Every parent/guardian would agree that interviewing a nanny is no easy activity. You want to find a perfect person for your kids, schedule, and budget, and it is often not easy.
However, what happens when you interview a nanny, and you love them, only to discover that they do not have references?
References are a big deal in the nanny industry, and every parent wants to know that the nanny they are hiring has a good track record.
So what happens when the nanny does not have references? It could be because the previous employer changed contact, moved overseas, or perhaps working with you would be their first paying nanny experience. Let us find out below.
- Speak to Academic authorities
If you want to work with a nanny without professional references from families they have worked with, probably because you like them, you can make some other investigation.
One such thing is finding out whether they ever took a child care course in school or after. They should have a teacher or trainer who will vouch that they learned and excelled in training related to child care. A teacher can tell you what it was like teaching the candidate and whether they are nanny material.
You can also speak to their academic counselor or advisor who spent some time with the candidate to see what they can say about their growth or career.
- Consider informal references from neighbors or acquaintances
On some occasions, you can also take informal recommendations from neighbors whose kids they might have babysat a few times.
Have them tell you what they loved most about having the candidate watch their kids and pick up on their words, mood, and other dispositions that can give you insight into the things they might not say.
Babysitting references can help give you an overall opinion of how your nanny would do on long-term employment.
- Ask for other professional references outside child care.
Irrespective that they are new to the child care industry, the candidate should have references from other employers outside childcare. For instance, a formal boss, supervisor, or colleague can speak about them.
Ask for details of a former employer who can speak about their communication skills, work ethics, dedication, and integrity. These details can give you an insight into how it would be working with them.
References from other fields can leave links that you can pick up. For example, someone who is a team player, patient, and has good communication skills already shows some promise that they can handle your kids.
Consider volunteers and Extracurricular activities
Whether they volunteered or participated in any charity activities related to childcare. If have volunteered in an orphanage, a community service project, or an organization that cares for children, you may consider talking to someone from that organization.
Ask the supervisor about their enthusiasm and activity as volunteers, professional ethics, and personal characteristics.
If people give positive comments about the work done by nanny candidates as volunteers, you can consider accepting them on this basis.
- Conduct security and identity checks
Another prudent or precautionary approach you can take is to conduct a background check on the candidate to ensure that they are a registered citizen and have no criminal record. Ask them to show their ID and confirm the details from the relevant office.
You can also ask the nanny to provide details of a sponsor willing to vouch for them. They can get references from their relatives and family members who will assure you of their legitimacy and professionalism, especially if they are immigrants.
- Try a probationary employment
If you have tried one or any of the tips above, the final step is to offer a trial period to observe their performance. If you can set aside a few days to watch them work with the children, this will help you decide if they are up to the task.
A new nanny will likely take the job and work hard to prove that they can take good care of your children/family. You may decide to hold off on signing a contract and ask them to work for a few weeks at an agreed-upon rate before you decide to hire them. If they disagree, then they are not as enthusiastic about the job as you think.
Hiring a nanny without references is a risk, and only a few parents will do it. However, if you like the nanny and think they can do a good job, take the risk and follow the tips above. Also, make sure you make other checks as appropriate to compensate for the lack of professional references.
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. The concierge 1:1 service can provide another option to ensure success matches for busy families who don't have time to search or need language assist. Schedule a free consultation here for our concierge service, or check us out on ayiconnection.com