Five Fatal Pitfalls To Avoid When Hiring a Nanny: Pitfall #1
Pitfall #1. Not doing your homework: believing you’re saving time and money by jumping to hire a nanny who looks good on the surface.
Most parents know that a “revolving door” of nannies is detrimental to their child’s emotional health and wreaks havoc on the whole family. But parents who are conducting a nanny search on their own often don’t take the time to ensure they find a nanny who is a great performer AND who is willing and capable of committing long term. Time-challenged parents often feel overwhelmed by the do-it-yourself search process, and are inundated with so many clearly inadequate candidates (or babysitters), that they jump at the first person who shows up on time for an interview dressed appropriately without any noticeable tattoos or piercings. Let’s say she makes good eye contact and has a college degree. Feeling relieved and elated to have finally found a viable candidate, a fatigued parent may jump to hire her and neglect to carefully analyze her work history, (all part-time jobs?), accurately assess her long term commitment level, or thoroughly check her references to make sure they are VALID and that she is a solid performer who truly loves caring for children. Nanny candidates DO fake references! Weeks or months later the family may notice that their nanny is spending her time on their home computer pursuing other jobs (her previous career?) because she may not truly enjoy staying home much of the day caring for an infant. Unfortunately, some nannies really do pass the time texting and pursuing job leads.
This scenario can be avoided by hiring an experienced, reputable agency with almost 15 years of experience in San Diego. (We will reach our 15 year mark in October, 2012). Because we’ve been doing this for almost 15 years, we know the good nannies in San Diego. And because so many nannies apply on our website, and because we have the system and tools to select the best candidates thoroughly and quickly, (including a scientifically validated personality screen, thorough references checking, a 90 minute in-person interview and thorough background checks), we can zero in on the best candidates quickly and easily. We also match the nanny to the family’s particular personality and needs, and insist that you to try her for one week (or 2 if you’d like) before you pay our fee. We’re so confident that you’ll be happy with the nanny you hire, that we provide a one year replacement policy. And in the past 15 years we have replaced roughly 3% of the nannies our families have hired. We are not in the business of replacing nannies. We’re in the business of placing nannies who become part of the family long term. Our families don’t want a revolving nanny door, and we don’t want your child to go through the pain and disruption of changing nannies. For almost fifteen years, we’ve been providing San Diego families with nannies who become part of the family and stay long term. This is our goal; this is what we’re good at.
To get more tips on hiring and retaining a nanny go to: www.safeandsoundnannies.com
Dr. Ann Wycoff is founder of Safe and Sound Nannies, a full service agency, and The Nanny Answer, an online, do-it-yourself nanny screening service.