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Why so many nanny candidate no-shows????

(43 Posts)
Calgary Wed 30-Jan-13 11:39:54

I'm at the end of my tether and just thought I'd reach out and see what others have to say.

In the last year we've done two searches for nannies for our twin boys. Both the last time and now we've set up interviews with the most interesting candidates and we've had less than a 50% actually turn up to meet us. And half of those that don't turn up don't text, send email or anything - they just don't turn up. The other half that do send us something often send it 3-5hrs after they were supposed to turn up! Sheesh. I thought that there was a job shortage going around but have never experienced such poor behaviour in my life. (I'll also add to this that in addition to the above, 2 candidates texted just before they were supposed to turn up saying that they were too sick to show and then stood us up for the second meeting. So now, if they can't show when we make the first arrangements we stop following up.)

Grrr...once again this has put us in a bad position as we can only interview so many over the weekend and all the no-shows has meant that what was supposed to take 2weeks has been extended over 5 and we'll need temp help after our current lovely nanny returns to Australia.

Thanks for letting me gripe and get it off my chest.

Any insights into why this is happening would be much appreciated.

fraktion Wed 30-Jan-13 11:43:52

If this is happening systematically I'd wonder whether the job is attractive enough that candidates will make the effort to come if they feel under the weather/not stand you up for another interview.

Can you do evening interviews at all? Do you pre-screen by phone to ensure you're only meeting suitable candidates in person who are genuinely interested in the job?

iluvkids Wed 30-Jan-13 12:28:50

sorry to hear that... like frak says, i wonder why..if the job is attractive enough if it keeps happening.

im available for the next few weeks on a temp live in basis before my new job starts..pm me if u need to

MrAnchovy Wed 30-Jan-13 12:40:56

How long is it between first contact and the interviews? Any longer than the following weekend and they may have had an offer they are happy to accept already.

nannynick Wed 30-Jan-13 13:30:30

Is this live-in or live-out?
Does seem strange you are having no shows, is there something about location that is putting them off?

ZooAnimals Wed 30-Jan-13 13:36:16

Where are you recruiting the nannies from? Are they actually nannies or do you mean au pair/babysitter/underpaid foreign person?

Marypoppins99 Wed 30-Jan-13 14:05:58

As others have said. Do you by any chance have a copy of the job description a link to it etc. if the job isn't as attractive some People may not be bothered truthfully! It is quite a high number not showing up like zooanimal said are they actually experienced nannies or au pairs/underpaid 'childcarers'

Karoleann Wed 30-Jan-13 14:10:12

zoo that's a very odd unhelpful comment.

50% is quite low, I've only ever had a one not show. How very annoying.

Do you actually speak to the candidates first, sussing them out over the phone first so that you can make sure they're serious about the position and have a opportunity to ask initial questions always helps.

Text the day before to confirm the interview time and address and what they need to bring, CRB, passport, first aid cert, qualification certs.

ReetPetit Wed 30-Jan-13 14:40:23

agree with zoo smile
are these nannies? if so, unusual not to show up... or are they au pairs? if so, young (i assume) twins prob not attractive for minimum/less than minimum wage

ZooAnimals Wed 30-Jan-13 14:51:43

'zoo that's a very odd unhelpful comment.'

Why?

ceeveebee Wed 30-Jan-13 15:00:34

How are you searching - through an agency (in which case I would want to know what they have to say about this) or throughumtree/childcare.co.uk etc - in which case it woudn't surprise me as there is no pre-vetting of candidates. If its urgent I would generally go with an agency

What hourly rate are you offering and is it below market rate?

Calgary Wed 30-Jan-13 17:51:19

Thanks everyone for your comments. I don't do an initial telephone interview - perhaps that's what I should change. Right now my 'modis operendi' is:
1) suggest to those whose cv's interest me that we meet up for 30min either morning or evening on the weekend and occasionally if my DH can make it home early enough during the week. I've found that seeing them interact, even just briefly with my boys, gives me great info as to whether or not they'd be a good match (my last two have been fantastic!!).
2) Then if they seem good in the initial interview I call references and
3) Have them do a 3-4hr babysitting stint (paid) and see how they get on at the local park, feeding etc.

Here's a link to my ad - it seems like a very reasonable posting to me at least on par with others I've seen. Pretty reasonable hours and a good location (5min walk from a tube/train station). Much of the details I got from inputs from NannyNick and others here when I was searching for a nanny for the first time in 2011. http://www.gumtree.com/p/jobs/full-time-sole-charge-live-out-nanny-required-in-balham-for-february/1006048723

Thanks again!

Calgary Wed 30-Jan-13 17:52:59

Oh yes, MrAnchovy (love your calc by the way) and request for interview is normally within a few days of receiving their cv if not the same day.

Hi, my two cents worth... I work as a nanny in your area and the thing that really stands out to me is the salary. I read the ad and was thinking 'great.... great.... oh". I would say that around this area £450npw would be the MINIMUM salary a nanny would expect, but a more qualified/experienced nanny would be looking would be looking in the region of £500npw. You may find that because of this you are attracting nannies that may be have been unemployed for a while and will apply for anything going, and likewise accept the first job they get offered (purely speculation of course). Perhaps they don't feel as bad about blowing you off as they really should because "it didn't pay so well anyway"? The late finish might be putting them off too... late start is lovely but I'd rather start work at the crack of dawn and be home earlier. Even living as close to Balham as I do, I wouldn't expect to be home much before 8 if I finished at 7.30, and that's half the evening gone for me. This is of course just my opinion.

ReetPetit Wed 30-Jan-13 19:06:25

I agree with Super - I think the rate you are offering is too low for what you want. That's a long day with a late finish every single night of the week PLUS you want babysitting in the week monthly.

As a comparison, I can earn £60 a day for 10 hours as a registered childminder PER child (the longest hours I would want to do would be 8am-6pm but I would never chose these hours) so I think in comparison, you are asking quite a lot for a not very competitive salary.

ReetPetit Wed 30-Jan-13 19:08:54

I don't have recent experience of being a nanny btw - that's just my opinion on what stands out about your requirements

iluvkids Wed 30-Jan-13 19:13:26

Have just looked at your ad and

Remuneration will be £450-£600 gross/week (approx. £350-£450 net) based on qualifications and experience.

.... is the problem..

£350 net - £450 net -

as LIVE IN, I'm paid a min of £350 NET for those hours, normally £400 net.

as a LIVE OUT, your normally paid approx £100 more a week, than live in, so as another poster said above, £450 NET would be the MIN, as live out, but realistically, for those hours, £500 net is more the 'norm' - £10 an hour NET is the min, most live out, experienced nannies in that hour will accept.

ZooAnimals Wed 30-Jan-13 19:13:28

My thoughts about the job are;

The lower end of the wage you are offering is a joke. £9 gross ph in London is not going to get you a qualified and experienced nanny with outstanding references, which is what you're asking for. I agree with super that it may the nannies who are applying are the ones who can't get the £13ph gross they would get elsewhere.

A working from home parent puts off a lot of nannies, again meaning the ones you get applying are maybe not the cream of the crop.

The hours are unusual and may put some off (personally I'd rather a late start and late finish, but may be in the minority).

The babysitting in place of shorter hours on a Friday is not clear, what time would they finish on a Friday? Are we talking half-day or an hour early?

However, none of this justifies arraging an interview and then not turning up. Gumtree is a great place for finding a nanny, but is open to everyone and this does mean you will get timewasters/liars/the unreliable etc applying. I don't think you would get this problem with an agency. The only other thing I can think off is that you massively annoy/offend them when you email them about the interview?! Are you one of those people that sends a questionnaire asking really personal questions? Or do you demand a photo before interview? Is there anything you can think of that's putting them off?

When you contact them do you say 'meet up for 30 mins' or 'we'd love you to come for an interview'? Maybe the 'meet up for 30 mins' sounds too casual and they think you're a timewaster?

Why have you been through two nannies in 20 months?

iluvkids Wed 30-Jan-13 19:14:49

in that *AREA will accept

(i meant the last sentence to say)

i've also worked in that area

iluvkids Wed 30-Jan-13 19:21:03

i notice that youve just put your ad on nappy valley - without the salary mentioned - so you may get more applicants

have you tried childcare.co.uk? - it can be a bit hit n miss, but there are some great nannies and great families on there

MrAnchovy Wed 30-Jan-13 19:33:11

Yes I think you are probably about £100pw light. 7.30 is a bit late too, but 9.30-7.30 may suit lots of people better than 8-7 which is the norm. Twins may put some candidates off who want an easy life, and a parent WAH can be offputting too.

Re. the no-shows I suspect that after speaking to you nannies have spoken to agencies who have told them they are wasting their time with your job, the one the agency has got is much better. A reputable agency would never do this sort of thing of course...

Marypoppins99 Wed 30-Jan-13 20:26:57

As others have said the pay is on the low side more suited to that of a live in nanny. So you may not be getting the best selection of nannies looking for work, expecially experienced nannies which you would want to be able to look after two toddlers. Me personally wouldn't go for a job where the parent at all works from home, generally to much stress. Also the babysitting in return for the Friday. I think you may need to be more specific in terms of what exact hours will be worked.

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Wed 30-Jan-13 20:34:11

Is that your max budget? If so would you consider live in - you could get high quality candidates for the lower end of your budget. It is standard to get live ins to do 2 nights babysitting per week in the rate.

When I interviewed I did a 30 min phone interview first before getting them to come over as I screened out 70% of interesting CVs that way. Still got one no show with no contact though and it is bloody rude.

LondonNanny79 Wed 30-Jan-13 20:48:09

As a live out nanny, I have to say the wages you're offering (for the sort of nanny you're looking for) are not appealing at all. I was on £550net + travel card for 50 hours a week and it wasn't the highest salary amongst my friends. If an experienced career nanny can get that (in Belgravia, but still), I don't see why she'd apply for your job. I don't mean to sound offensive or anything just putting things into perspective.

To be 100% honest a home office can put a lot of nannies off, not because we don't like being supervised (as parents might think) but because kids behave a lot different when a parent is around and a lot of parents interfere with our work/discipline/routine even if they don't mean to.

If you want to make the job sound at least interesting for a great nanny, I'd either offer £500 npw for 50 hours or £450 for 45. If you want to make the job really appealling, you could consider £450 for 42,5 hours weekly. Say 9.30am-6pm. Any babysitting paid extra.

If you can't afford a live out nanny, maybe you could consider live in? 9.30-7.30 for £350 would be a good deal.

themagus Wed 30-Jan-13 20:57:16

I have to agree with the others. I don't have quite as many hours as you (40 or so) but I pay £9 gross to a cleaner/mother's help - she is delightful and hardworking but only had a few months' experience caring for children, albeit her references were great. She is not a native English speaker.
Hope this puts pay into perspective.

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