With over 20 years of experience interviewing and vetting nannies, we could write a book on the various mistruths we see on candidate applications!
While the increase in the number of candidates choosing to misrepresent themselves is disturbing, we can only speculate the possible causes. Perhaps it is due to the increase in online connecting; we all know how easy it can be to misrepresent oneself through cyberspace and behind a computer screen. Regardless of the reasons, we thought we’d share a few recent experiences we encountered…
Nanny Jenny B.
Nanny Jenny heard from friends (and of course, the internet) that some nanny jobs pay up to $30 per hour. She decided to significantly inflate the salaries of her previous jobs to increase her chances of earning $30 per hour. Our agency enjoyed meeting with Jenny, but immediately grew skeptical of her honesty once we processed her file. She reported earning $25 per hour in a job that paid her $15 per hour, and $30 per hour in a job where she actually earned $22. The sad truth is that Jenny had some great experience that would have qualified her for nanny jobs paying in the range of $20-$25 per hour (which was more than she was previously earning), and she is now unable to find any positions through our agency due to her misrepresentation.
Nanny Mary P.
Nanny Mary had a legitimately impressive background, including six years of experience as a high-level nanny/personal assistant. Unfortunately, she had spent her last six months with a family that cycles through nannies more often than some people change their socks! She also learned after 6 months time that the family refused to provide references for the long line of previous nannies they employed. After professionally departing from this job and fearing she had no choice, she decided to ask a friend to pose as her employer. Much to our dismay, her decision to avoid being forthcoming with our agency resulted in our inability to represent her.
Nanny Irma L.
Nanny Irma had a promising career as a nanny, with over 8 years of legitimate experience. Before applying to our agency, she had moved out of state for 4 years to help a relative raise their children. When she returned, she worried that her family experience would disqualify her from finding a position; Irma made the decision to lie, and listed her family as an employer that she met through an online posting. When we discovered through our post-interview process that her reference was a close relative, we had no choice but to end our professional relationship with Irma. The sad truth in her case is that, despite the fact that some of her experience was with her family, we would have likely been successful representing her due to her extensive professional experience.
In each of these cases, candidates made the assumption that our agency would not represent them if they told us the entire truth. What these nannies may not have realized is that, in this profession, TRUST is more important than a fabulous fabrication on a resume. When a candidate’s purpose is to care for the safety and well being of a child and a family’s home, HONESTY is the number one, non-negotiable attribute. We can share many examples of candidates with “imperfect” professional pasts who have been successfully placed in wonderful jobs. The hiring family often comments something like, “I can live with the fact that she had a gap in her work historybecause she was open and genuine in her presentation. We feel confident that we can trust her to be a member of our parenting team.”
One of the advantages of having agency representation is that we get it! We understand that in life, things happen—candidates have imperfect work experiences, bills to pay, and challenges to overcome. We welcome the chance to partner with a candidate in an honest way, but refuse to compromise our integrity when a candidate lies to us—regardless of her legitimate experience. When a candidate respects herself and her profession enough to represent herself honestly, we will bend over backward to assist because we know we have set the necessary foundation of a trusting partnership.
So, to all of the nanny applicants searching for a position, do yourselves a favor and do NOT listen when people say, “Everyone lies on their resume!” or, “It’s just an application!”. Channel your inner Jiminy Cricket, and let your conscience be your guide!
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