During college, I was a live-in nanny for a family with two beautiful little girls that I loved dearly. We all knew that my career path and passion was not to be a professional caregiver but it was still a heartbreak for all of us when it was time to part ways.
Together, we started the search to find the "perfect" replacement by posting an ad with my cell phone number, a sweet message about this amazing family, and a short job description. My phone started ringing off the hook- all day and all night - with interested candidates. The whole process was overwhelming, time consuming and emotional as it was not just about any old "job". This was about caring and educating children we loved.
I have learned a lot since then.
One of the things I have learned is that this was not an isolated experience! So many new and veteran moms ask me how and where to find the perfect nanny, without having to weed through the millions of emails, resumes and messages. One mom recently told me that she received 85+ emails within two days in response to a nanny ad she placed on a small and local website. She felt so confused by the sheer volume of this response, and the lack of regulation in the market that she quit the search for a nanny and enrolled into a daycare!
So how do you start your search for great nanny? And how do maintain your sanity throughout the process?
Here are five tried and true ways to find great nanny candidates through a "Help Wanted" ad:
Look for "Mom" approved recommendations:
A personal recommendation from a trusted source speaks volumes. However, just because your friend's friend loved their nanny does not mean that she will be right for your family. Take all the appropriate precautions to interview, background check, screen and trial any nanny regardless of who approves of them. Equally important, the nanny relationship is emotional, personal and extremely important, as they will be spending time in the intimacy of your home and caring for your most precious people, so be sure to check that their professional actions will fall in line with your families needs and philosophies.
Create a detailed job explanation:
I am not talking about the standard “ I am looking for a loving, trustworthy and experienced nanny” …as this should really be a given! Instead give your ad some character by talking about your family’s personality and home culture. Be specific with your schedule and flexibly or lack thereof. Do you need housekeeping or someone to create a healthy meal for your children? Someone educated or just with years of experience? Do they need to love the great outdoors and your pup Fido? Are you a big communicator and need details, texts and pictures throughout the day? Be honest about the anticipated salary/hourly range for their take home wage, and when you need them to start.
Dedicate an email account:
You may receive a lot of responses so do yourself a favor and do not post your cell phone number, address or personal email account in the advertisement. Rather, create a separate email account that you can choose to attend to when you have the time and energy, and that you can deactivate once you found a great fit caregiver.
Ask for a picture:
Do you need a beauty queen? Probably not! But as they say "A picture is worth a thousand words." You are looking for a child-friendly, responsible person with some common sense to be around your kids. If you received a "duck-lipped selfie" and "fireball shots at the bar" photo... you probably know without an interview that she (or he) is not the "one".
Require an employment application:
Have the applicant complete a childcare application form with their basic contact information: availability, pay requirements, references, work experience and maybe even have them answer a childcare “situation question” or two. This will help give you the information you need to determine if these people are worth your time, in the form of an in person interview and will also cut down on the non-serious applicants as it requires more than just a cut and paste résumé.
Do you want more information about how to hire a nanny? Or are you in search of a nanny application template? Visit www.choice-parenting.com to learn more!
Hi! I am Holly...
For over a decade, my career focus has been centered in and around NYC in the childcare, education, and family support industries.