Later today, I’m releasing the second installment in my video blog series titled, “How To Find A Nanny In A Hot Market!” and I wanted to share it with YOU first!
Many parents in the Seattle area (and in other regions of the United States) are reporting that it is taking longer than usual to find the right care provider for their family. I’ve been noticing this as well since about the beginning of March 2021 as I work with parents in our community or through our Concierge Service.
I put together my top five tips on how parents can quickly and effectively find a nanny when the supply of available care providers is lower than normal. Scroll down and click on the video to check it out!
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A transcript of the video is below:
“Hey everyone, Laura here, founder of Nanny Parent Connection.
Today I’m going to talk to you about how to find a nanny in a really hot market.
I’ve seen a pretty big change in the past month. Right now we’re just in mid-March, we’re getting into the spring and I’ve seen a shift from a saturated nanny market to a really hot nanny market in the past month. So what that means is, nanny searches are taking longer than normal. Fewer applicants are applying to each nanny position that is out there and also nannies are receiving multiple offers. In many parts of the country, we’re seeing a really hot real estate market now, it’s kind of the same thing. So in a hot real estate market, you have limited supply, not many houses for sale, and you have a lot of people looking for homes. We’re having a similar supply and demand issue right now in the nanny world. A lot of families are still really interested in looking for nanny care right now for various reasons but COVID remains one of the largest. What that means is, you’re going to have to maybe try out a few tricks to make sure you’re able to find a nanny right now.
My first tip: Make sure to start your search early.
Everybody wants to know how much time do I need to spend for my search! I do recommend trying to shoot for at least two months if possible. I know that’s not always a possibility, but what I’m seeing right now is nanny searches are taking longer than normal. Start as early as possible, that’s going to be your best bet.
My second tip: Make sure to offer a competitive compensation package.
Paying your nanny is so much more than just the hourly rate. What nannies are looking for out there is “top dollar”. Nanny Parent Connections runs pay rate surveys to help people understand whether going rates are when care is happening with one child, two children, etc. You want to make sure that you are offering a competitive rate because you can advertise your position for two months at a lower rate than what the going rate is. Not finding any applicants and you might be wondering, gosh I’m not finding anybody! But again, the rate needs to match with the markets right now.
In addition to the rate, you are going to want to take into consideration what the industry standards are for compensation package items for your nanny. One big thing is guaranteed hours, nannies want to make sure that they can count on a certain number of hours in a certain amount of Income each week so that they can budget and plan. For example, if Grandma comes to town and maybe they take the child out for one day and the nanny’s services aren’t needed, the nanny would still get compensated for that day. It’s the same model as a daycare or preschool would use. If your child attends three days a week and you decide to keep them home for one of those three days of that week, that doesn’t change the rate that you’re paying that daycare preschool you still pay the full amount, and that is to hold the spot much in the same way guaranteed hours helps to reassure your nanny that they are going to be able to count on a certain amount of income each week.
In addition to offering guaranteed hours, I also recommend offering paid time off, so the industry standard is two weeks of paid time off. I don’t call it two weeks of paid vacation, I call it paid time-off for several reasons.
One is that in Washington specifically, we also have an accrued sick leave law. Sick leave in Washington accrues at a rate of one hour for 40 hours worked. You can have the option of front loading that time and if so, you need to call that paid time off, not paid vacation. Play around with it a little bit, but two weeks is the standard.
Some families prefer to choose one week of vacation for themselves and let the nanny choose the other week. Sometimes nannies will go for that, but if you think about your career and if your boss started dictating when you could take your time off that might not feel really great. Just have a conversation with your nanny. That is something that they probably want to have control over just how they spend those two weeks. Some families also like to offer their nannies paid holidays, I’ve seen five paid holidays, I’ve seen seven, I’ve seen nine, I’ve even seen more than that. Just depends on, kind of what your family schedule is and what will work with your budgeting and everything! If you can consider offering a paid holiday to your nanny that will help to bolster the compensation package for them.
Also, consider offering your nanny mileage reimbursement if they will be using their own car.
Sometimes nannies do quite a bit of driving on the job, so whether that’s to the park or dropping kids off at lessons, or meeting up with other friends for playdates, those miles can add up. It’s nice to be able to offer mileage reimbursement for your nanny so that they can help recoup some of the operating costs of driving and using their car on the job. The current rate for 2021 is $0.56 per mile, there are lots of great apps out there for tracking but a pen and paper work great! Mileage reimbursement is something you should consider offering.
A healthcare stipend will help attract more experienced nannies.
So I don’t see this being offered as commonly. One thing to add is that your more experienced nannies are going to be looking for this, so if you are looking to attract somebody with five or ten years or more of experience, you’re going to want to offer a health care stipend. You don’t necessarily need to put a dollar amount on that when you’re advertising the position, that’s a conversation that I would recommend having with your nanny and just to see what they’re looking for and what their needs are. I’ve seen anywhere from $100 to $150 as being kind of on the lower end. I’ve seen $200 to $250 be pretty standard, and I’ve seen $300 on up as being something that a top-tier nanny would be offered. Consider offering a health care stipend and that will help you to secure a nanny and hot market.
My third tip is: Keep going through the interview process even though you’ve made a job offer.
Please don’t stop interviewing. It seems like it would be a safe thing to do, but I have seen too many nanny candidates fall through, and then all of a sudden the family’s start date is right around the corner, and then they are scrambling they are so stressed out because as they were going through the process of maybe negotiating with this nanny they stopped interviewing, it is not redundant. I know it’s a lot of work, but I encourage you to continue interviewing even though you’re moving forward in the process with someone. It’s a good way to ensure that you are not going to be left without any options right before you need the care to start.
My fourth tip is: Don’t wait to interview.
Don’t wait to interview candidates that you are interested in. They may be scooped up by another family!
Honestly, it’s a race, I’ve seen people lose strong candidates because they just have waited a little bit too long to interview. To give you an example of how fast some people move and successfully get the nanny they’re looking for in a hot nanny market: I sent this nanny’s resume and information to two families. One family reached out to her right away because she was truly fantastic, just exactly what they were looking for. They called her right away, interviewed her and then began calling her references. I think she had a job offer by 2:00 PM from that family.
I got an email from the other family that this nanny had applied for and they said “oh! she looks great!” we’re gonna reach out and I said,” I’m sorry but she already has a job offer”. The first family knew something good when they saw it and they knew they had to move fast on its market.
My final tip is: Sweeten the deal.
If you can’t find the type of candidate you’re looking for try sweetening the deal. That could mean you’re offering more per hour, try increasing the hourly rate $2.00 to $3.00 an hour if that’s within your budget, that might help to attract more candidates. Consider some of the tips that I reviewed before, you could sweeten the deal by offering a signing bonus or a retention bonus after six months!. That will help to set you apart from other families looking for a nanny at the same time in a hot market.”