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Questions to ask current/ previous employers

(12 Posts)
lobsters Wed 10-Jun-09 21:54:02

My great nanny hunt is progressing well and I have found some great candidates. I'm now at the stage where I'm going to talk to current and previous employers and other referees. I've got some areas I want to cover, I just wondered if I'm missing something obvious. (Before I get flamed these are in no particular order, just as I think of them)

Sickness record
Rapport with own child
Rapport with other children
Proactivity in finding activities for child and keeping them busy/ stimulating
Cooking ability
Feedback given to parents

What really obvious things am I missing?


Haribosmummy Wed 10-Jun-09 21:56:12

No advice, but am at a similar stage in my own nanny-hunt, so if you don't mind, I'm settling down with my mug of tea to listen to what the experts have to say!

ta! grin

AtheneNoctua Wed 10-Jun-09 21:59:05

Tidiness. If she is going to be live in, ask what her room looks like.

Ask if she is doer. Does she do something the first time she is asked or do they have to follow up again and again.

"would you hire her again"? And count the length of the pause. If long, they wouldn't.

Attire/appearance because she will tend to dress you kids as she dresses. If shedoesn't care what she looks like, she won't care what they look like.

Millarkie Wed 10-Jun-09 22:08:34

driving ability (if you need a driver especially if you are providing the car)
What age range of children did they look after, are they particularly suited to babies/toddlers/any age?
Were there any negative issues which they had to discuss with the nanny, if so, how did the nanny react to feedback?
And, can't phrase it, but something to do with whether they provided nanny with a kitty and if so whether nanny provided receipts, spent sensibly, or was bottomless pit

Millarkie Wed 10-Jun-09 22:10:14

As a referee, I don't like the ' would you employ her again' question because my kids are old now and I wouldn't employ any nanny even my most lovely ex-nanny.

nannynick Wed 10-Jun-09 22:35:56

Love it AtheneN:
"would you hire her again"? And count the length of the pause. If long, they wouldn't.

So true... though if they immediately say No then that's a No they wouldn't as well.

Millarkie - could it be ok if rephrased as: if your children were little, would you hire them?

Ask what places the nanny has taken the children to see (not at request of the parents). For example... if a child sees a helicopter and says "I want to sit in a helicopter" did the nanny find somewhere where he child could sit in a helicopter (or at least see one up close)?

If you told the nanny not to do something, did you have to re-tell them again a few days later?

What didn't you like about nanny? (no one is perfect after all)

Why did the nanny leave the job? (while the nanny may have put their reason for leaving on the CV, the reason the parents think the nanny left the job could be different)

blueshoes Wed 10-Jun-09 23:25:05

To flush out any references that the nanny supplied who might be fake (eg friend covering for her), just casually run through facts which the nanny supplied about the referee, like the number of children, their ages, where they lived, their schools.

Casual-like. If it is their mate doing a favour, they are not likely to retain all these details and will slip up.

<paranoid emoticon>

frAKKINPannikin Thu 11-Jun-09 08:52:50

Slight hijack following on from blueshoes - would you be paranoid if you couldn't get in touch with a reference? I've completely slipped out of touch with a family I worked for nearly 5 years ago and the nursery I did my placement at has closed down (shame, because it's a fab reference!).

AtheneNoctua Thu 11-Jun-09 10:08:11

No. These things happen. But, you'd have to have something recent and at least one more somewhere.

frAKKINPannikin Thu 11-Jun-09 14:51:17

Oh good. I have at least 10 and most are more recent than both of the ones which can't be contacted. I just have no idea whether people bother going back 5 years or not when checking refs - I did a lot of temp work so I guess people pick and choose what suits them best. Plus I always provide current babysitting contacts and say my current employer can be contacted once I've received an offer subject to reference.

Millarkie Thu 11-Jun-09 15:46:41

Yes, definately ask the reason for leaving - we interviewed one who told us that the Mum had given up work, when we rang to check reference it became apparent that Mum was still working and had changed childcare arrangements because of problems with childcarer!

blueshoes Thu 11-Jun-09 15:58:13

frannikin, you will be fine smile. Recent ones are most relevant. I'd be amazed if prospective employers do checks which go back so far in any case. And if you worked for a family for 5 years, that sort of speaks of itself anyway that it would have been a good working relationship. Losing contact is just life.

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