How To Hire A Nanny (Part 1)

 In Nanny, Parenting

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In Part 1 of our How To Hire A Nanny series, we take you through the process from defining your childcare needs, to locating your perfect nanny, delivering an offer, and securing the hiring terms.

Our tips for How To Hire A Nanny: Part 1

Hiring a nanny should be the same (if not more important) than any other employee you would hire in your business. You should take a professional approach and treat it as you would if you were hiring a staff member for your team. When you come to think about how to hire a nanny, a good recruitment process can go something like this (I will elaborate more about each step below).

(a) Defining Your Childcare Needs

Prior to looking for a nanny, you should first consider these things.

1. Determine the need for a nanny

This sounds obvious, but make sure you have looked into all options. Various childcare options include Long Day Care, Family Day Care, Private Nanny, Nanny Share, or a Mummy Nanny.

2. Understand your legal requirements for hiring a nanny

3. Draft a position description

This should include an overview of your family and the requirements as well as expectations of the role such as days, hours, pay, and entitlements. Plus more detail information such as:

>> Key accountabilities – what you need on a day to day basis, expectations, does the nanny need to drive the car, are you expecting the nanny to work extra hours, does the nanny need to be flexible, and is housework and/or cooking involved.

>> Think about what you might do if you or the nanny cancels a day, or is on annual or sick leave.

>> Key Challenges – are there any challenges involved in the role. For example, you might work from home, or do the grandparents drop in often.

>> Nanny requirements – think about the type of nanny would fit with your family and your parenting philosophies and parenting style (note, these don’t always have to be mutually exclusive). Will the nanny need their own car? What kind of experience and skills do they need (at a minimum you should look for an experienced nanny with a valid Working With Children Check, first aid, and at least two child related references that can be contacted). Do you need a nanny with specific experience with babies under 6 months old or experience with multiples?

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(b) Where Can I Find My Nanny?

There are several places that you can go to in order to hire a nanny. Nanny agencies are quite popular, but other options include online job boards such as websites like findababysitter and We Need A Nanny, or even Facebook pages and word of mouth referral.

(c) The Recruitment and Hiring Process

When conducting your search, and during the interview and networking process, you should be sure to ask the potential nanny some key questions, and have a clear idea of what you will expect.

1. Ask for their CV

Nannies should send you copies of their CV, including a covering letter explaining their experience and what kind of role they’re looking for.

2. Be Selective

You should interview nannies that fit with your requirements from the position description. We recommend you use Targeted behavioural Questions; asking the nanny to give specific examples.

For example, “give me an example of a situation when …….,” or “can you tell me about a time you had an emergency – how did you handle it?” or “tell me about a routine you have put in place for a 7 months old and how did it work – was it successful / unsuccessful and why?”

Nanny2u can provide you with an appropriate interview guide.

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3. Discuss remuneration from the beginning

Make sure you discuss the not so fun topics of pay, including tax, super,  and insurance, as well as annual leave, sick leave and so on. Be open about your expectations as to whether the nanny will be an employee, or whether they should act as a contractor using an ABN, or even if the nanny will just be a casual. It’s better to get this out in the open from the beginning as you’ll find both parties will have clear expectations and conditions.

4. Do Your Homework

Check their references! We can’t stress this enough, and not just the written ones, make sure you call and confirm with someone. Verify the Working with Children Check, this can be done via KidsGuardian, and make sure all documentation is up to date and relevant. Note: if you choose go through a placement agency, these checks will be provided to you.

5. Look for any warning signs + red flags

There are a number of red flags that should be noted and questioned as part of any pre-screening with the potential nanny. When reviewing the candidate’s CV, you should be alert for more subtle subjective qualities of the nanny. Some of these red flags are easy to spot such as gaps in employment, job hopping, multiple job changes in a short period of time, using years instead of months/years for employment history, and noting a university and/or degree program without indicating a completion date. Whilst there are many valid reasons for some of these things, they should generate follow up questions for the candidate if they appear to be otherwise suitable for further consideration.

6. Put it in writing

It’s really important that you prepare a contract or agreement. This puts in writing your discussions about start times and days worked. Your contract should contain information about confidentiality and outline a detailed social media policy. You should also clearly state the remuneration agreement, such as pay (what and when), and the work policy regarding public holidays, sick days and annual leave days.

Nanny2u can provide a sample nanny employment contract or agreement.

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Once all of this has been finalised, and you’re happy with your new nanny, you will need to begin the process of introducing your nanny to the family. This is called the on-boarding process, and we’ll bring you the guide to this in Part 2 of our How To Hire A Nanny series.


>>> What are your tips for how to hire a nanny?

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