Find A Babysitter When You Travel – When I first heard about finding a babysitter when were traveling, I was skeptical. Finding a childcare provider online seemed a bit scary. Would I be able to find someone I could trust? How would the hiring process work? After asking around and hearing from mom friends who’d had good experiences with the nannies and sitters.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to hire a nanny or babysitter when you are traveling, reviews to interview and hiring tips.
Find A Babysitter When You Travel Anywhere – Babysitter Reviews
I’ve find babysitters and nannies in three (going on four) states. I found great sitters in Colorado when I was there for business trip, Texas during a cousin’s wedding, and Minnesota, where I live. I’ve hired one-time sitters, occasional babysitters, and a part-time nanny. Each time, I’ve gotten a good pool of applicants and been very happy with the people I’ve hired.
For the Dallas and Minneapolis postings, I got dozens of responses. I got fewer responses to the Keystone, Colorado posting because it’s a ski resort town and I was looking for someone in the middle of the summer.
That said, I still had a number of qualified candidates to choose from and ended up hiring two — one to watch my son during the day and another to watch him during conference-related events at night. Overall, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at finding good childcare at home and while traveling.
Costs vary, depending on how you sign up. If you need childcare often, I’d recommend signing up for the annual subscription rather than monthly (which is more expensive per month).
13 Tips to Find the Perfect BabySitter
Part 1: Attracting the Right Candidates
Treat this like any other hiring process
This is one of the most important things you can remember when hiring a babysitter (no matter how occasional or part-time) or nanny:
This is a job interview and hiring process. Treat it like one. Be professional and respectful and expect the same of your job candidates. Have a plan before you get started.
Show some personality
As with any job interview, the prospective employee (your babysitter) needs to impress the employer (you) — but the reverse is true, too. It’s your job to make your family look appealing to job candidates.
When you set up your Care.com account, you’ll have the opportunity to add a family photo a bit of information about your family. Do it. It doesn’t have to go into too much detail, but include your kids’ ages and list a few things you like to do together as a family.
Put together an excellent posting
As I mentioned above, part of your job is “selling” your family to nanny candidates. If you come across as stand off-ish or demanding, it’s less likely that people will want to work for you. Or if you’re vague on the details, candidates will wonder why and may not apply.
Be specific and mention essential details like where you’re located. Share information about your family and be clear about expectations. For more tips on how to write a good posting, check out the Do’s and Don’ts of How to Post a Job on Care.com.
Pay a fair amount
If you offer $5.00/hour, you’re probably not going to get good applications — if you get any at all. There are babysitter rates calculator that takes into account number of children, years of experience, and number of hours/week, then tells you the going rate.
Ask for a resume and cover letter
As with many other jobs, you should ask for a resume and cover letter from applicants. A cover letter will tell you more about the candidate and give you a better sense of them than a resume alone will. Plus, you can eliminate candidates who don’t send both the cover letter and resume with their application.
If a candidate’s not responsive, don’t hire them
If you email a candidate and she takes seven days to get back to you, cross her off your list. You’re not going to want to wait a week to hear back when, after you hire her, you need to have her come early or on a different day.
If you see any red flags, pass the candidate up
If there’s anything in the candidate’s profile or letter to you that just doesn’t sit right, don’t feel bad about moving onto the next candidate. Hiring a caregiver is definitely a time to go with your gut feelings. Don’t try to make it work. Patience is the key.
Request the free background check
Many babysitter and nanny candidates will automatically give you access to free background check when they apply for your position. If a candidate you like doesn’t automatically give you access, just request it.
Read previous reviews
Candidates who have been around for a while might have been reviewed by a previous employer. Check and see what the reference said.
Phase 2: Interviewing and Hiring
Do a phone interview
If you have a few candidates you like, a phone interview is a great way to make sure you get along well and look for red flags.
Phone interviews take less time than in-person interviews, so I always like to do them to screen candidates. Some babysitters might looks great on paper, but be a bad fit for your family.
Have an in-person interview
Once you’ve talked to 2-3 candidates on the phone, invite your top nanny candidate to come to your house for an in-person interview. When I’ve done this before, I have the candidate come over when the whole family is home.
That way my wife and I can both talk to her and she has a chance to meet our son (and our two big dogs!). The first part of the interview is spent talking with the nanny and the second part I let the nanny play with our son for a few minutes while my wife and I step out of the room. Leaving the room helped us see that one candidate interacted a bit awkwardly with our son one-on-one.
Once you’ve found a candidate you really like, ask for a list of references and call them. Calling strangers might feel a bit awkward, but most people are happy to recommend babysitters they love. Even in a professional business environment, I’ve seen hiring managers skip the essential step of calling references.
And I’ve seen it have dire consequences that ended with the candidate being fired. Save yourself the hassle and worry and call at least 2-3 of your candidate’s references.
Pick the best babysitter for your family
It’s always hard saying to a babysitting candidate you like, especially if she’s qualified. Ultimately though, you need to pick the candidate that’s the best fit for your family and your schedule.
There are great resource for finding reliable, affordable childcare when you’re at home or traveling. With these tips and resources, and reading care.com reviews, you’ll be able to find an excellent nanny or babysitter for your family.