How to Hire a Nanny–Asking the Right Questions
For the most important hire you will ever make, the key is asking the right questions.
A nanny takes care of your most valuable resources, your children and your home, and represents your family. You are the gatekeeper for your family, and in many ways, she will become the face of the family.
Choosing the right agency
The first question to ask is to determine which service to use. It helps to get a personal referral. When you’re shopping for a high end car, you go to the best store. This is not the time to look for a bargain and don’t make the mistake of using several agencies. You’ll likely see some of the same candidates. Read up on how they find their candidates, what their screening practices are. Look for a nice, kind, friendly agency.
A good agency will ask lots of questions. They will want to know your personality and the personality of each one of the children, your schedule, what household chores would lighten your load, like running errands, preparing a tasty dinner a few nights a week, or home management experience.
On Your mark, Get set, Go
Your first job is to decide what you actaully need and want:
- Daily and weekly schedule- full or part time
- Duties, expectations
- Salary range
- Skill sets, like bilingual, cooking
- Educational level
- Flexibility–like being able to travel or help with occasional evenings
- Live-in or live-out
Be as specific as possible in your description
We recommend finding the best personality match for your family and being negotiable about specific skill-sets.
Narrowing down the candidates
Your Placement counselor will take your Family Application and the information from the phone interview and go through their data base of nannies to find a handful of very close matches. She is doing the work for you so do consider each of them. She may start with 15 candidates and narrow the list down to 3-5 best matches for you. She is looking at the ages of children the nannies have had recent experience with, how close she lives to you, how her personality matches with yours, skill sets, schedule and salary. She is doing the digging for you. When she says, “meet everyone we send you , even if it’s just for 15 minutes”, do it.
Let the agency save you stress and time. Trust them. A picky nanny agency will go through 25 applications before finding one to interview. After an in-person interview, a decision is made whether to proceed with reference and background checks. Our goal is that your choice will be based on the best personality match for your family between a few top-quality candidates.