Find the Perfect Nanny This Summer
You’re looking for a nanny to work full-time for the summer only. A tall order? No, not necessarily. Below are the steps to take to ensure that you hire the perfect summer nanny for your family.
1. Create a job description. What do you want the nanny to do? Childcare only? Light housekeeping? Meal preparation? Other tasks?
2. Create an employment contract. The contract should cover pay rate, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.
3. Recruit. Common recruitment methods include word-of-mouth, help-wanted advertisements, postings at colleges or universities, and online databases of prospective nannies such as Nannies4hire.com.
4. Screen all candidates by reviewing their credentials relative to what you are looking for in a nanny. You can do this by thoroughly reviewing resumes, applications, etc.
5. Interview. Interview only those candidates whose credentials match what you are looking for in a nanny. Two rounds of interviews are recommended. The initial interview can be done by Skype or telephone if in-person interviewing is impractical. This interview is done to get to know candidates a little better through a question-and-answer period of approximately one half hour. After the initial interviews are done, you can refine your list of viable candidates to perhaps two or three prospective nannies. On those two or three candidates, perform second-round interviews. These interviews are more thorough and typically involve your children as well. Observe how the candidates relate to your children. If age appropriate, ask your children, after the interview, how their liked the candidate that they just met. During the second round interviews, candidates should be shown the job description. Candidates should be expected to ask a variety of questions about the job description. At the conclusion of the second round interviews, let the candidates know you will be doing background checks and reference checks.
6. Perform background checks and call all references on your final round candidates.
7. Make your selection and offer the job to the candidate you’ve chosen. A telephone call to the selected candidate is sufficient for the initial job offer. Make sure that you are clear about the intended start date. If the offer is accepted, you should follow up by having your new nanny sign her employment contract. (Note: she may want to negotiate various aspects of the contract with you. You may or may not be willing to negotiate various aspects with her, as some aspects are likely non-negotiable for you.)
8. Orient and train the new nanny. Make sure that you set aside enough time to train her well. On her first day of employment, have her sign her job description. Orient and train her by referring frequently to the job tasks listed in her job description. Provide her clear and consistent feedback on what she is doing correctly and what needs to be done differently. Follow up with progressive discipline if necessary.
9. Provide a method of periodic communication between you and your nanny. Many families keep a nanny log: a notebook in which both parents and nannies record information and questions for each other on a daily basis. For example, the nanny may write, “Johnny played outside all day today. He took a one-hour nap (rather than his usual 30 minute nap) as a result.” Or the parents may write, “Would you make sure that Johnny’s rash is going away? I didn’t want to wake him up before I left this morning.”
10. Separate the nanny, with your thanks, after the summer is over. A nice additional touch is to provide the nanny with a written letter of recommendation from you and a gift card or hand-made gift from your children. You may also seek to secure the nanny’s services for the next summer as well.
By proceeding as indicated above, you can set the stage for successfully employing a summer nanny that will love your children and attend to them according to your wishes.