Tips To Avoid Making a Desperate Nanny Hire

January 22, 2014
"Desperate" Nanny Hiring

“Desperate” Nanny Hiring

Don’t let a bad nanny hire happen to you. Follow our five hiring best practices to help ensure you don’t end up making a “desperate hire”.

As some parents can attest, few things cause more headaches than choosing the wrong nanny for your family in an act of hiring desperation.

First, there’s the time (and resources) you spend trying to acclimate the new hire. Then, there’s the adverse impact that a mismatch can have on your family. Finally, when the time comes for you and the wrong hire to part ways, you’re left right where you started.

Desperate Hire Warning Signs

Before we get into how to avoid making a desperate hire, let’s see if any of these warning signs ring true.

  1. You’re beyond busy – too busy, in fact, to even look at the nanny profiles in your inbox.
  2. And when you do look at profiles you’re overwhelmed. How are you going to assess each candidate’s skills, expertise and experience?
  3. Your nanny quit or was terminated abruptly.  Your missing work and projects are piling up because you don’t have childcare.  You need someone ASAP.
  4.  Stress and exhaustion are shortening your fuse. You’re this close to hiring the first person who walks through the door.


Spotting the Desperation Hire

Say you need a nanny who speaks fluent French, is experienced with gluten-free meal preparation, and she’s available to work  until 7:30pm.   Nanny Jane’s childcare expertise is so impressive and hard to come by that you’re willing to overlook the fact that you didn’t really “click” with her and you don’t share all the same childcare philosophies.

What should you do?

Avoid Desperation 

  1. Be proactive. In other words, don’t wait until the very last minute. Plan ahead and give yourself at least 6-8 weeks so you aren’t rushing the hiring process.  The right nanny is out there for you, be patient until you find her.
  2. Consider a Temp Nanny. Don’t let an urgent need bind you to a flawed candidate. If you’re in a bind, buy yourself some time by hiring someone on temporary basis. You may even find that your temporary nanny is interested in working full-time, allowing you to find someone who’s both tried and true.
  3. Rely on experts. If you feel stressed, short on time and overwhelmed by the thought of assessing candidates’ skills, use an expert agency.  A good nanny agency employs expert recruiters who not only understand the industry and hiring landscape, but also have access to top nanny talent that may never come in contact with your job description. Plus, they’ll evaluate candidates for you so you can focus on everything else in your life.    It’s important to keep in mind that a nanny agency charges a referral fee . You’ll need to understand their policies and fees regarding temporary or permanent candidates.
  4. Commit to the Process.   Hiring the right nanny takes time.   This means conducting multiple in-person interviews and allowing for shadowing or working trial days.   You should feel great, even excited, about your decision.  If you have even the slightest bit of doubt on a candidate  stop and reevaluate. Doubt usually means “Don’t”.  Trust your gut.  Wait to find “The One”.  You’re worth the wait!
  5. Keep Positive and Maintain Great Attitude.   If you’ve made a bad nanny hiring decision – hiring someone new can be daunting.   Instead of blaming yourself or anybody and constantly rehashing past mistakes, take the opportunity to learn from the past.  Ask yourself, what could I have done differently.     Build on your past experience to make better hiring decisions next time.   Focus on a new beginning.


In order to avoid making a desperate hire, you’ll need to plan ahead. Know the current market and hiring trends, then be prepared to say no to the right skills if the right fit just isn’t there.

Hiring takes time. If you’re short on it, and desperate not to make a bad hire, hire a temporary caregiver until you find the match that best fits you and your family.

Cambridge Nanny Group is Chicago’s, Leading Nanny Agency.

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