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How many times should we meet potential nanny before offering a job?(16 Posts)
We are in the process of looking for a nanny to look after our DS when I return to work early in the new year. Can I ask how many times you have typically met a nanny before offering them a job? We will obviously check references but have you also observed a candidate in their current role?
Many thanks for any advice you have. This is our first time hiring a nanny for our first child so just trying to figure it all out!
I interview and shortlist alone, first. Then invite two or three possibles to spend 2-3 hours at home with the kids - I am there to introduce and generally milling around and observing, but I want to see how they get on with my kids, not anyone else's. (Have never heard of observing anywhere else?)
Out of the shortlisted candidates, I would then decide which one to offer to (if any are suitable) and offer then (ie after one interview with me, and one play session/ practical interview with the kids). If none seemed the right fit, back to the agency and advertise again (or maybe recheck applicants and see if I want to interview anyone else).
The agency I use send CVs to the family and the family then invites about 5 candidates for an interview. From interviews they select 2 or 3 to have a trial session - 24hrs for a love-in or 12hrs for a live-out - I.e a typical work day.
Anyone can smile and say the right things for 3hrs during an interview but it's really working and/or living with someone that will give you some idea of how you really get on.
Stringy, I'm a little shocked by the 'love in' when u have met the nanny once, but I guess I'm just a bit more reserved than some people :-D!
Haha, liking the love-in too!
Thanks for sharing your experience everyone, that's helpful. Ponti, I didn't think that was usual either but a current employer offered it in one of the written references.
One more question if I may? At what point have you spoken with references?
1st interview just adults
2nd interview and kids an hour.
3rd 1/2 day with you at home and showing around
Then leave them to it. Most nannies are far better at their job without parent around so it's hard to gage straight away as obviously most kids will be drawn to parent rather than nanny when both around. It takes time for kids and nanny to settle
Speak to references after second interview once you are confident youbliek that candidate, otherwise too early is a waste of everyone's time
After second interview for refs.
I will share an absolute corker though - I actually really liked one nanny after the second interview, but thought another candidate might be better (more experience with sn - youngest dd has cerebral palsy) so on one occasion I actually did invite two back for a third interview before refs. At the end the third session it was obvious that the nanny I liked was going to be the better choice for the kids, so I let her know that I was going to be calling references and as long as everything came back ok, we would love to employ her. At this point she thanked me profusely and said how great it was that I was so understanding about her last role, that the agency were being great and very supportive, and that she would be really happy to work for us, and was really glad that we were giving her a chance when so many might not have.
Had no idea what she was talking about and said so, she thought the agency had discussed it with me. And it turned out that she was living with the dad and her previous charges after starting a relationship, and the mum had left the family home. It actually turned out fine - we did employ her (after talking to the agency and convincing dh who was terrified) and she was lovely. But do make sure you have a good chat with references and the agency before you offer anyone a job!!
I've been recruited a few different ways.
24 hour trial (live-in position)
Job offer (conditional on references)
Interview with Mum and children
Job offer (conditional on references)
A 'make sure' day (at my request)
Interview with Mum and Dad and baby
Met with Mum and baby with the children from my current job
References never checked!
Interview with parents
Personally, I won't do a day/half-day play with the kids trial. It's such a false environment I don't feel I perform my best and I don't think the parents' can really tell much from half a day or so when they're observing. Unless the nanny is a complete lunatic anyone can hold it together for a few hours with the parents watching!! I would happily have the parents come to my current job though, I think they'll get a much better view that way.
The best way to do it though imo is gut instinct plus references.
All the best family-nanny relationships I've known have been the result of that immediate gut feeling (plus a reference check to confirm).
'And it turned out that she was living with the dad and her previous charges after starting a relationship, and the mum had left the family home.'
I have been offered jobs following (well actually during) the first meeting. That tends to happen when the meeting is during the day and the children are present as there can be lots of time to interact with the children.
There is no right or wrong way to do recruitment of a nanny as it is very personal to your family. You should of course check references and right to work but you should also trust your instincts, when you meet someone who is great with the ages your children are, you know when it's a good fit. The interview becomes more like chatting with a friend and you start talking about things not relevant to the job - I remember parents discussing classical music at an interview.
I'm in my 10th position over 30 years. I have only ever had one interview before being offered the job (two telephone interviews for jobs a long way from where I was living at the time and one mum offered me the job after the two hour phone interview and I had to say that I was sorry but I'd like to meet you first!)
I usually start with babies (two jobs the mums were still pregnant, this was 23 years ago when there was only 3 months maternity pay so I had one from 11 weeks old. The other from 4 months old) so I go when baby/babies (3 sets of twins, 4 months, 7 months and teeny tiny 11 week olds.) are napping and chat to the parents for an hour and then get to moon over/play with the baby while answering more questions/telling them what I expect from a job (to be paid on time, to finish work on time or to be told as soon as they are due to leave work (or train gets stuck) and to be updated regularly, do not phone me at 6:30 when I am supposed to be finishing work, that you are stuck in the office and don't know what time you'll be home and then rock up at 9pm without any other communication (and if you don't let me know, get home at 9 or later and then say, 'sorry, it was such a nice evening we decided to go for a drink on the river' you will no longer have a nanny!) and to show a little appreciation, thank you goes a long way, flowers a little further and a bottle of pink möet will get you a lot of lea way!!)
I usually get offered the job at the end of the interview (subject to references and as I am still in touch and see most of my ex-charges (godmother to two of their daughters) they are pretty good!)
I do tend to do quite a long hand over with mum, as the babies are usually quite little. Current charge was 5 months old when I started and I did a 3 week hand over with a week skiing in the middle. First set of twins were 5 weeks corrected and I did two months hand over as mum was very nervous leaving them, twin one was still in newborn clothes. Now both strapping 19 year olds and seeing twin 2 tomorrow!
Good luck, I realise this is such a daunting time for you and you can take as long as you need to find the right person for you and your family but I think when you know, you know!
I do one interview, a trial session, refs then offer
I typically have a first interview with one or both parents, and the agency will give me a good indication of how it went. Second interview to meet the children, and if all goes well a conditional job offer subject to references.
Please don't use reference checking as a way of distinguishing between two candidates. I am more than happy to provide the contact details of all my previous employers once you have offered me the job, and the are always happy to help me find a new job by chatting to prospective employers. They are busy professionals though, and the more families they chat to contributes to "reference fatigue".
Varies Have gone for
first interview just parents. 2nd with child and offered job
First interview with all. 2nd intervenes to discuss details more
First interview with all and offered job driving home. They rang fancy and said wanted me and I like them so said yes
Very rare to go for 2nd interview and not get the job. Obv if not interested in the job I wouldn't go for 2nd interview
Never had a trail day before starting a job and certainly wouldn't do a day. Maybe few hours but R.E.M. Kids are very diff if parents about
And don't offer ref till a job I like. Have written ones they can read but no contact details as not fair to them if they get pestered by lots of familliesn
Thanks so much everyone for sharing your experience, hugely appreciated.
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