We often get calls from friends and family members who have recently had a bad experience hiring a nanny on their own. Most often, the reason that things fell apart can be traced back to the hiring process. The following are tips to ensure a successful employer-employee relationship. For more information on hiring a nanny.

follow up on background checks and call references

It is tempting to hire someone because you get a good feeling about them,
or your have heard about them from a friend. I always ask: “Would you
marry your best friend’s husband?” You take a great risk if you skip any
of the fundamental hiring checks. Extensive background checks (criminal, driving, sexual offender database and so on) and reference checks of past employers are steps you cannot afford to leave out.

try it out

We are huge proponents of a “trial time,” because it is the best test for both parties with respect to “fit”—the longer the trial time, the better (I encourage a minimum of 2 consecutive days up to 2 weeks). A trial time with one or two nannies will help indicate how well things will work in the long run.  Was the nanny late because he got lost or couldn’t find parking, or is he habitually late?  It is also important to take notes while you observe the nanny with your child. Does she seem attentive? What about when you step out of the room? Pay attention to how your child interacts with him or her— you know your child better than anyone and can tell who they like (and don’t).

connection matters

Families sometimes weigh experience and education more heavily than the connection made between two parties. They convince themselves that the nanny must be good based solely on her résumé. If your gut is telling you there is a personality clash or a difference in philosophy, chances are there is!

the golden rule

We remind parents to think about how their bosses treat them and to repeat the good things and change the bad things.  This is your turn to be a respectful and generous boss. If a nanny’s responsibilities are not commensurate with her pay, she will most likely become resentful and have one foot out the door. Make sure you are paying a competitive salary for your nanny and what you expect of her. Nannies do compare their compensation packages and job duties with one another and want to feel like they are being paid fairly.

professional process

If you are too casual in your hiring process, there is bound to be a moment when you and your nanny are on two different pages. It could be something minor like adding cooking dinner to his responsibilities or something major like paid time off. A completed and signed (detailed!) Employment Agreement will help guarantee a good, professional start — and keep it that way!

show your appreciation

Last but not least, once you have found the perfect nanny, let them know
how much they mean to you. Simple things like a thank you card, recognizing work anniversaries and small bonuses at holidays will mean the world to your nanny. A happy nanny equals a happy family!

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