Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done. For parents with young children, balancing work and home can be incredibly difficult. Add in general house maintenance, sports, and pets, and it can be almost impossible to manage your time. Luckily, there is something you can do about it. Hiring in-home help can free up time for you, allowing you to spend more time with your children, finish a project at work, or just get some sleep for once. In-home help is typically referred to as a nanny. There are two types: nannies that live with you, and nannies that don’t. Nannies that live with you can be useful, especially if you have a job that requires you to travel or work overnights. Before you hire a nanny, however, there are several factors to consider.

Where To Advertise

The first thing you need to know is where to advertise, or how to go about contacting a nanny agency. While perhaps somewhat dated, placing an advertisement in the newspaper can be a great way to start. This shouldn’t be the only thing you do, however, especially since fewer and fewer people are reading the newspaper. Your town may have a local employment agency where you could post a job posting, or a website where you can post job openings. Other sites such as Seek, LinkedIn, Monster, and Indeed are some of the popular sites for people looking for employment, so posting a job opening on these sites can also be beneficial. Some people prefer to do the digging themselves, however, and contact nanny agencies. To do this, search online to find a list of agencies, or in the Yellow Pages of the phonebook.

Screening Candidates

Once you have found an agency, or have received multiple job applications, it is time to start narrowing down your candidates. The first thing you need to do is come up with a list of stipulations. For example, you need to decide if you want a live in or live out nanny. This may eliminate some of the options. Once you have a list of minimum qualifications, you can eliminate all candidates that don’t meet these qualifications, and arrange interviews with the others. You also want to consider if you want to have multiple people at your interview, such as your spouse, or another family member. While this may be intimidating for the candidate, other people can help pick up on things you may miss because you are busy asking the questions.

The Hiring Process

Finally, it is time to hire the nanny. Before the interview, make sure you have a list of questions that you want to ask. Do not rely on your memory. Always ask the same questions to every candidate to ensure fair treatment. Make sure you jot down the answers on a notepad or laptop. Try to avoid asking questions that end with a simple “yes” or “no”. This way, the candidate can expand on their answers, which helps generate more useful information. Narrow your choices down to 2 or 3, and contact their references to ensure they are suitable for the position. If you are still unsure, you could give each candidate a trial run with your children to see how they interact. Finally, hire the one you feel most comfortable with.