If you're in need of child care and have decided to hire a nanny, here are two tips which should help you to choose the right person.
Write a detailed job description
When the time comes to advertise the position, it's important to ensure that you create an extremely detailed job description. This should help to eliminate a substantial number of unsuitable candidates without having to waste any time interviewing them.
Be upfront about your 'deal breakers'; that is, the things that are absolutely not acceptable. For example, if you do not want your child exposed to cigarette smoke, you should specify that only non-smokers should apply for the position. Likewise, if you need someone who is bilingual (so that your child can become fluent in more than one language), you should state this quite clearly in your advertisement and request proof of the candidate's fluency.
Additionally, make sure to be specific when it comes to listing the tasks you expect the nanny to do, as this will reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings and disappointments later down the line. For instance, rather than stating that you want them to 'occasionally help out with household tasks', say that you would like them to cook for your child three days a week and keep the kitchen and living room areas tidy.
Offer a two-week trial
Regardless of how many impressive qualifications a person has and how lovely they seemed during the interview, it is important to only offer a two-week trial period initially. This will allow you to evaluate their performance, behaviour and overall attitude, before committing to a long-term contract.
During this period, watch how they interact with your child and how well they handle any issues that arise during these interactions (such as temper tantrums, for example).
Ideally, your child should feel comfortable and at ease with the nanny (although it's quite normal for young children to be a little anxious or shy around strangers initially). If at the end of the two-week trial, your child does not seem to have warmed to the nanny at all, they might not be the right person for the job.
You should also check that the nanny seems to be able to follow the instructions you give her, regarding caring for your child or performing tasks around the home. Additionally, you should check they can use their own initiative when necessary (such as, for example, whipping up dinner for your child if you need to stay at work a bit later than normal one evening).