Has this happened to you? A caregiver seemed great when she/he started, and a few weeks later, she/he had either turned out to be someone completely different from what you expected or had submitted a letter of resignation. A lot of families go through many caregivers before finding the right one. Note that this does not only happen in the monolingual caregiver world but with bilingual caregivers as well.
And we want to say; that you are not alone. Fortunately, the 7 steps listed below will help make this whole experience more pleasant.
1. Plan the schedule.
We recommend 4-6 weeks before the date you are planning to have a caregiver. There are a few reasons:
- It will leave you enough time to interview a few caregivers and select the one you want to try out.
- Please don’t underestimate the time to train the caregiver; the person needs to familiarize the routine before/he can get in action.
- If the first one doesn’t work out, you will have enough time to try another one out.
2. Make a list of responsibilities. Caregivers are not meant to do everything around the house; some are specialized in caring for kids, some for the elderly or patients. To avoid overworking the caregiver and causing conflicts, we recommend writing down a daily schedule and prioritizing the main tasks at hand, e.g..., is the primary focus your kid or housework? See here for the caregiver's primary responsibilities.
3. Know your budget (range). Knowing how much you can afford ahead of time is crucial. Things to consider: Will you be paying by the hour or a monthly fixed rate? Will you compensate for vacation, and public holidays? Some caregivers may have a higher starting salary as they are more experienced or specialized. Be upfront with payment. You don’t want to get in a situation where both parties agree on a price and later on disagree. See here for some estimated pricing.
4. Interview. We recommend at least a two-step process: 1. phone/video interview: some people may prefer a phone screening first before conducting a face-to-face interview. If you are not in the same city as the caregiver, it may be good to initiate a video conference to get to know the person; 2. In-person interview: whether it’s at your house or in a public place, find a location that’s comfortable for you and the caregiver so that you can have a relaxed and safe conversation. See here for some sample questions.
5. Always ask for references. Once you select a caregiver, get some feedback, whether verbal or written before starting a trial. The critical thing is to verify employment history to make sure the story from the caregiver is consistent. See here for some sample questions.
6. Start a trial. We recommend a two to four-week trial so that the caregiver can familiarize with the routine. Use your best judgemental and utilize the benefits of the doubt. If the caregiver doesn't meet your requirements, give her/him the courtesy of some advanced notice and try out the next one.
7. Try to limit scope creep. Once you decide on the caregiver for the job, keep the responsibilities to what you two agree. If additional tasks are required, an explanation would be highly recommended. Salary adjustment may be needed. You don’t want to be in a situation where the caregiver becomes unhappy with the working environment, which might lead to her/his departure or even worse, take it out on your loved ones.
The chance of you finding the right caregiver will increase if you can incorporate these items as part of your process.
AyiConnect is a platform to connect families with helpers who have a language specialty in addition to care. You can engage with them directly through self-service or concierge service. Our concierge service can help busy families who don’t have time to search or need language assistance. Schedule a free consultation here for our concierge service, or download our app.