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what to say/how to explain that we have decided against a candidate (appointing a nanny)

(16 Posts)
kalidasa Wed 19-Mar-14 15:10:38

Not sure if I am overthinking this. We are looking for a nanny and after a first round of interviews decided to offer the job to the strongest candidate at that point - she wasn't perfect but we thought would be fine. She accepted on the phone, and obviously I was clear that it was subject to reference checks, CRB etc and also some other things as we need our nanny to be OFSTED registered. The reference checks raised some issues on the phone that weren't mentioned in writing and we were a bit doubtful but the nanny was quite mature about discussing it and we decided to proceed (I started an earlier thread about this). Since then though it's been a series of niggles - a couple of quite abrupt/rude emails, not following through on a third reference that she promised, and now a string of revision requests to the draft contract we sent her. Basically we have had enough and have decided not to pursue this any further but I'm not sure what to say since it's not really any one thing that has swung it, more the overall picture. I don't want to be rude or unfair, but nor do I want to overdo it by over-explaining. On the other hand some feedback might actually be useful to her if it really boils down to her manner? It's a shame because she was wonderful with DS (we had her as an emergency nanny in the past) but I think we do have to be confident that we can communicate with her easily as well. Any advice much appreciated!

Marylou62 Wed 19-Mar-14 15:25:12

OH Dear. As a nanny I would be horrified if I caused you so much trouble, but I know I wouldn't!!! It does sound like she knows what she wants and could be fairly ridged. Surely the contract is about you saying what you want/expect from her? I think it will only get worse. In fact you are quite within your rights to just stop and reconsider...maybe a quick text/email saying you are having a rethink. If she asks why/is it anything I've done/not done...well maybe you could tell her.(hope someone in the know replies soon. Good luck.

kalidasa Wed 19-Mar-14 15:52:53

Thanks MaryLou. It's a stock contract provided automatically by the payroll company and I have no problem in principle with emending it. Some of the clauses she flagged up did seem to me to be unnecessary (though others I think are really OK). If we had no other doubts we wouldn't mind her raising these questions of course - in fact it's good to be thorough and to have read a contract properly - it's just one part of the overall picture (and also that the tone in which she has communicated about this has been at times quite sharp/aggressive).

I am usually quite good at writing difficult emails but this one is leaving me a bit stumped. I'm hoping someone is going to suggest some excellent wording that I can borrow!

Marylou62 Wed 19-Mar-14 16:20:23

So do I. As I am useless with this sort of thing!

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 19-Mar-14 16:24:37

It's a tricky one because she hasn't really done anything wrong.

Tone in emails can be easily misread.

Any good and experienced nanny will negotiate on a contract they are not happy with. A lot of stock contracts are rubbish. Part of good communication is establishing the ground rules from day one.

The third reference could just be an unavoidable delay...?

It's hard to know without knowing exactly what she wants to negotiate/what she said.

I hope she hasn't turned down another job only to be messed around by you! In terms of the email, you just need to be honest I think.

NannyLouise29 Wed 19-Mar-14 17:39:25

Outraged I agree with what you've said.

Contracts for nannies are a two way street, I have rejected jobs for ridiculous things written in contracts. Tone in email can be easily misinterpreted, and how have you responded to her requests for amendments? Do you feel the contract is perfect?

If you don't feel it's a good fit then you need to tell her that ASAP. A straightforward email would do it, no need to identify the why you don't feel it would be a good fit.

Karoleann Wed 19-Mar-14 18:08:14

How about -
After reviewing our recent email exchanges and reference contacts, we don't feel we could offer you a position under the terms you require, therefore, we have decided to go with another candidate.
We wish you every luck with your continuing job search.
Kind regards xxxxx

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 19-Mar-14 18:55:39

Ditto leeds the contracts agencies send out are useless as I have my own that I've tweaked over the years and always use

If parents didn't want to use it I would ask why and depending what it was they objected to we would discuss and possibly compromise

What did she want changed? We will tell you if normal smile

And agree emails can come across sometimes as a blunt

I would get her over for a chat and discuss things - the ref thing is hard

We can ask bug previous employers for a ref if they havnt given one tho again I have in my contract at end of job that I will get a writen one

From Your previous thread you had niggles about something that previous employers had said but you had discussed that with the nanny

Again I have things in my contract like provided meals during working hours as learnt years ago from a friend who started work at 7am and her employers told her off for having toast

Tbh the more stuff in the contract the better as then both nanny and employer know where they stand over issues

NomDeClavier Wed 19-Mar-14 18:57:47

Can you have a frank discussion about the way she's communicating? There's nothing on there that's actually outright wrong, you just aren't happy with her tone. That's obviously important because setting your teeth on edge every time she opens her mouth isn't conducive to a good working relationship but if it can be modified then you should give her the chance.

Any nanny worth their salt is going to negotiate on a contract. She probably has one she prefers using.

2plus1 Wed 19-Mar-14 19:43:40

In my experience of employing nannies, if it does not feel right then withdraw the job offer based on references and contractual differences and move on to another candidate. We employed a nanny who on paper and interview seemed a good match and based on that I ignored the nagging doubts. Things really did not work out and we parted company after six months. Do listen to your own thoughts which seem to be doubting this candidate for your family.

kalidasa Wed 19-Mar-14 20:58:06

blondes, nanny and outraged thanks for your feedback. We keep second-guessing ourselves for exactly the reasons you give - she hasn't done anything really wrong, and there's a plausible explanation for each thing that has bothered us. But now there's a long list of things that bother us and we are beginning to see where the reservations in the verbal references were coming from - they both commented on sub-par communication.

kalidasa Wed 19-Mar-14 21:14:45

Re: the contract, I have no problems with her negotiating in itself. But the sequence went like this: she sent a long and quite sharp/aggressive email making a series of requests and demands and asking that we produce a draft contract by the end of the month - I found the tone rather brusque but on the whole I thought it wasn't completely unreasonable; I replied very promptly and politely thanking her for her professionalism, and attaching a draft contract, full answers to all her queries and several further clarifying questions. She then replied with a single line, not acknowledging any of that but simply saying that she couldn't accept the contract as it was biased and unfair and that she looked forward to receiving a revised version from us - no indication of what she wanted revised. She only elaborated on what was bothering her when I wrote and asked her to. She still hasn't acknowledged or answered the other points I raised (though I replied to all hers in full), and in her latest email she appears to be retreating or shifting ground on some other points. Any one of these issues individually would not have put us off but we are bothered by the whole picture.

Thanks also to those who helped with possible wordings.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 19-Mar-14 21:37:30

Hmmm does seem dodgy. Why she can't say what's points she doesn't like on the contract

I still think it's worth a meet face to face as texts /emails do come across wrongly when not meant to be

Cindy34 Wed 19-Mar-14 22:39:03

The single line reply is not appropriate in my view.

Suggesting amendments to a contract I feel is fine, after all it is a draft contract and sometimes stock contracts may include clauses which are not relevant, sometimes even things which are not legal (as law has changed since the stock contract was created).

If you feel it is hard to communicate with them now, then that does not bode well for the future.

NomDeClavier Thu 20-Mar-14 07:47:23

Okay that sheds a rather different light on things and if this is her usual way of communicating with employers I'm not surprised the references highlighted that. Her behavior over this is probably grounds for you to withdraw the offer of employment.

kalidasa Thu 20-Mar-14 10:59:53

OK, thanks all. I have sent an email explaining. I found it hard to decide whether or not to explain what the issue was but in the end I thought it was fairer to give some real feedback, as in my field at least we always would for a candidate at this sort of stage. To be honest I think she is excellent as an emergency nanny (which is how we met her and were really impressed) but maybe better suited to that setting than to building up a good working relationship with a family.

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