There are a lot of different ways to find a nanny in today’s market, and each way has its own set of pros and cons. Some parents choose to use only one search avenue when they begin to look for a nanny, and other parents opt to use a combination of different methods; however the method you use is completely dependent on your own personal preference.
Whatever search avenue you choose, take the time to develop a comprehensive job description that details what you’re offering, what you need, and what type of nanny will work best with your family. Having that information together ahead of time will help get your search off to a successful start.
Nanny Placement Agencies
Nanny placement agencies take the leg work out of finding a nanny. They recruit, screen, and present you with candidates that meet your requirements. Once you narrow down your choices, they do a full background check before placing a nanny in your home. They also provide after placement support that can help you keep your nanny long term.
Make sure you do your homework before choosing an agency to work with. Like any other industry, some firms do a better job than others. Many states require nanny placement agencies to register as employment agencies. If it’s required in your state, make sure the agency is licensed. Also, make certain they don’t have any complaints filed against them with the Better Business Bureau. Don’t forget to ask for client references, and don’t be put off if an agency offers written references rather than client contact information. Many nanny employers, even those thrilled with their placement agency, don’t want to be personally contacted due to privacy or time constraints.
Placement agencies are the most expensive way to find a nanny, however the trade-off is that they require the least amount of time and energy on your part. Plus top agencies have access to high quality nannies that may not be found through other avenues.
Online Nanny Job Sites
Nanny job sites allow parents and nannies to submit their profile to a searchable database that nannies and employers can then access online. Once you’ve registered with a site, you can use the online search tools to find caregivers that match your needs, and nannies are able to view your profile and contact you if they feel they’re a good match to what you’re looking for.
Depending on the site, you can search for nannies based on the type of job (e.g. live-in, live-out), the schedule you’re looking for (e.g. full-time, part-time), specific scheduling needs (e.g. afternoons, weekends), and the responsibilities you want your nanny to take on.
Online job sites are budget-friendly and much less expensive than full-service placement agencies. They provide a large and diverse pool of caregivers to choose from, giving you a great chance to find the right match for your needs. Having such a large pool of candidates can be a double edged sword though because it can make your search very time consuming, as there are often many caregivers that will fit your basic requirements. Having a clear picture of the nanny you’re looking for will help you quickly sift through nanny profiles to find the candidates that best meet your needs.
Remember online job sites don’t screen caregivers automatically so it’s up to you to do all the screening, including background checks, yourself.
Sites like Craigslist and local newspaper online classifieds are another way to find a nanny. Families can quickly and easily post an ad outlining what they’re looking for in a candidate. Since there aren’t any search capabilities, online classifieds can be the most time consuming way of searching. And like online job sites, it’s up to you to fully screen the candidates.
Word of Mouth
Many parents rely on personal referrals to find their new nanny. Talk to your friends and co-workers that employ nannies and let them know you’re searching for a new caregiver. They can then pass the word along to their nannies, who often have friends looking for a new job.
Finding candidates through word of mouth is the least expensive way to find a caregiver, however it does require a concentrated effort to get the word out. It’s the only avenue where you have a good chance of personally knowing the person providing the referral. This gives many parents a sense of comfort other avenues don’t provide. Make sure you still conduct an in-depth interview, reference check, and background check.
You have lots of choices in how to find your next nanny. The search method that is best for you depends on your budget, the time you have to invest in the search process and the type of caregiver you’re looking for. However you decide to search for nanny candidates, make sure you invest in fully screening them before making your final hiring decision. This is one of the most important decisions you can make.