Hiring a Nanny, getting it right.

Hiring a Nanny, getting it right.

Hiring a nanny can be a daunting task. After all, you are inviting someone into your home to care for your children. That is a lot of responsibility- on them but also on you. No wonder many parents and carers find it a stressful and anxious time.

However, time invested in some research and planning before you begin your search can really pay off; making the experience less stressful and hopefully leading to the successful appointment of your very own Mary Poppins.

Here are some handy hints to help along the way.

 Do your sums

Working out the costs of hiring a nanny can be a confusing business and it is important to work out the actual sums involved before you begin your search. Most nannies still expect jobs to be advertised at an hourly net rate but the cost to you will be the gross rate and you will need to factor in tax, national insurance, holiday and pension contributions. There are useful online salary converters that are a good place to start when working out the actual costs of employing a nanny such as



Write a job spec- no detail too small

It is easy to start a search with a general idea of what you want. You know the hours you need and have decided on the pay you can offer but time spent now really drilling down on what you want will save time later. Think about the practicalities. Do you need a driver and if so will you provide a car? Does the nanny need to be a confident cook. Are you an outdoorsy family? Do your children enjoy lots of outings and playdates? All of this will help you write a job spec that paints a picture of your family and will help to attract applicants with the right skills and dispositions

Plan your search.

You will need to decide if you are going to conduct your own search or use the services of an agency. Whichever route you choose you will want to do some research. Talk to family and friends who have been in the same position, they will be able to offer tips and support. If you are using an agency decide what you need from them. For example, a large agency might have more candidates on their books but a smaller agency might offer a more personalised service when it comes to understanding your needs and matching you with the right candidates.

Be bold and confident when interviewing

When interviewing candidates our innate sense of politeness can sometimes get in the way of asking the tricky questions but ask the tricky questions you must. For example, ask about reasons for leaving previous jobs.  It can help to have prepared the questions before hand but if you are not happy with an answer ask the candidate to explain further or clarify.

Preparing the contract- the devil is in the detail

Getting the contract right will help ensure no misunderstanding further down the line. For example, think about who will decide when holiday will be taken. You might decide that half will be taken at dates chosen by you and half at dates chosen by the nanny. What are your expectations in regard to overtime and babysitting and what will be the agreed rate of pay for any additional hours.

Above all trust your judgement. Sometimes an applicant can seem perfect on paper, can answer all your questions confidently but somehow it doesn’t feel ‘quite right’. If this happens then they may be the perfect nanny for someone but that someone just isn’t you.

We at Purple Dove, would love to help you through the process and even if it’s for an initial informal chat, do reach out to us…

Find out more about Purple Dove and our nanny recruitment process, or give us a call!

By Sarah Holley