You get the call: the nanny job is yours!  Your elated, right? Maybe not.  Determining whether to take a job can actually be a difficult decision. The average domestic employee spends 8.5 hours a day on the job.  Over time, that adds up to a significant chunk of your life. In fact, you’ll spend more waking hours at work then you will in any area of your life.   For that reason, you’ll want to avoid working in a miserable job.  But how can you spot a bad employee to work for?  By looking for the following eight warning signs during the hiring process.  Of course, one or two of these signs may not be a deal break but more than a few should raise a red flag.

1. Communication with you is disrespectful.  Your treatment during the hiring process is a clue as to how you’ll be treated as a nanny employee. Once you’ve started a dialogue with an employee family, you should expect to be treated with courtesy and respect. For example, your questions about the hiring timeline and your application status should be answered forthrightly.  If that isn’t the case —  or if interviews are canceled at the last minute without apology or explanation– you may want to take your nanny job search elsewhere

2. The hiring family actively distrusts you.  Just as you don’t want to make a bad career move, employers don’t want to make a bad nanny hire — so expect to complete a background check and reference check.   Your job involves working with children, so you should expect scrutiny.   But these checks should all be carried out in a non-accusatory and respectful manner. Employing families  that don’t trust candidates probably won’t trust their nanny either — and an environment of distrust is no place to spend nearly eight hours a day.
3. You don’t like the work environment.  You shouldn’t take a nanny job without paying a visit to where you’ll be working.   If a visit to a home is depressing, unhappy, hostile, or so stressful it’s bursting at the seams, you won’t want to work there for several hours a day.

4.  Nanny Turnover.  Inquiring about a families experience with previous nannies — should be an important part of your interview. It’s not uncommon for families to have employed a nanny that turned out not to be the  best long-term fit.  Totally normal. However,  the family should be able to articulate what went wrong , what they did to try to improve the situation, and what they learned from the experience. If a family conceals that they hired and terminated a nanny previously – it’s a huge red flag. It’s sorta like starting a serious relationship and your partner fails to tell you they were previously married.  It’s important to begin a relationship with open communication so you have the information you need to understand  (and meet) their needs and expectations.

5. You don’t think you’ll get along with your boss.  Having a boss you click with can really make a difference in your on-the-job happiness. Be sure to discuss work styles and communication styles with the family to make sure they’re at least compatible with yours. But trust your instincts. If you actively dislike the manager after the first interview or two, you might not want to take the job.
6. The job’s duties are unclear.  After you’ve interviewed with one or both parents, you should have a clear idea of how the positions duties and responsibilities. Walking into a situation where different people give you different answers about job duties, or where there are no clear goals for you to work toward, can lead to a confusing and ultimately disastrous job situation.   Encourage the family to draft a family and nanny agreement so you are clear on the duties and responsibilities.   If family refuses to draft a family and nanny agreement consider continuing your job search
7.   They want to hire you right away, without any interviewing or reference checks.  It can take weeks and months to identify a good nanny and family “match”. Desperation on the employer’s part is a danger sign.
8.  The trial day or period doesn’t feel right.  In the hiring process, parents often rely on their “gut” when making final decisions about candidates. Trust your gut, too. If it doesn’t feel right, do a bit more evaluation  before accepting a job offer.
Cambridge Nanny Group is Chicago’s leading nanny agency. For more information about our services please visit our website.