Monday, August 26, 2013

Hiring a Nanny

Finding the right nanny was just about as stressful as I thought it would be.  Here's how it went down, along with my suggestions.

The Search:
Start your search 1-2 months before you want your nanny to start.  I decided to use because I had seen it on TV and knew a few people who had used it.  I bought a 3 month membership.  If you are seriously ready to hire, you could easily just buy a one-month membership. I started in June and didn't have a full-time position until the end of August (although this ended up giving us a nice transition period).  Within 48 hours, I had at least 60 responses, maybe more.  It was both exciting and overwhelming.  I went through and "favorited" the applicants that I liked using experience with infants, desired pay, and responsibilities the nanny was comfortable with (light housekeeping, meal prep) as my criteria.

Then I sent an email to all of my favorites which was probably about 15 people.  I reiterates that the full-time position would not start until the end of August and asked them to let me know if they were still interested.  I did state the dates on the original ad, but I don't think people paid much attention.  So be really clear if the position starts in the future.

I asked them to answer 6 questions:

1. Tell me about your specific experience with infants including feeding, creating schedules, etc...
2. Describe a typical day with a 7-month old.
3. What are your career plans?  Ideally, we would like to find a nanny that can stay with our family for the next two years.
4. Do you have a driver's license?
(and two others I can't remember)

I was kind of shocked, but I only got 4 responses!  Initially, this made me very upset, but I think it weeded the candidates exactly as I had intended.

I have conducted job interviews before, but this was very different and pretty awkward.  I decided to interview three of the applicants.  The first interview was awesome.  Let's call her Nanny 1.  She is Brazilian and is here first studying English and then will be getting her Master's.  All classes are in the evenings.  She has great relevant experience and is willing to do light housekeeping and cooking.  But most of all, she's really warm.  I feel comfortable talking to her.  The conversation flowed pretty naturally.  She lives about 10 minutes from my house and has a driver's license (but no car).  When she left, I thought I'm going to hire the first person I've met!

The interview with Nanny 2 was the polar opposite.  Even though I had just conducted an interview an hour earlier, there were tons of awkward pauses.  Nanny 2 was very nice, but somewhat reserved.  Honestly, I don't really remember the rest, because I knew that I wanted our nanny to be more boisterous and playful than I am.  If I'm not going to be the one with Dylan all day, why not find someone who is even better at "playing" and interacting with a baby?  I wanted a complement to my personality, not the same personality or a quieter version.

Nanny 3 was perfection.  She was super cute and put together, taught preschool, had tons of relevant experience.  She and her fiance had moved out here from the East Coast for his job.  She lived in the same area as Nanny 1 and had her own car.  She was awesome and now my decision became really difficult.

So I was stuck.  I really liked Nanny 1, but Nanny 3 was essentially perfect.

The Decision:
As you know, decisions are not my forte and this was such a huge one!  I knew I wanted to do a trial with both candidates, but I was also not sure how much it would tell me.  I mean Dylan is not going to say "mom, I liked Nanny 3 better."  But I had each of them come for about 4 hours on different weekends.  Everything went well with both, of course, and I was still stuck although I had forgotten to settle on pay ahead of time and When I asked Nanny 3 if x amount was okay, she said "I usually get y." I was fine with the amount, but it left just the slightest bad taste in my mouth.

I went back and forth so many times and took over two weeks to make a decision (thank goodness they were patient!), but in the end I chose Nanny 1.

Here's why.  I was confident in the abilities of both women, but I felt like Nanny 1 might be a little more flexible and less demanding.  I want to compensate our nanny fairly.  It's an extremely important job.  But I also can't pay her what I make or it just doesn't make sense financially.  I felt like Nanny 3 would constantly be adding up hours in her head, seeing whether she was getting a good deal with hours worked versus our flat weekly rate, whereas Nanny 1 would be happy with whatever and trust that I was being fair.  Our schedule is pretty set, but might be a few hours more one week and less another.  But I would always give extra if something out of the ordinary came up.  Also, Nanny 3 was working full-time all summer, all the way up to our start date.  Nanny 1 was fine with starting once a week immediately which was perfect. She worked about once a week for the rest of the summer and I feel really comfortable with leaving him with her TOMORROW! Aah! really just came down to a feeling about what would make me the most comfortable.  When I told Nanny 1 the news, she was so excited!  She said that she had turned down other jobs because she was hoping she would get this one.  That sealed the deal and I knew we had made the best decision for Dylan.  And maybe he'll learn Portuguese to boot!

She's been here about once a week since mid-July and is here today. She has gotten to know Dylan well, but now she also knows where the trash bags and toilet paper are, how the frozen breast milk is organized and how to work the Keurig. I think it's going to be great for everyone. Fingers crossed!

Obligatory pic of my cool California dude! (Sitting all by himself at the beach.)


  1. What a tough decision, it sounds like its going to be a great situation! Dylan will definitely benefit from one on one care, too bad we're not closer or I could watch him with my boys ;)

  2. It sounds like you picked the right one for sure. Thanks for detailing the process, too. We will likely need to hire part time help when 7 arrives, and while seems like the right way to go, it also seems a little daunting. Reading this post made it seem more manageable, so thank you! Also, your little man is adorable. *LOVE* that picture!

  3. Yes you are right. All the points you have mentioned above is essential in find a nanny. I think interview is the best mode for deciding and selecting a nanny. Also I like the kid picture so cute.

  4. Very handy allocation you did here about hiring a nanny. From several days I've been thinking that how I can hire a Nanny who will be perfect for my kids and just in the right time I've found your post and here provided all the points are really sound remarkable and vital for me. Thanks mate :)

  5. It pays to really check the background of the nanny you plan to hire, as she is the person you’ll leave your babies or kids to for an entire day. I don’t even want to think about what would happen if I hire one that neglects my kids or someone who hurts them when I’m not there. Hopefully you’ve found a great one that you can trust. Have a good day!

    Sabrina @ USAFact