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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.

Calgary Wed 30-Jan-13 21:10:05

Thanks everyone for your inputs - I've got some great inputs ie. I thought it was clear that whatever extra hours were worked re babysitting would be taken off the Friday shift (we also offer to pay it if that's preferred), that 2 yrs experience could include being a nursery nurse etc. In truth we're pretty flexible with many things (except hours and that I work from home) but it seems that perhaps in the UK that's not understood or normal.

We understand that the pay is on the low end but we can afford what we afford and unfortunately, live-in, is not an option. I believe in being up front about this so that people who aren't interested don't bother wasting theirs or my time.

However, there were a few who mentioned to do a phone interview first and I think that may be key to weeding out those who really are interested.

Thanks again for taking the time.

ReetPetit Wed 30-Jan-13 21:40:25

maybe a childminder would suit you better? you could get a great childminder in your area for around £60(ish) a day per child. Might be more within your budget and could suit you as you work from home - which most nannies don't want.

ZooAnimals Wed 30-Jan-13 21:46:51

If I were you I'd drop the lower end wage from your ad, if you can afford to pay £600 a week, then offer that or maybe £550-600. Or take the requirements out and see who applies. Advertising a wage that is laughably low for what you're asking makes you seem like you don't know what you're doing.

LondonNanny79 Wed 30-Jan-13 22:57:23

Calgary, honestly I think if you can't change hours or afford more, requiring
a Minimum 2 years full-time childcare experience (including toddlers), native English or French and Childcare qualifications seems a bit unrealistic... (of course you can be lucky!!!) Also if you've had 2 nannies, going for a 3rd one within 2 years, that's a sign something is not working.

I think a phone interview would help but a nanny might find another job anyway (before or after your interview). I reckon you need to offer a few perks to make your job offer more attractive, not only to find a good nanny but to keep her long term.

I don't want to sound repetitive as already said you can't change hours but you also said you could exchange a few hours on Friday for babysitting, so maybe you could do four 10 hour days and a short day on Friday... And pay babysitting extra?

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 30-Jan-13 23:09:44

Regardless of late finish - lower end of scale wage - you working at home - it is still rude and unprofessional of people to cancel /not turn up and don't think zoo's query was unhelpful

There are fab professional nannies on gumtree but also a lot of foreigners /ap's wanna be nannies on there as well

Gumtree is well known for cheap childcare

Twins - now that wouldn't put me off - love twins smile

nannynick Wed 30-Jan-13 23:22:09

When looking at applicants details, have you taken account of where they live and how they would be getting to you? With a 9.30am start time they will be travelling during peek travel time (off peak does not start until 9.30am, I think - I'm a non-Londoner these days) so a journey that they initially feel is possible, come actually doing it - such as getting to you for interview - they realise it takes a lot longer than planned. Maybe that is happening, hard to know unless they actually tell you so.

Unprofessional of them not to cancel interview arrangements... though maybe you are better off without seeing the people who do not have the courtesy to let you know they are no longer interested in the job.

Of those who have turned up, have you offered any of them the job? Did they turn it down?

Calgary Thu 31-Jan-13 10:41:24

I've updated the ad with a number of the suggestions provided so thanks again for the comments!

NN- my sense is that peak hours are earlier, but at any rate, I definitely do look at their locale when deciding who to contact and most are within 2 miles of our place. And no, we've not yet offered the role to anyone. As many have said, it's not an easy sell when one parent works from home. There really has to be a rapport which is why I've found that meeting them in person is the best way to determine whether or not it's a good match. And I agree, I am absolutely better off not seeing the people who don't have the common courtesy to let me know that they are no longer interested. (I posted this originally just to let off some steam because my DH and I are just shocked at how unprofessional these people are - I've never encountered nor heard anything similar and to this degree with friends sourcing out nannies through Craigslist- Gumtree equivalent- in N. America. However, it's been great that as a result I've had so many helpful suggestions. smile)

MGMidget Thu 31-Jan-13 11:33:54

A couple of suggestions. Could you lower the requirement to one year's experience with toddlers and could you position it as a potential opportunity for a nursery nurse to make the transition to nanny. You could turn being at home into a benefit if you were prepared to offer more training and support to a 'trainee' nanny. My only concern would be whether a 'trainee' could handle twins well.

I did this, in a similar position to you, a few years ago but with only one toddler. I was working from a home office and recruited a young English nursery nurse who wanted to move into nannying. She only had about 6 months nursery experience though but also had a Cache level 3 childcare diploma and lived locally at the time. I am not that far from you. She was very young and she did need a lot of hands on training initially and ongoing to a lesser extent. Some aspects of her character meant she was never going to be a really great nanny but she was good enough and had her strengths as well as weaknesses. She stayed until we didn't need her any more, although we did hike her pay over a period of time, give generous bonuses etc, pay to send her on training courses and generally make her feel like she was in a career job. When she first joined us though she was previously on near-minimum wage in a nursery so the pay we were offering was still very attractive, although below the usual nanny rates.

I found our nanny on nannyjob - it may be worth advertising there too.

Also, one point already mentioned, the later than usual finish may not be so appealing to young nannies who may feel their social life will be somewhat restricted.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 31-Jan-13 11:50:14

anyway you can change the hours to 8-6 - as you work from home - do you actually finish work at 7.30pm or is it you more want help with tea/bath/bed

could the nanny bath them by 6pm and then leave?

do you have a separate office far far away from playroom?

nannynick Thu 31-Jan-13 11:59:22

So it's not travel distance related, 2 miles is hardly anything.
Pay wise you are offering more than I am paid, though I am 22 miles outside of London so do not get what Civil Service (Government) used to call London Waiting (an additional pay allowance for working in London).

You are being honest about the situation with regard to pay, working hours and a parent working from home, so if nannies do not want that sort of a job I do not feel they should be applying, and definitely should not be accepting the opportunity to come for an interview.

I think all you can do is talk to applicants more in the pre-interview stage, maybe even getting to the point of a job offer conditional on them meeting you and your twins.

nannynick Thu 31-Jan-13 12:02:19

Changing hours may not be possible though Blondes as they may work for a US company and need to do conference calls at a time the US are awake.

Always finishing earlier on a Friday may be a sweetener to help encourage people to apply, though I don't think there has been a mention of a lack of applicants, more that some of them just don't turn up for the interview.

Calgary Thu 31-Jan-13 14:04:09

MGMidget - We did position our posting previously as a great opportunity for a nursery nurse to make the transition - but forgot to this time. We have been getting inquiries from nursery nurses as well (two who didn't turn up to scheduled interviews)...

You're dead on NN - I work for the European arm of my US company and so rarely finish my day until at least 8pm and sometimes much much later. I've got more flexibility Fridays as the company makes a point to try and limit meetings that day. Also, my DH works long hours and can't get home before around 7:30pm.

On a positive note, had a lovely woman (who's fully aware and comfortable with the job specs) come in today who I think could work out very well. I do have two other interviews this weekend and will look to wrap it up then hopefully.

Karoleann Thu 31-Jan-13 14:11:30

Fingers crossed this lady is right for you.
Incidentally, I don't think this salary is that low at all. If you look on nanny job there's plenty of jobs advertised for that sort of rate in london.
When you look at the gross its £23,400 to £31,200, that's not an insignificant salary.
And yes, part-time nannies are looking for £10/hour and english nannies command more too, but I honestly don't think you'll have a problem at all.
Keep the babysitting in too.

ElenaKnight Thu 31-Jan-13 20:43:11

I would say for what your looking for you are looking to pay at least £10ph net. Maybe just send an informal email to a couple of Nanny agencies in your area as well to see what they think you should be paying.

With regards to no shows- this has also happened to us when we were looking for our last Nanny and we put it down to the amount of children we have (six- one is grown up but I guess five is still a lot for one person) even though we were offering £12-15nph plus full expenses (petrol, trips out, food etc). I emailed a Nanny agency and they told me it was reasonable and suggested I go through an agency as the girls are all vetted- the one I went with did background checks (credit history, court judgements etc), their own CRB check, first aid training and either 5 years experience or 2 years experience and a qualification were mandatory as was OFSTED registration. OK, we paid £400 to find a nanny, but we had no time wasters and the complete peace of mind that who we were hiring was safe.

Gumtree is full of time wasters and scam artists- I have been sent a few fishy/unbelievable CVs before through there.

Nannyjob is a good one- but I really would consider using an agency.

MGMidget Fri 01-Feb-13 11:24:06

Is it just £400 fee for using a nanny agency? If it is a £400 flat fee then that is pretty good value if all the background checks are included. I thought nanny agencies charged a lot more. £400 is more what you pay for an au pair agency placement fee. If its only £400 it could be worth it but also I have heard that nanny agencies can try to bump up salaries (so they will raise the expectations of the nannies and also try to talk the employers into paying more). It is in their interests if their commission is based on the salary level which I thought many were.

I believe its possible to pay for background checks yourself without using an agency and many nanny applicants will already have a CRB check certificate to show you.

MGMidget Fri 01-Feb-13 11:32:40

PS I also don't think the pay is that bad. Not the most competitive but still plausible to attract a nanny. Good luck. I hope it works out well with the lady you interviewed. Incidentally, one way she could potentially supplement her income a bit (if you were happy with this of course) is she could do a school drop off job for a family near you, i.e collect the kids and drop off at local school before she comes to your house for 9.30. Most state schools have start times of around 9/9.15 so as long as it was very local to your house it could be plausible.

nannynick Fri 01-Feb-13 12:31:03

Agency fees vary, can be a couple of thousand.

Some checks parents can do themselves such as calling references. CRB can not be done currently but the system is changing, so it may be possible in future.

forevergreek Sat 02-Feb-13 13:59:04

i would also try reducing hours or altering. could you do 9.30-6.30? that extra hour earlier will appeal to more people (remember many nannies have their own family too), and if paying £12.50 gross an hour will save you £62.50 a week just by having one hour less a day.

i would get nanny to feed/bath change toddlers and get them up ready for bed (may be slightly early but will just get up 30 mins or so earlier in the morning when you are around). then at 6.30 you take over (children already in bedroom), and just read 2 stories and pop to bed. two stories and saying goodnight should be down in 15/20 mins easily. then you can go back to work until whenever is needed once asleep.

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