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I'm interviewing people for a housekeeper/nanny job...

(49 Posts)
PrincessPeaHead Sun 03-Aug-08 15:54:22

ie about 70% cleaning, hoovering, laundry, ironing, and about 30% helping with the kids (odd school run, bit of sole charge care of 2.5 year old about a day a week, supervising teas etc)

Have just interviewed a very nice australian who has done some nannying, some hotel work, loves dogs, seems keen to muck in etc. But she is 22- I was sort of anticipating a 30+ for the role. Does it matter do you think? She has travelled all over the world, is v mature, kind, if I had to guess on meeting her I'd think she was 25. If I was looking for a full time nanny my usual criterion is not under 23.
Would you hire her, or would you look for someone older? Can a 22 yr old iron properly?!! Would be interested in your thoughts.

MamaGLovesMe Sun 03-Aug-08 15:56:33

It is the same kind of dilemma as do you want qualified but no hands on experience, or loads of experience but no certificates.

Do you want someone who can do the job but hasn't had as many birthdays as you were expecting, or someone who has blown out plenty of candles but can't stick around and do the job?

Of course a 22 year old can iron properly! Just as a 45 year old might not be able too!!

HumphreyPillow Sun 03-Aug-08 15:58:16

If she seems like she has the right personality and attitude, why not offer her a trial period?

(I am 38, and my ironing is crap. blush)

Earlybird Sun 03-Aug-08 15:59:51

Immediate thought is to check references/have conversation with her previous employers to ask questions you've posted here.

How long has she been in the country? Is she accustomed to life in England? Wondering about homesickness and ability to cope with long, dark, damp winters.

Turniphead1 Sun 03-Aug-08 16:02:01

Sometimes having someone a bit younger than you (assuming you are not 21 lol) can be a bit easier in the maintaining authority thing (whilst of course still being a kind and considerate employer grin).

I guess I would be more concerned about the wanderlust, rather than the age of itself - that she would be off again in about 6 months having saved up. Fine if that doesn't bother you. But even if you ask and she says I want to stay around for 2 years etc I wouldn't bank on it.

Is it a live-in position?

Quattrocento Sun 03-Aug-08 16:04:25

The age issue did make me wonder whether or not she is just looking to spend a year or so in the UK. Might you want her for longer?

Also does she have any experience of housework and/or children? I never really got to grips with cleaning until I had my own place for a while ...

PrincessPeaHead Sun 03-Aug-08 16:18:54

It is live out. She has a boyfriend she has been with for ages who has got an incredible job that he has come over from aus for, very near the house, and she has come with him. It seems like a stable relationship, he was a very nice, mature, gentle, intelligent seeming bloke (I met him), and his job is for 5 years. It is a job you'd cross the world for and he can only really do it here.
She has a 2 year visa which has just started, I can't ask for much more than that really. To stay longer she'd have to marry the boyf I think.

She has housekeeping experience working in hotels and chalets (but no ironing I suppose!!) and childcare experience working in nurseries and creches and babysitting. I have refs from both sides I must phone....

Earlybird Sun 03-Aug-08 16:22:15

Sounds promising. Presumably, she can be taught how to iron if that is the main concern?

WideWebWitch Sun 03-Aug-08 16:22:37

I just got a new cleaner and she's 20 and already has 2 children of her own. She isn't doing any childcare for me, just cleaning but I am trusting her with my house keys etc because she seems older than 20. I suppose having children young has meant she's had to be grown up, she seems responsible and so far is doing a great job.

I think if you like her, take her. So no, I don't think it matters.

jura Sun 03-Aug-08 16:23:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Quattrocento Sun 03-Aug-08 16:26:26

She sounds really good to be honest - if the only residual concern is the ironing, I hear it is quite easy to pick up even without a degree

PrincessPeaHead Sun 03-Aug-08 16:27:22

I'll check that Jura, thanks. Earlybird, you are quite right. WWW - 20 and 2 kids! I couldn't handle a washing machine at 20 let alone kids grin

Right I'll phone all her refs, and if they are OK.... I think I have a new housekeeper!

Next question - can I have a straw poll on how much you'd pay her for 10 hrs a day 5 days a week plus a car... I've given her a figure based on my discussions with agencies and looking in the lady etc, but I'm wondering if it is too much considering she is only 22. Live out, in the country

PrincessPeaHead Sun 03-Aug-08 16:28:24

The other benefit is she is a ski instructor and would be happy to come on skiing holidays with us and teach the kids grin

Earlybird Sun 03-Aug-08 16:30:04

Think it will be very difficult to backtrack/reduce if you've already given her a figure.

PrincessPeaHead Sun 03-Aug-08 16:33:46

I thought that instead of reducing the figure I could offer her the job on the basis of an evening's babysitting a week as well (she did say she would be happy to babysit)

would that work?

Anyway what number do you think is about right? any views?

missmaypole Sun 03-Aug-08 16:37:19

My nanny was 21 when she started with my three under 3's. She is brilliantly in control and (not in job spec - enough to do with childcare I always thought - obviously better at it than me!) keeps the house clean, launders etc etc. She is soooo competent, reliable, has been with us for over two years. I would go for a younger person again smile

PrincessPeaHead Sun 03-Aug-08 16:38:55

wonderful, thanks missmaypole!

Earlybird Sun 03-Aug-08 16:39:46

No idea about current rates for housekeepers. Also, no idea about rates outside of London.

Having said that, I would guess around £8 per hour as a starting point, moving up to £10 on the high end?

I'm sure others can/will shoot me down for suggesting that figure....grin

Quattrocento Sun 03-Aug-08 16:41:12

Haven't a clue on the money - kind of depends on the area as well - you'll have a better feel if you've been scouring the Lady.

Minimum wage is £5.52 so I guess it ought to be not less than £14,352.

We pay our cleaner £7 without any childcare responsibility, which would work out at £18,200.

You've got the car as well of course. What are you doing about holidays? How many weeks are you allowing?

Turniphead1 Sun 03-Aug-08 16:41:22

She sounds great. Yes, add in a night babysitting maybe.

bluefox Sun 03-Aug-08 16:41:40

Is it legal to employ someone for 10 hours a day ,5 days a week plus one night babysitting? (50 + hours weekly). Just wondering.

Turniphead1 Sun 03-Aug-08 16:46:32

A lot of nannies work that.Do they have to opt out of the EU working directive?

jura Sun 03-Aug-08 16:48:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MamaGLovesMe Sun 03-Aug-08 16:48:59

If you have advertised the job with a set wage I doubt very much you can reduce it because she is younger than you expected (age discrimination) nor can you add extra tasks in (I would have thought).

I would clarify everything before you officially offer the job, this is what I will pay you for doing that.

Extra hours for xyz will be paid at £? an hour, for example/

PrincessPeaHead Sun 03-Aug-08 17:02:34

yes wtd doesn't apply
4 weeks hols plus bank hols obv
mamag I didn't advertise the job at a set wage but I did mention the wage we were expecting to pay which was silly of me I agree. it isn't so much that she is young, rather that she has less experience than someone older..... anyway the rate is £350pw net (what is that gross? about £25k?)

no you are right. I'll try and add in the babysitting, and make it clear what the hourly rate for babysitting is otherwise

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