Hiring a Nanny – Top Tips and What to Avoid!

You want to find the best nanny for you and your family, but the pressure to find someone in a hurry can often cloud your judgement.

Here’s our list of how to effectively hire a nanny, and the common pitfalls to avoid. Following this list will help you hire the best Nanny for your family and we hope,  create a long term relationship that your family will cherish for years to come.

  1. Clarifying rules and obligations

Clarifying rules and expectations helps communicate the type of care you want your child/children to receive from potential nannies. From writing the job description to agreeing on the day-to-day obligations. Communication is incredibly important and being clear from the outset builds the foundations for a smooth relationship.

PITFALL: Not being clear and upfront about how you want your children disciplined, or firm household obligations will create inconsistency or create differing expectations of what is needed.

  1. Sufficient reference checking and background checks

Taking the time to contact previous employers and families that have been nominated as referees is essential. Asking the right questions and creating rapport during the background check will help you develop a clear picture of what to expect from your potential nanny.

Not only should the nannies previous employment references be checked, other due diligence should be carried out in relation to verifying Working With Children Check Numbers, First Aid and CPR certificates and overseas Police Checks.

PITFALL: This person will be spending a great deal of time with your children so it’s important to make sure they are a responsible and caring individual. Quick top-line reference checks often don’t uncover the full picture.

  1. Set up a contract

Before your nanny starts working for you it is imperative that you have signed a contract. This should outline the role you wish the nanny to take, house rules, hours, salary,  holiday entitlement, sick pay, payroll processes as well as termination and notice period and dismissal.

PITFALL: Failing to clarify the vital details in writing will create conflict over differing memories of what was promised and expected. This can lead to an early breakdown of the relationship and possibly termination of contract. Depending on the circumstances this could also lead to additional unforeseen costs and the need to start the recruitment process again.

  1. Set realistic expectations

The primary role of a nanny is to care for your children –this includes feeding, bathing, educating, entertaining and watching them, and anything else that you would be doing for your children if you were with them. However, if you want your nanny to also do extra household tasks or run errands, you need to be realistic about the time those tasks take. Advertise the position to include those tasks, agree on expectations up-front and compensate them appropriately.

PITFALL: Not discussing expectations could easily make or break the relationship if you aren’t on the same page. This can lead to resentment and overtime may create a negative environment or lead to the nanny resigning. 

  1. Have a trial period

It’s important to be 100% happy and confident with the decision you make, and it is best to offer a one or two-day trial. This can help both you and the nanny to get comfortable with each other and begin to build your relationship to ease the transition for everyone involved.

PITFALL: Throwing a Nanny into the deep-end without observing them in the beginning could lead to you missing early warning signs of differing values, ethics or certain personality traits that may not work well with your family.

Hiring an employee is a complex and sometimes lengthy process, but when putting your trust in someone to care for your precious children, there really shouldn’t be any shortcuts. If you don’t have the time or unsure of where to start, engaging a Nanny Agency may be a better option. A Nanny Agency will take the stress out of sourcing a suitable nanny for your family. They will take the most thorough approach to finding the perfect Nanny for your family, and creating a long-term, mutually rewarding relationship, where everyone in the home feels their needs are being met!