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Nanny Agency Secrets - Finding your Ideal Nanny

Finding a nanny can be extremely difficult. I see questions, worry and anxiety about finding ideal nannies all the time, and it reminds me how lucky we are to have the largest selection of nannies across Canada in Saskatchewan and Texas.

We get some families that honestly feel that they could do the hire themselves, so they put out ads on Facebook, use social media, and their networks to try and secure a nanny, only to be left disappointed after months of time, effort and energy expended. Not saying, you will not find an ideal nanny, but the process of finding, selecting, screening (phone + video), reference checks and methodically digging into checking references, doing a social media check, criminal background check, assessing candidate fit with family culture and values - takes realistic time and effort. You cannot take a shotgun approach and skip the vetting and screening, as this ultimately will determine the quality of your nanny. There is also the factor of determining whether the nanny has the right temperament and skill-set, qualifications and experience to handle the position and not leave you after 2 weeks when your kids have just begun to settle into a routine with the nanny! This part is very painful, most families struggle with the sheer volume of work needed to screen and vet the candidate, so make sure you are committed to take this on and you will do fine. There is no such thing as short-cut when we are talking about children's safety and finding a trustworthy candidate.

There are some that think picking someone from Facebook is ideal, it is not. We have been in business for 5 + years and just picking someone to save money, is not a recipe for finding an ideal nanny. Take the time and effort to vet and screen your candidates. What we end up seeing is if you skip the screening and vetting process, the nanny will leave in a short period of time because the connection, relationship and understanding between the nanny and family has not been cemented! So, please do not make the mistake of picking a quick solution!

You need to start EARLY, with Little Einstein's Nanny Agency, we start searching for nannies around week 8 of pregnancy and/or as soon as we are informed by our parents, we post a job on within our internal network and start a Canada-wide nanny search. The other thing we will do is we have teams in various parts of Saskatchewan and Texas that will meet and introduce jobs to prospective local talent near the family or within a driving distance, to assess if there is someone locally available that may be ideally suited for the family.

Once, we have a handle on the local pool, we begin to extend our search outside this area to find an ideal candidate. In addition, to carefully screening their resume, we take a close look at their childcare experience, is it a professional setting experience or just with family? Or are they looking for their first job in Canada? Career transition? We definitely want to understand their motivations and needs, this is at the heart of our vetting process.

We have a phone and video interview to assess prospective nannies and determine their suitability based on how they handle stress, family conflict, time management and review their trust factor - asking them a series of question to assess how truthful they are under various situations.

We also conduct an in-depth video interview to assess candidate suitability by carefully reviewing non-verbal cues that may have been missed during phone screening. During this time, we also regularly communicate with candidates to review their identity, gather information from our questionnaire, get documents from candidates (referrals etc.) and provide test materials, as needed.

Our recruiters will carefully grade each nanny candidate based on these screenings and they will either be positioned for a third interview or their application will be put on hold - based on the review of their score and assessment by the Little Einstein's recruiter. There is a period of time, where our recruiters meet with Sam one-on-one (owner) and each candidate profile is reviewed and recruiter feedback is gathered and each family's nanny needs are discussed and reviewed.

Also, to make sure our nanny candidates are truly interested in the position, we provide and share detailed information about the family and position to further assess fit and profile. This included information about family specifically - their jobs, lifestyle, pets and children and further described expected duties (helping with laundry, cooking meals for the entire family, expectations for time at our home/sleeping arrangements, rules about significant others, diet restrictions, a brief description of expected schedules. This is typically followed with multiple questions that required answers that addressed family concerns (Are you comfortable with dogs? What salary/hourly rate do you expect? Are your hours flexible? Are you willing to do other chores/errands for our family? etc).

So let's be clear here, Little Einstein's identifies and interviews 10 candidates, out of 10 candidates, 8 make it to the screening phase, the remaining 2 are eliminated at the application stage.

Out of the remaining 8, we may select to proceed with 1 or 2 candidates , our hiring ratio, as of 2024, realistically is hiring1 candidate for every 8 interviewed! Most times, we get a lot of good answers for the phone and video interview, but when we conduct additional tests, screening and background checks, we typically end-up eliminating a third to half our candidate pool - this means that we have lost critical time, energy and incurred a significant expense at chasing 50% of the candidates, who do not make it to the final stage.

Again, out of the 8 candidates, we are now left with 4 candidates that make it to the third interview and this is where we take the family's profile and really ask the candidates some difficult questions to determine if the nanny would be a good fit for the family - we check for things like values, culture, trust factor (checking previous answers and current interview answers), dig for any reference red flags, assess personality and fit. We challenge the candidate to some difficult questions and present conflict scenarios and much more.

At Little Einstein's, we want nannies that are truly passionate about taking care of our families and children. We have a ZERO tolerance policy for infractions impacting child safety - if there is an infraction by the nanny or a sitter, where we become aware through our training and family feedback process, we typically remove those candidates from our pool, to ensure we can provide the best nannies for our families. We take this commitment seriously. Childcare is a professional endeavor, we plan to keep it that way!

Out of the 4 candidates left, typically we will have 2 left that will ideally match the family's profile and needs - in terms of experience, education, values, fit, personality and willingness to help and have all other checkboxes marked. We will conduct a deep social media check, call their references and conduct a 360 nosedive into their childcare experience and identify any challenges or flags that may have been missed. Sometimes, we will get referrals mentioning an experience with another family and we typically will get consent from the candidate to call other families that may or may not have been on the referral list. This provides us with real time feedback on the candidates.

We will also conduct criminal record check and then finally assess the best candidate by asking the family to interview them, when needed and pick between the two finalists, or there only might be one candidate left after the vetting and screening process completes.

We also have warming sessions where the nanny can meet with the family and children, so that a level of familiarity can be built and the parents can work with the nanny before she works independently.

Finding a nanny doesn’t have to be hard. Eventually you can travel together, half way across the world, just to enjoy time with your whole family. But if you start early and take the necessary time, you, too, can find the next member of your family.

Little Einstein's has a 100% retention rate for nannies and we provide educational sessions for training nannies via our Canadian Nanny Academy, we continue to make nannying a professional career and aspire to help families that need quality care. We strive to work with families in helping them prepare nanny contracts, negotiate on families behalf and create a win-win situation for nannies and families in North America.

We also place nannies across Canada and the U.S. We often get special requests for drivers and household specialists, we have begun the process of hiring these types of household experts as well. We take great personal pride in our hiring and service, and work with discretion and confidentiality - signing NDA's where necessary, to ensure a positive experience for our families. After doing this for over 7 years, I can humbly say, we are always learning and getting better and better. Thank you for taking time to read and for your trust.

A few questions to consider when you are trying to find a Nanny:

  1. Do you want a Live-in/out nanny? Part/Full time? Regular/Flexible schedule?

  2. Is proximity of their primary residence important to you?

  3. How much are you willing to pay? Do you want to pay hourly or a salary?

  4. How much vacation do you plan on giving them? Any other benefits?

  5. How much travel do you expect?

  6. What will you do on days where the nanny is sick or has their own emergencies to tend to?

  7. What do you expect of them when they are on duty?

  8. Do they have their own transportation or will you provide this for them?

  9. Are they CPR trained?

  10. What experience do they have?

  11. What can they offer you as a parent?

Wishing you the best with screening and vetting and if you have questions, we are here to help!

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