It's best to get organised before launching into the process of selecting a maid, nanny or babysitter. Here are some tips to think about.
Identifying Your Needs.
Firstly you should spend some time identifying your needs, and get them clear in your own mind. It's easy to come to the conclusion that you need help around the home, and then advertise for a maid, nanny or babysitter, with only a hazy idea of what that person would do for you.
Write down in a list what you need help with. Do you want a nanny to live-in, or live-out? What tasks will your nanny have to do? What hours will you want her to work? How many days off? Full time or part time? Who will she report to? You exclusively or you, your spouse and your mother-in-law?
Will there be travelling involved? What will be her roles and responsibilities? Baby care, toddler care and or childcare? What activities? House keeping? laundry, cooking, serving meals, driving, swimming, badninton, walking, shopping, gardening, time at the playground?
What kind of financial arrangement? Salary, hourly rate or daily rate? Can you offer you maid, nanny or babysitter any other benefits such as performance bonuses?
Interviewing Candidate Nannies
This process is crucial to obtaining the best maid or nanny. It is a bit different from interviewing candidates in the corporate world, for in addition to ensuring that the nanny's skill sets satisfy your needs, it is also very important that you feel comfortable with your new nanny, maid or babysitter, because they will be spending a great deal of time in your home.
Please do a face-to-face interview to try to learn as much as you can about her. Review her work experience, and responsibilites at their previous position. What did this nanny like and dislike about the families she work with before? What was their previous salary, and very importantly, what were her reasons for leaving.
Try also to find out her long-term goals and time commitments. If you think that a particular nanny might satisfy your needs, it is at that point in the interview that you can explain the roles and responsibilities of the position you are offering, and explain what your your expectations are as an employer.
If you feel that you have made a connextion with a particular candidate, and she might be the nanny or maid for you, it is important that you ask her for her references and telephone them. Once you have verified that the references are valid, the next step would be to do a second interview and then introduce the nanny to the other family members.
Making an offer
After you have interviewed, selected and screened the candidates for employment the next step to securing this person is making an offer. Most household employers prefer a Terms of Employment letter, or a guide as opposed to a contract. A guide is helpful in several ways.
There often are so many responsibilities for the typical nanny's job, it may be difficult to list them all. So a Terms of Employment letter creates a new way to communicate with your new employee. You can discuss this guide on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis, eliciting their thoughts and observations about their job. It also gives you an opportunity to constructively appraise your nanny in a non-threatening way. Remember communication is paramount.
Your guide should also include compensation or any additional salary for overtime or extra tasks not originally discussed. It is important to describe the compensation you are offering. Salry overtime, days off, vacation, sick days, public holidays, talk about everything including the start date.
So good luck when you conduct your first interview with your potential nannies and remember, if you fell you would like some advice from others, do make a post on the forum