I have a friend who has changed nannies at least six times in the space of one year. On average, that’s a nanny every two months. I wondered why and even though she was expecting too much from her domestic staff. Then, I spent more time with her and over time intentionally studied her nannies as they did their work. I almost always noticed something that completely put me off and I realised that hiring a good domestic staff can be an uphill battle. So, I’ve decided to share a few tips that could help you in hiring domestic help.
Do a thorough background check
If you’re using an agency, it’s advisable to do a mini-background check on them as well. Ask about their track record from people you know that have used them, assuming they came recommended. Also, make sure they come recommended by more than just one person. The higher the number of people with good things to say, the better your chances of hiring the right domestic staff or nanny.
When it comes to the candidate, if you can’t hire an agency, there are ways you can do the legwork yourself. It may seem a bit tedious but the importance of checking out a stranger that’s moving into your house cannot be emphasised enough. Request for copies of any certificates. Also, try and check out the address provided and find out as much as you can about the candidate’s community and close contacts. This is a good way to find out more about them.
A lot of people are on social media nowadays, so ask if the prospective domestic staff is and check out their pages. Speaking to their former employees if you’re able to reach them is also important. Find out why they left and if there were any major issues.
Ask questions but make the person feel comfortable enough to talk with you. Let them speak more, you may pick up some things. So instead of asking questions that require a yes or no response, ask open-ended questions that will compel them to offer more detail and in turn show their communication skills. Also, ask what they would they do and the decisions they would make in certain scenarios.
Judge this book by its cover
We always say don’t judge a book by its cover but even in the corporate world, depending on the job, you’re required to look a certain way, at least for the interview. So, if someone is dressed or looks like what you deem to be inappropriate, you have the choice to teach or move on. Some may not know better and may just need a bit of guidance, while some may see nothing wrong. Either way, it’s advisable to hire the one that is teachable.
These tips may not guarantee you the perfect help, as there really is no such thing. But they will certainly help and hopefully, you’ll end up with domestic staff that will stay for the long haul.