Avoid These Mistakes When Hiring: Common Errors When Employing Your Elite Nanny

If you’ve realized you’re ready to hire a professional childcare worker, all we can say is – congratulations! Nannies bring more than excellent childcare to families.  They bring stability, a profound love of children, and often additional skills that help their charges thrive, like tutoring in a second language or experience as a sports coach.  Hiring a nanny is an exciting time, and taking this step brings lots of positive changes to families.

But hiring a nanny is more complicated than some parents realize. And if certain matters are overlooked or ignored, problems can arise that cause mistakes to occur.

In this article, we outline some of the most common mistakes potential employers make when hiring a nanny, and offer advice on how you can avoid them once you’re ready to begin looking for the perfect candidate.

1. Think carefully about the job description.

It’s vital that, if you don’t work with an agency (though we hope you do!) you write an ad that thoroughly outlines the responsibilities of the job. It should also include everything you require, like references, education, experience, and any additional skills. Include details about the home environment, such as the number of children and their ages. Without as much information as possible, you may find yourself missing out on potential candidates who are suited to the position but didn’t know that, because the job description wasn’t complete enough.

2. Don’t forget that your nanny is an employee.

Nannies often come to feel like part of the family, so it’s easy to forget that you are an employer, and they are not a family relation. Of course you want this individual to be comfortable and relaxed in your home, but a certain “arm’s length” professional attitude is crucial. Otherwise, moments like yearly performance reviews and salary negotiations can become extremely awkward.

3. Hesitate before hiring!

Parents are sometimes desperate to find excellent childcare, and rush to hire someone recommended by a friend over social media, or an individual met in a local park. Don’t do it! These arrangements can bring with them all kinds of problems. For a candidate to meet your child’s needs, they must be thoroughly vetted, their references checked and their experience verified. Talk to former employers. Don’t simply rely on friends or neighbors to fill you in on someone’s background. This is why working with an agency helps; we match you with a list of potential hires whom we know meet your specific requirements.

4. Don’t underestimate the costs involved.

Finding the right childcare professional for your family costs money because it takes time and resources to match you with the best candidate possible. Once they are your employee, you have to make payroll deductions like federal and state taxes, and medical insurance fees, if you’ve agreed to provide healthcare. Remember — you are making an investment in your child’s well-being and their future, and professional nannies earn fair compensation because they are experts in their field.

5. Don’t forget to put it all in writing.

Some parents make the mistake of believing that verbal agreements suffice for some details, like overtime pay or the number of vacation days. Everything you and your nanny agree upon must be in writing, for your sake and theirs. Think of their contract as you would any other employee’s. Take notes during your interviews and be sure to formalize, and itemize, every one of the nanny’s duties. If you’re hiring a nanny for the first time with our assistance and are a little unclear on what the employment contract should contain, Elite Nannies is happy to provide you with a sample to guide you.

6. Don’t do just one interview.

 Let’s say you’ve met a potential candidate whom you think is wonderful – they are qualified, experienced, educated, and even have a great sense of humor. A dream applicant! Nonetheless, don’t impulsively offer them the job without taking time after the interview to think it over. Ask yourself whether you’re missing anything – do they have transportation? Are they free evenings if something urgent arises for you at work? And most importantly – will your child like them? Perhaps the single most important reason for having a second interview is seeing how they interact with your child. It’s important that you like the person you hire, but it’s vital that they connect, and bond to, your child.

7. Include a probationary period in your employment agreement.

No matter how ideal the nanny you choose may seem, begin with a 30 day probationary period. This gives both your family and the nanny time to see whether this relationship, seemingly perfect at the outset, is truly what both parties want. It also allows both of you to exit the contract without penalty, financial or otherwise.

Hiring a nanny means big, positive changes are on the horizon for you and your family. If you take your time and choose carefully, reviewing their employment history and asking as many questions as possible, you’ll find it’s one of the best investments you’ll ever make in your child’s future. The care and well-being of your children is at stake, so don’t rush or panic simply because you’re pressed for time.

We can do all the advance work for you, so contact Elite Nannies at your earliest convenience for a confidential conversation about your childcare needs.  We’ll get started assisting to find your ideal nanny candidate today.