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This is the second part of my success story about how I found a great nanny in just 7 days. You can read the first part here.
Choosing a nanny or a babysitter
Assuming that most of the nanny database sites are alike, you should do 2 things to make your search more efficient: send messages to nannies you’re interested in and post your own ad so that nannies could look you up. So I have sent messages to about 20 nannies and was expecting to hear from about 5, so the website statistics said. It took me about 3 days to start getting the responses - yes, I tend to forget that not all people check their email every day.

Realizing that this search is an additional load for me I decided to save some time. I broke the interview process into 2 stages:

Stage 1: I would speak with the interested person on the phone and get all the details, making sure they match my nanny profile (age, education, certificates, etc).

Stage 2: I would invite those who passed the phone stage to meet face to face. This way I wasn’t wasting my time on the people who couldn’t help me anyway.

So I have done my homework and worked out how much I am willing to pay. Because of the job being part time and not requiring much effort from the nanny (she didn’t have to cook or wash baby’s clothes, not even to clean up after him - just entertain him for 3 hours, feed him one pre-arranged meal and change his nappy once) I set the hourly rate in the middle of the range.

For example if the experienced trained nannies with references are getting $20 per hour and young girls with no education or references are getting $15 per hour, I decided that I am offering 18. But of course I was prepared to be flexible, in case I find the ideal nanny and she’s worth $20 an hour then so be it.

After some phone conversations I ended up with quite a few interviews scheduled and it was time for me to get ready. I have never employed or interviewed a person in my life - on contrary I was always the employee or the interviewee, so that was a new skill to learn.

I sat down and started a list of questions to ask. A couple of books I had suggested asking an open-ended questions, meaning questions that you can’t answer with Yes or No. I’ve written the questions about things that were important to me - and then I placed them in the order of importance, with the most important first.

So here is a list of questions for my prospective nanny - and reasons for every question.

Question: How long are you planning to be a nanny?
Reason: I wanted to spare Eric the trauma of getting used to a new nanny every month because the old one has quit and gone backpacking.

Question: What will you do if he cries?
Reason: I wanted to see if they have this standard technique that they use. If that doesn’t work, will they try anything else?

Question: What do you think babied of his age need the most (Eric is 11 months)?
Reason: To see if she realizes what she’s into, to see what she knows about this specific age, if she has experience with little kids - not jus older kids.

To be continued. Don’t go away, but if you do - subscribe

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