1. Define your job specification
List your requirements, including the days and hours needed and the salary on offer. If the job is a live-in position, describe the accommodation. Generally a nanny works 12 hours daily, 5 or 6 days per week. Decide if a driver is a “must”, and remember any travel you offer is a plus.
2. What to ask at the interview
Telephone as many candidates as possible to get a feel for them. I recommend asking what they liked about your position before discussing previous roles and responsibilities. Discussing a candidate’s views and experience of routine, play, food, and discipline can give insight into their knowledge and approach. Discussing your own routines can help gauge if they will be a good fit. Asking a candidate how they deal with emergencies will show how they think on their feet in unpredictable circumstances. From there, create a shortlist of six for first interviews.
3. How important are qualifications?
While qualifications display interest and application, do consider non-qualified candidates who keep abreast of child development and educational play. Look at all candidates’ personalities. Are they motivated, warm, engaging, smiley and can they relate to your children? That said, recognised qualifications are valuable; look out for Cache Level 3 or mention of EYFS, which includes all learning and developmental milestones.
4. Making the offer
Candidates should meet your children no earlier than second interview, under your steely but discreet eye. Take up references as soon as you have made your decision about who to employ. Check official identity, original certificates, DBS status and visas before making the offer. During the process, critically assess if the candidate is right for your family.
5. Being a good employer
Aim to work in partnership with your nanny. Agree a plan about the children’s boundaries and rules. Keep to the contracted days and hours of work, unless you have agreed a flexible rota. Pay on time, and always respect a nanny’s time off. Do all the above and you should have a good working arrangement for all, including your children!