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Nanny employers: when do you check references?

12 replies

Eleusis · 09/03/2007 12:40

I'm just pondering whether I check references before or after I offer the position. I guess my options are to offer the job conditional on good references. But, then, what do I do if the reference comes back border line?

And the other option is to check the references of the say 3 condidates (which is pretty much the number I have now) and weigh up the references when I decide which one to offer the job to. I guess I would have to use only references of past jobs and not the jobs they are currently at as they may not want to have their current employer contacted if they aren't going to be offered the job.

So, seasoned nanny employers, what do you do?

OP posts:
bossykate · 09/03/2007 12:43

my policy has been to check after first interview.

bossykate · 09/03/2007 12:44

because then you're not wasting time checking refs on unsuitable candidates, but otoh you're making offers on candidates who may not pan out.

MrsWobble · 09/03/2007 12:47

I check after offering. I've never changed my mind as a result of references but if I did then I would withdraw the offer as a result of unsatisfactory references and that is what I would tell the nanny.

Eleusis · 09/03/2007 13:38

Bossykate, do you check their current job after the first interview? What is the nanny doesn't want her employer contacted until she has the job?

OP posts:
fridayschild · 09/03/2007 13:40

I recruited through an agency (Tinies) last time. They sent their notes of the telephone conversations they had had with each nanny's referees when they sent me the cvs. This was great, I had no surprises when I phoned the referees myself.

bossykate · 09/03/2007 13:41

i don't have extensive experience of nanny recruitment... just to warn you...

but no i would not contact the current employer without permission from the candidate.

i wouldn't let someone start without checking refs from current employer though so there would need to be a chat to current employer before start date at least, if not before offer...

imho, it's not like any other job where you could let someone start work and then sack them if their refs didn't check out...

nannynick · 10/03/2007 11:11

As a nanny, I prefer it to be as follows:

I can provide written references from families/pre-schools for whom I have worked in the past. Those are available to be read, but can be next to impossible to check due to their age/lost touch with family.

I can provide verbal reference contact details for a few parents for whom I have worked, whom I babysit for, or who are in a position to act as character reference (people who have known me for many years, but who are unrelated to my own family).

I would not want my current employer contacted until: I had been offered the job. I had accepted the Job and I had notified my current employer that I was leaving.

So I would say try to build a picture of what a candidate is like, from old written references, character references and any other reference you can get at this stage.
Then offer the job, have the candidate accept the job and get candidates permission to contact current employer for a reference.

WanderingTrolley · 10/03/2007 12:41

I was a nanny, now I'm a childminder.

IME this was the schedule, usually:
1)telephone interview (v brief, outline of job, my experience etc,)
2)first interview
3)reference check
4)second interview, bring up any questions arising from references.

TBH, I think it makes more sense to check refs after preliminary interview - to be realistic, how much time do you want to spend? You could have a nanny over for an hour to interview, but if her refs are crap, that's an hour wasted. How long does it take to check a reference?

Never offer a position until you have checked references at least once. Be wary of mobile phone numbers given for reference checking. Don't accept someone else's reference check (friend, agency etc)- always do your own. NEVER assume an agency will have checked references. In my many years of nannying I knew only two agencies out of about 30 who consistantly checked my references.

goldenoldie · 10/03/2007 13:04

I made the mistake of offering a job before checking refs. Refs were dreadful and I had to withdraw job offer - unpleasant.

Now do as wandering trolley suggests - check refs after first interview and if they are OK/Good then offer a 2nd interview.

A lot easier to make a few phone calls than to have to tell someone who thought they had a job that you have changed your mind.

nannynick · 10/03/2007 13:41

Would you check reference of current employer after first interview? Or just other references?

goldenoldie · 10/03/2007 13:55

Other refs first and current employer only with permission of nanny.

Havepassportwilltravel · 10/03/2007 14:01

I did the first interview and then explained to the candidate that a second interview would only happen after I had checked refs and was happy with what I heard. I would always ask permission to contact a current employer and would entirely respect a refusal for that. However, after a second interview and possibly a job offer, I would then absolutely expect to speak to the current employer.

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