7 Tips for Successfully Working with a Nanny Agency

Nanny agencies have changed a great deal in the past five years. With the rise of internet sites many of the lesser quality agencies have gone under, and what we see now are agencies that have stood the test of time or newer agencies that are trying to break into the business.

I always advise nannies to use any and all methods for searching for a new family, and a nanny agency is a great option when it comes to finding a new position. They offer many perks; in that a quality agency pre-screens families, can give you support through the job hunt, and also can give you great info on the local market. They are an invaluable resource and certainly one tool you should use on the job hunt.

There are a few tips to having a successful relationship with an agency:

  1. Make sure you view this as a relationship. Working with a nanny agency is a mutually beneficial relationship that includes give and take. What you put into building this relationship is what you will get back. It may take some time and energy, but it will be worth it in the end.
  2. Agencies want to get to know you. Meet a representative of the nanny agency in person if at all possible. Stop by the office, or attend a local get together or training event. Meet them at a conference. They are busy for sure, but putting your face with a resume will help them match you with a family.
  3. Follow up-but don’t be a pest. Make sure you are checking in with the nanny agency. A busy agency gets hundreds of phone calls and emails a day. They do not always have time to call you just to tell you that there is nothing that matches your needs right now. But you also want them to know you are eager for work. Drop the placement counselor an email once a week to check in. If you don’t hear back right away, don’t worry. But if you never hear back, that may be cause for concern.
  4. Don’t work with a low quality agency. Do your homework. Find the best agencies in your town. Ask not only other nannies, but also any nanny employers who they use. It may be that you live in an area where there isn’t a quality agency. In that case, you must be a little more persistent and advocate for yourself. But still, don’t waste your energy chasing a bad match.
  5. Jump through their hoops. For a long time, I have heard the complaint that nanny agencies all have different, long, tedious forms. The application process is complicated, but every quality agency I know has a reason for the process. Even though I wish they had a standard application, and even though most of the questions they ask are answered in the portfolio that I send to them, the best practice is to fill out their forms and follow directions. First, it shows that you know how to follow directions and are organized. Second, it makes it easier for a nanny agency placement counselor to present your information in a standard form to a family. Third, it saves the agency time and effort, both of which they could be spending to find you a job.
  6. Charm them. These agencies are going to be selling you. You want them to like you. Put your best foot forward. This doesn’t mean lying or misleading them about who you are, instead be the best version of yourself.
  7. Paint a picture of the job you want. Be specific and be clear about what is non-negotiable and what is flexible. There are many moving parts, so you can’t ask them for the moon. But being clear up front about what things are your deal breakers saves everyone time. Make sure to include info on the intangibles that are so crucial: Are you a neat freak? Are you someone who enjoys travel? Sharing some details about who you are as a person, and not just your caregiving information, will help the nanny agency find a good match.

Follow these steps and you will have not only a happy relationship with your nanny agency, but a successful one at that!

 

This article was written by Sue Downey of Nannypalooza, for Care Academy.  She has been a nanny for more than 20 years. She currently has fun everyday with a 3 year old and a newborn in Philadelphia, PA.

Stanford Park Nannies
June 15, 2015
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Stanford Park Nannies
June 15, 2015
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