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Anyone want to join us on our journey to find a new nanny?

(29 Posts)
wolfhound Tue 12-Jul-11 11:21:47

All comments, suggestions etc. very welcome. It is a daunting task.
We need a new part-time nanny (our lovely previous nanny has moved on for a full-time job). Really want someone who will stay for several years. So, I advertised for a new nanny on Gumtree yesterday and got 16 replies by this morning.

Of these, I'd say 7 have potential (not bad). Reasons for ruling out the others include:-
- One-line reply saying
- either 'Where do you live?' - the (small) town is named in the advert.
- or 'Please contact me asap as I am desperate for work' - wtf?
- or 'Yes, I'd like this job, please.' (!)
- Absolutely atrocious spelling and grammar in e-mail and CV. Just makes me feel they are not professional.
- Inappropriate e-mail address (frankly, who wants sexpunk101 looking after their children?)
- Background that makes me doubtful they can commit to the job long-term (foreign students / single mother of 7 / someone with 3 other part-time jobs already...)

Next step, looking at the 7 possibles in more detail. Some haven't sent their CVs so I'm asking for those to be sent through.

After the CV stage, would you interview, or would you check qualifications/references first?

Lola10 Tue 12-Jul-11 11:44:01

On the Gumtree???

Never, ever!!!

wolfhound Tue 12-Jul-11 11:49:35

Eeek, why not Lola?

mranchovy Tue 12-Jul-11 11:50:06

Nothing wrong with Gumtree, particularly for a part time position, as long as you accept that 90% of the people responding will be unsuitable - 90% of the jobs on there are dodgy as well IMHO so it works both ways.

Lola10 Tue 12-Jul-11 11:59:54

Bad experience with strange people answering to mine post.

I agree 90% of people are out.

wolfhound Tue 12-Jul-11 12:00:39

So my impression that 7 out of 16 replies are 'possibles' is probably too generous, MrAnchovy - I've been told that all the nannies on agency books also look at Gumtree/nannyjob etc. so thought it was worth trying. Reluctant to pay the big agency fee again when I felt their service wasn't great last time.

wolfhound Tue 12-Jul-11 12:01:09

Did you end up going with an agency, Lola? Or another website?

Lola10 Tue 12-Jul-11 12:07:43

No, I end up finding the childminder through the council website. I heard that some of the nannies are Ofsted registered, try to call your local child care information - council support and asked them to send you some information.

Sorry but I am not experienced with nannies, or nanny share.

mranchovy Tue 12-Jul-11 13:18:36

So my impression that 7 out of 16 replies are 'possibles' is probably too generous

Maybe you got lucky grin, but you only need one anyway so I wouldn't worry about how many/how bad the rejects are. Just don't use your regular email address so you can ditch any real wierdos if need be (hope that's not too late).

nannynick Tue 12-Jul-11 13:33:22

7 out of 16 sounds very impressive. You are perhaps very lucky, or just haven't narrowed it down enough yet.

Conduct things by e-mail for a while. Narrow it down to a couple of candidates who tick all your boxes and then get them to visit you (and your children) so you can see how they interact.

To narrow it down, consider what you desirables are... do the nannies have the things you desire. Consider the nannies home location - is it really practical for them to be travelling to you, also how would they be travelling... are they likely to be reliable?

Check that they are entitled to work... some guidance from UKBA.

CV/Work History is useful to have. Written references could be of help. Verbal references are very useful. Try to build a picture of the person, does it all seem credible.

nannynick Tue 12-Jul-11 13:37:55

Have you given an indication of salary? If not, are nannies suggesting a salary to you. Consider what you are able to afford given the total cost, not just salary. Keep in mind that the person could well have other employment, so your job may be using taxcode BR, so DON'T agree a Net wage... always agree Gross.

wolfhound Tue 12-Jul-11 16:20:16

Yes, NannyNick, I think I haven't whittled down enough yet - just mean that 7 out of the 16 weren't immediately ruled out for being totally out of the question. Good idea to conduct things by email at first. Have asked everyone for a CV so can get an idea of their experience. Good idea re: their home location, don't want someone who has to travel a long way, esp in winter when we have snow problems.

Haven't discussed salary yet, but will definitely go for a gross salary. Our previous nanny got £8 per hour (gross), but a very experienced person might well want more.

Do you think I can ask to speak to referees before I meet the potential nanny, or should I wait till afterwards? I thought that possibly checking qualifications and referees might cut down the number of people we interview.

nannynick Tue 12-Jul-11 16:38:22

You could ask, though if they are say already employed and are thinking about changing job, then you may find you can't talk to their current employer until such time as you have formally offered the position subject to satisfactory reference.

nannynick Tue 12-Jul-11 16:42:38

I would not feel that happy about providing someone elses contact details to someone I have not met, unless of course it was fine by the person whose details I was providing.

On e-mail you could be anyone... so the more I knew about you, the happier I would feel about giving you more information.

I'm not a fan of gumtree at all, have found most of the applicants to be timewasters. I advertised in nannyjobs, childcare.co, and netmums and found most of the respondents to be more professional, who sent in properly spelled CVs and who were genuinely looking for a job. I'm all for recruiting directly and avoid agencies, just be prepared to do the research yourself and to spend some time and effort on the process.

I tend to shortlist applicants from their CVs based on experience and depending on the criteria that I have in mind. e.g driver with own car, willing to do kids laundry etc. After i interview, I will check references before, just seems to make more sense to me that way.

Have you been very specific in your ad? The more specific you are, the easier it is for the applicants to tailor their response accordingly.

CharlieCoCo Tue 12-Jul-11 19:55:51

as a nanny i dont send out references until after i have met you-well i mean i have them on my in interview. it isnt fair on previous-busy-employers having loads of people calling them for an interview, when a lot of interviewsndont get past stage one. likewise, u wouldnt want, nor i doubt have the time, to go through everyones references.

catepilarr Tue 12-Jul-11 21:57:53

i send out references without the contact details. my references are my strongest thing so dont want to miss out ;)

cherub59 Tue 12-Jul-11 22:24:06

I advertised on gumtree and got hundreds of useless replies such as "I like little children I want your job"....

On gumtree you will get anyone responding. I going nannyjob.co.uk much better and that is where many agencies advertise also.....

wolfhound Wed 13-Jul-11 09:41:45

Good advice everyone. I think I will put an ad on nannyjob as well and see if it is a better range of replies.

N1MTB Wed 13-Jul-11 11:17:12

Hi - am in the same position wolfhound - moving house and need to find a new nanny.... I advertised on gumtree on Monday and have had 50 responses. I just can't understand some of the replies at all as the English is so bad and some people just seem to think they'll have a go at nannying, even though they have no experience at all. I think it's fair enough to ask for a fluent English speaker with some (proper...) experience, given we are advertising a job for up to £38,500 pa (or £10 net per hour). However, I just advertised on nannyjobs too now after reading this thread - so we'll see what happens. I know it sounds tight but we would really struggle to come up with the cash to pay an agency (6 weeks net salary!) at the moment as we're v stretched with our house move. But I'm looking into interest free credit cards...

Karoleann Wed 13-Jul-11 15:07:53

I've employed two nannies from an ad on gumtree and both have been great. As long as you're really specific the amount of timewasters have been less than 30%. I put an ad on nannyjob too and the same people applied on both.
After people have send out CV's - I send out a detailled sheet of exactly what the job entails, the experience and qualifications I expect them to have, the salary I would offer, working hours etc. Then ask them to email back if they fit the bill. Then I call them (mainly to make sure they can speak english), then interview.
Good luck x

wolfhound Wed 13-Jul-11 15:56:05

N1 - we are in the same boat! Shall we compare notes as we go along?

Karoleann - that's very helpful, I am now putting a detailed sheet together!

Will prob come back later for some advice on it....

N1MTB Wed 13-Jul-11 17:20:13

Yes, thanks Karoleann - very helpful...! (And encouraging) Yup - some of the same people have applied on gumtree and nannyjobs. I'm looking through all applications this week, discussing a shortlist with DH over the weekend and then getting back to people with questions or "no thank-yous" early next week. (Why I always deal with the majority of childcare issues rather than DH, even though we both work full time in equally demanding jobs, is a separate issue....)

Dozer Thu 14-Jul-11 09:53:17

Karoleann, the detailed sheet sounds like a really good idea, think I'll do that too. It's a good way to avoid misunderstandings and be clear about stuff before interviews. Don't suppose you'd be able to share it with us (via PM), or perhaps list what you cover in it?

wolfhound Thu 14-Jul-11 10:06:32

Doing my 'detailed list' at the moment. Would be happy to swap lists (via PM) with anyone else doing one if you want to share.

One query I have - how do you verify a CRB check? I am saying I require a recent 'enhanced CRB check' - if they give me the certificate or whatever, how do I verify it?

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