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Families - Find Domestic Help, FAST, SAFE and EASY!

At GoNannies, we counsel our families daily on the best steps for screening caregivers and make these proven steps available to help insure the most successful and safest hires for all our families! Everyone who works for GoNannies has children of their own, which makes our responsibility very personal to us. We use the site to find care for our own families and utilize the same screening tips we recommend to you, our customers. Our commitment to your success and safety is why we've become so trusted in the industry and have such a loyal following.

We recommend 6 proven steps for screening caregivers and encourages families to utilize them, regardless of how exceptional a potential candidate seems.

1) Perform telephone and in-person interviews.
There are 2 parts to the Interview process. Start with a telephone interview and ask questions that may rule a person in or out depending on their answers. Phone interviewing not only gives you a glimpse into the person's experience, skills, and character, it can also save a LOT of time by avoiding lengthy in-person interviews with people who don't meet any non-negotiable requirements you may have.

If an applicant warrants further consideration, invite them for an in-person interview. Conduct the in-person interview with any children or other care-recipients present to see how the nanny interacts with them. Always be very clear and direct about the responsibillities of the position--this is the BEST time to introduce them and can eliminate misunderstandings later. Also, have the person complete a formal application. It may sound like over-kill for an in-home position, but it can yield a family valuable information they might not otherwise obtain, and may even trigger additional questions to ask. Ask the person to bring a resume if she has one and inquire about any gaps in employment. (View our Sample Interview Questions and Employment Application)

2) Online Research.
With social media networks being so popular (e.g., facebook.com, myspace.com), try searching for your potential candidate on social media sites to see if they have a profile. Also, if the nanny has a unique name, try searching it on popular search engines to see what you might find.

3) Check References.
This screening step will typically yield you the most valuable information of the entire screening process…do not skip it! You'll typically be speaking with another parent, and most are willing to be very frank and candid when they know they're helping place someone into another home. Ask very direct, pointed questions, and be sure to ask whether there are any areas in which they feel the applicant could have improved. (View our Sample Reference Checking Questions)

4) Run a REAL criminal background check.
Many agencies and services will only offer database background checks to their clients and simply call them "background checks", leading families to believe that they are thorough background checks. They are NOT and this is a very dangerous practice which is unfortunately becoming more the norm than the exception. Such checks do not cover many non-participating counties and often have errors. Families should read the fine print of any background check to make sure an "in-court" or "on-site" background check has been performed before allowing anyone to work in their home. (Click here to run our real Background Checks)

5) Have trial period.
Whenever possible, have up to a 1-week paid trial period so that both applicant and family have the opportunity to decide if the position is a good fit. Use this period to evaluate the applicant's performance without any employment obligations. Work around their schedule if necessary, perhaps offering to do the trial period over weekends, evenings, etc. if the applicant is still currently working.

Related Links:
How GoNannies Background Checks Work:
Overview of Nanny Background Checks and Household Employee Background Checks

Understanding Background Checks:
Important Info about Nanny Background Checks & Household Help Background Checks
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