- Parent Category: Advice - Childcare and Education
- Category: Nanny 101 , Ending the Relationship
It's time to move on. Schedules have changed, the kids are starting school, or you've decided to be a stay at home parent. Whatever the reason, here are The Top Ten Tips for helping your great nanny find an equally great new family!
If you want to help your current or former nanny find a job, Park Slope Parents is a great way to get the word out there that your nanny is available. Posts recommending nannies on the PSP Classified list have helped make many excellent matches between families who need a nanny and nannies looking for work. Please be sure to follow ALL the PSP requirements when writing your Nanny recommendation on the Classifieds list.
But this will only work if you take the time to do it right. The power of Park Slope Parents is in the parent-to-parent connections. You owe it to your nanny and your neighbors on the list to put in the effort needed to effectively advertise your nanny’s availability. Doing some of the heavy lifting up front can greatly increase the chances that she not only finds a job, but one that will be satisfying for both the nanny and the new employer. Here are some things to do that will optimize this effort:
1. Reconnect with your nanny’s past employers. Let them know that your nanny will be looking for a job, ask them to send you a reference and get updated contact information. Have them start spreading the word that the nanny needs a job.
2. See what others are saying about their nannies. Read through the Park Slope Parents Classifieds Nanny Recommendations to see what other people are posting. You'll find that too many people write about an "Amazing, Wonderful, Loving, Fantastic Nanny." Strive to write something different from the overly gushy, perfect nanny posts. Talk about what made your nanny a good match for your family, or what kind of family your nanny would do best with.
3. Research what potential employers will be searching. Do searches of your nanny's phone numbers, email and name on the following sites to make sure that the information is consistent and professional on sites such as FaceBook, Craigslist, Google and nanny job sites (sittercity, care.com, nynanny.com)
4. Tell everyone that your nanny needs a new job
- Use the power of word of mouth. Tell people in your building, your Mommy group, parents in your kids' classes. Send emails (post to Facebook) to your circle of friends, condo, school groups.
- Write your Recommendation for the Park Slope Parents Classifieds, following all the Requirements for Nanny Posting HERE.
5. Send parents who post "In Search Of Nanny" requests a personal email recommending your nanny.
- Parent to parent connections are much more likely to lead to a job for your nanny than having the nanny do the contacting. People who post on PSP are doing so to get recommendations from parents, not to be contacted by sometimes desperate nannies who may call multiple times to a potential employer.
- (NOTE: It's against PSP Policy to forward emails to anyone who is not on the list without their permission. It’s also a waste of time, both for the nanny and the potential employer. Many parents have told us they are annoyed by and do not respond to calls that come directly from nannies.)
- Letting a nanny go it alone may give the message to potential employers that the nanny wasn't good enough (or important enough) to you that you took the extra time to help her find new employment. Spend the extra time to make the connections yourself.
6. Help your nanny prepare for the job hunt.
Interviews. Just because she's a great nanny doesn't mean she's great at interviewing.
- Go through the list of interview questions on the PSP website and coach her.
- Remind her of experience she’s had in your home that others will want to hear about.
- Remind her about what you liked (and didn't like) about what she did when she interviewed with you.
- Work with her to come up with a list of questions to ask potential employers. An interview should be a two-way conversation. This will help her decide if the family is a good fit with her working style or if she'd be unhappy with the employer.
Resume. While not absolutely necessary, having a resume shows a level of professionalism that can make her stand out.
Training. If there is relevant training (CPR, home safety, etc) she can get, help her find and take a class, or update a certificate.
7. Be an effective reference for your nanny.
When you are contacted by potential employers call them and give your recommendation and let them decide whether to contact your nanny. (NOTE: Do not forward responses to the nanny unless you have permission to do so- your personal parent to parent connection will have much more impact than having the Nanny contact them.)
Be willing to take the time to:
- ---Read through the "Questions for References" on the PSP website to better prepare yourself for what questions may be asked.
- ---Follow up in a timely manner with people who contact you for a reference.
- ---Be available for phone calls or face-to-face meetings, not just emails.
- ---Be prepared to give examples that show why your nanny is great.
- A---fter you speak to a potential employer, offer to be available to answer other questions as they think of them.
8. Interview potential employers. Remember, you don't just want your nanny to have a job, you want her to have a GOOD job.
- Be frank with the potential employer that you care enough about your nanny to make sure she will be happy working for the new family.
- Find out if there's a match. What kind of nanny is the potential employer is looking to hire. Playmate? Chaperone? Social coordinator? New age guru? If you don't see that it will work, let the potential employer know up front and save everyone the time and effort.
- Try to find out what kind of employer the interviewee will be. Does she seem to have it together? Does she seem to have realistic expectations? Is she frazzled? A stealth bomber parent who is hard to please?
- It's in everyone's best interest to make sure that the situation is one the nanny (and employer) wants. Desperate nannies (and employers) may agree to things that won't work in the long run and you can help run interference, saving both parties a bad experience.
9. Keep your emotions in check.
You may be feeling guilty and sad about the end of the relationship with your nanny. You may even feel a little desperate because you feel obligated to pay her until she finds one. Be aware of your feelings and act responsibly. Don't let these feelings cause you to do or say things that will negatively affect a potential employer or your nanny in the long run.
10. Be HONEST with potential employers about your nanny.
- Inflating the truth can set your nanny up for a short-term job when she doesn't achieve expectations. No nanny is perfect, and saying, "she has no faults" is a trigger for some people that she shouldn't be hired.
- Talk about any negatives in a way that makes clear that you consider this person an excellent employee. Talk about “challenges” and “areas for growth,” how she has worked to overcome them. Offset any negatives with her many stellar qualities.
- Talk about difficulties you've had and the way your nanny has grown as an employee. Knowing some of the ways that you and your nanny negotiated the employer/employee relationship will give her next employer a good start.
Using these tips you can best help match a great nanny with a great new family.