We’ve established a great relationship with the Founders of 14fiftyseven, a relatively new agency looking to change the way people hire their household staff. Today we’re sharing their latest blog post written by James Roberts.
We think it’s great to look at things from a different perspective, in this case from the employers side of things. We totally agree on starting at you mean to go on, in terms of tasks you expect a nanny to do. The most important thing here is communication, and making sure both parties are happy with the arrangements made.
How to Hire a Live in Nanny
The idea for 14fiftyseven came about after working for many years in travel recruitment, and witnessing my peers juggling their work-life balance. Childcare, and how one employs help, is a common struggle for working parents. How to hire a live in nanny is arguably the most important decision you’ll ever have to make. I want to make the difference that sees my clients reaping the benefits of hiring the right staff in their homes. While I don’t have children of my own, I am a devoted uncle to a great bunch of kids.
Hiring nannies is a very emotive topic; having them live in takes it up a gear. I love people, but like most of us, having someone who’s not family around 24/7 can be challenging. This is why we ask some very important questions before committing to represent a client and working out how to hire a live in nanny for their unique requirements.
At our sister company Progressive Travel Recruitment, we work with many clients who are leaders in the travel and hospitality industry, who welcome our expertise when hiring key staff. But everything changes when those same people come to us to find household staff with the help of 14fiftyseven. They’ve often had a negative experience previously. As soon as we start exploring the reasons, the common theme is that they have not laid down their expectations from the beginning, performance-managed the staff, or provided any form of appraisal. I find this alarming; they are leaders in their field of work, exemplary employers, but have left their most precious asset, their family, in the hands of someone they have not managed effectively. You wouldn’t believe how frequently we, as a company, step in to mediate situations that would never have become an issue, had time been given at the outset to addressing expectations and managing them.
Advantages of hiring a live in nanny
Enough of the downsides; what are the advantages of hiring a live-in nanny? Multiple, is the short answer, but to break this down these are some of the key benefits:
1 Having a live in nanny means being able to leave for the office knowing your children are in capable hands in your comfortable familiar home and won’t be left while the nursery staff have to deal with several other children.
2 Hiring a live-in nanny can help you learn to be present and enjoy the moment, because someone else is working in the background. Often if you’re happy with your childcare you’ll be a more effective worker.
3 How to hire a live in nanny effectively allows continuity for your children. Children need stability and having one person look after them in your absence will fill you with confidence and allow them the security they deserve.Having some additional housekeeping tasks done, such as walking the dog, exercising the horse, shopping, and researching a holiday is a benefit of a 14fiftyseven nanny. We encourage flexibility in our candidates, and most welcome variety in their work to keep them stimulated.
4 You have a babysitter on-hand who you know the children are comfortable with if you need a night off.
5 You can spend time with your children while the live-in nanny completes other tasks, if you set up the expectations and terms carefully at the start.
How to hire a live in nanny who is versatile
Recently, when I visited a family friend with a live in-nanny, I noticed something that puzzled me, and it’s one of the reasons I want candidates to offer employers a service that’s over and above the usual ‘nanny’ job title.
It was a Monday morning and everyone had left the house except the live-in nanny; actually, on this occasion it was a manny. The dishes were in the sink, the laundry was waiting to be loaded; all things I presumed the nanny would work on. Instead, he left the room with a coffee and the TV remote. This TV session went on for three hours. During this time, a cleaner and a gardener both arrived to start their duties. On and on the manny sat, three cups of coffee later, more daytime TV than any normal person should be subjected to and enough WhatsApp calls to warrant shares in the company. Meanwhile, the cleaner and gardener were breaking out a sweat while diligently carrying out their duties.
That night, when my friends returned I dared to express my thoughts. To my surprise, they totally agreed with me, but said they didn’t like to rock the boat because the children loved the live-in manny. And, to be fair, he was great with the kids. But I did a quick calculation, after asking what the cleaner and gardener cost per month (£500). I don’t think they had ever added it all up, preferring to accept a pretty poor status quo. They hadn’t had a holiday for years due to work overload and the commitment to pay the additional people they needed to manage the house.
I left them with this thought and within a couple of weeks they called to say, ‘We heard what you said and have addressed it with Simon, our live-in manny. He was actually relieved as he didn’t know how to tell us he was bored. Now he mows the grass, does the laundry, and visits my mother around the corner to deliver her shopping.’
I’ve lost count of the times I have repeated this story to clients, many who ring us, desperate for our help in finding a replacement for a live in nanny who has left on bad terms. Many say, ‘That sounds like us.’ Of course, we welcome these calls but only if we work together with them to address the challenges they have previously experienced. It’s a well-known fact if you keep doing the same thing, the outcomes never change. So, with our help, you can learn how to hire a live in nanny and enjoy the exceptional rewards that employing the right nanny who you’ve communicated with properly can bring.
How to hire a live in nanny within your budget
Before you say, ‘I couldn’t possibly afford this luxury’, call us for an informal chat; you may be surprised at what you can afford when you breakdown your current outgoings. We promise to be gentle, and who knows you may even welcome the challenge of conducting appraisals, and start to enjoy the process of hiring household staff, with our expertise.
James Roberts, Director
14fiftyseven. Because we’ve been there.
This post originally featured here, in July 2018.