families lose the nanny of their dreams by making the mistake of low-balling the candidate. If you don’t offer the nanny a salary that is commensurate with his or her experience, the nanny might accept a job with a family that offers her more. If you think you’ve found the perfect candidate, present a competitive offer, taking into account the work hours, responsibilities and number of children, the nanny is expected to care for. If you can’t afford the pay the candidate requests, consider other ways to compensate him or her, such as providing benefits, paid vacation, a cell phone or a room for rent.
Even if the candidate came highly recommended from family members and friends, you should still conduct a thorough interview to make sure he or she will meet your family’s specific needs. Remember, you’re hiring someone to care for the most important person in your life, so you should spend as much time and as many resources as you can in the hiring process. When you interview the candidate, ask detailed questions and find out what the applicant would do in hypothetical situations. Don’t just ask yes or no questions.
Not conducting background checks
It’s very important to conduct a background check on the potential candidate before making a final offer.
Thinking short term
Parents often hire nannies based on the immediate needs of the family. However, your child will grow and change over time, and your nanny should have enough experience to handle all of your child’s stages. Make sure the potential employee plans to commit to your family and isn’t just looking for a seasonal job.
Neglecting to confirm certifications and immunizations
Knowledge of CPR and first aid can save a child’s life. Ensure that the applicant is certified, or pay for the nanny to get certified by an accredited organization.
If you think it’s important for the nanny to have certain immunizations, go over the necessary vaccinations with the applicant, you intend to hire. Some people prefer not to get certain immunizations, so make sure you agree on what’s necessary to protect your family’s health. The vaccination issue can be a deal breaker for some, but it’s completely up to you whether you want to hire someone who receives routine vaccinations or not.
Failure to communicate clearly
Make sure you’re on the same page. Draw up a work agreement and specify your requirements before hiring the nanny. Make sure the new hire understands and agrees to everything in the contract. Taking this step will help you avoid disputes or conflicts that could arise in the future. If you want to keep things casual with a simple verbal agreement, make sure the candidate clearly understands what is expected of him or her when it comes to caring for the child, using technology during work and performing other household duties or errands.