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What to ask a reference (for a Nanny applicant)

7 replies

uwila · 08/04/2005 09:34

I think I've got all of the questions I need for the potential nanny. But, I'm checking her two references. One has written me and given me some general information. What sorts of things would you ask a former employer?

All constructive responses much appreciated!!

OP posts:
annh · 08/04/2005 10:04

Uwila, pleased to hear that you are also so far down the line with a new nanny. I have also just been takng up references for my new nanny, hopefully starting end of April so no time to hang about.

When talking to references, I briefly presented my scenario (ages of kids, duties, hours etc) and asked how the referee thought the nanny would cope with that. I also asked them what their particular circumstances were so I could mentally compare the two roles.

Apart from the usual questions about timekeeping, reliability, sickness I also asked what they thought the nanny's strongest point was and if there were any areas where they felt the nanny could have been better. My nannies drive and we provide a car so I ask about their driving record, kinds of distances done etc but I think that's not relevant for you.

A biggie for me is whether the nanny shows initiative in organising things as, working fulltime, I just don't have the opportunity to sort out every outing, activity, craft etc so it's important to me to have someone who can generate some of these things herself. And finally, I ask how the nanny fits into the family in general and whether she is willing to help out with general errands and chores. As both my boys are out all morning, my nannies do have quite a bit of free time so I need someone who can muck in rather than spend hours on the internet.

Hope that helps a bit.

uwila · 08/04/2005 10:11

Thanks, annh. Yes, there are some good points in there.

So, I guess you aren't going to hire that nanny who thinks you've procrastinated to point of being irresponsible. I mean really who do parents think they are???? Just kidding. I never did post a response to him/her because the thread had moved on and died down by the time I read it. What strikes me as almost funny is that the very points this girl/guy is criticising are the very reasons people would employ a nanny.

OP posts:
binkie · 08/04/2005 10:16

"Would you employ him/her again?"

and listen very carefully for a pause before they answer

tiddlypom · 08/04/2005 10:40

Binkie's right, about the question and the hesitancy - any hesitancy is a bad sign. MOst people gush about a good nanny.

annh · 08/04/2005 10:44

Uwila, no I decided against the perfect male nanny as I would obviously not be mature or responsible enough to deserve someone like that! Instead, I have gone for another Hungarian who is an acquaintance of my current nanny, good friend of a work colleagues nanny, four years experience including in our little corner of Surrey and who already knows where Waitrose and my son's school are located. Fingers crossed ...

Ameriscot2005 · 08/04/2005 10:44

You have to decide what is important to you and make those your key questions.

uwila · 09/04/2005 18:39

Anyone else?

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