10 Tips for Parents Hiring a Nanny Through a Placement Agency
Full service nanny placement agencies offer parents an easy way to connect with pre-screened caregivers and get expert guidance throughout the hiring process. Here are 10 tips for making the most of working with a nanny agency.
- Find an agency that works with families similar to yours. Typically a nanny placement agency works with a specific type of family. Some work more with professional couples that need both nanny care and household management. Some work more with stay-at-home moms who need an extra set of hands. Look for an agency that is familiar with families who have similar care needs.
- Be honest about your family. An agency can help you the most when you’re honest about your family and needs. Are you facing an upheaval like a major job change or divorce? Are you in the middle of an adoption? Is your child struggling with a behavior issue? Don’t worry that by telling the truth you’ll put off nannies. By being honest, the agency will be able to find a nanny that truly can meet your needs.
- Work with the agency to develop an accurate job description. The agency can guide you through the process of clearly understanding your needs. When they know exactly what your needs are, they can match you with nannies that are able to easily meet those needs. Make sure you talk about your schedule, the responsibilities you need the nanny to take on, if you need the nanny to travel with your family and the kind of activities you want your nanny to engage your child in.
- Let the agency know what type of nanny you think will work best with your family. The agency wants to know about the nuts and bolts of your job description but they also want to know what traits you want your nanny to have. Are you looking for a nanny with a degree? Are you looking for someone with a laid-back attitude? A successful nanny / family match relies heavily on the personalities of the employers and the caregiver matching up.
- Keep the lines of communication with your agency open. Check in with your agency throughout the process to keep them informed about where you are in the process with each candidate. This helps them give important feedback to the nanny and helps them stay effective in your search.
- Take advantage of the agency’s expertise. Your agency representative is there to help you will each step in the hiring process. If you’re unsure about an item in your job description, if you have a question about a particular caregiver, if you need to understand the nanny tax issue better, turn to you agency. They’re the hiring experts and they can help you find the right nanny for your family and make the process simple.
- Make sure you’re conducting an in-depth interview too. Your agency will interview every candidate before they present her to you. However don’t solely rely only on the agency’s evaluation. Interview each potential candidate yourself and make sure that the candidate meets your standards too. You’re the person who will work with the caregiver each day so it’s critical that your hiring decision is based on your personal evaluation of the nanny’s experience, education, skills and personality.
- Talk with a candidate’s references. Again, the agency will check every candidate’s references but you should also talk to them. You want to hear first-hand about the candidate’s work experience, childcare experience, and personality. Parents will often get new information when talking with other former employers that are also parents.
- Use your agency representative as a sounding board. You’ll have lots of questions during the hiring process. You might want to know if asking your nanny to cook family meals a few nights a week is OK. You might have reservations about a nanny’s educational background and need additional input from an objective person. You might want to review the pros and cons of a nanny after the interview with someone who can act as a reality tester for you. Your agency can help with all those and lots of additional issues.
- Listen to your instincts. The agency is there to help you find the right nanny for you family. However the final decision is yours. Take the time to talk with and listen to what your agency has to say about the candidates they present to you but also follow your own instincts.
Using a full service nanny placement agency is a convenient and time-effective way to find your next nanny. By working closely with a quality agency, you can be on your way to hiring the right nanny for your family.
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