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Best Practices: How to Evaluate Online Nanny Job Services

Online nanny referral services are a relatively new entry into the 'agency' market. The pioneer of these services is 4nannies.com Inc. Many families consider online services at some point when hiring a nanny.

 An online nanny job site will provide some but not all of the services of a traditional agency. It is important to understand the differences between agencies and online services, as well as differences among online services.
Nanny Agency vs. Online Nanny Service Nanny Agency vs. Online Nanny Services

Costs of Online Nanny Job Services

Some services such as CraigsList are free. Be careful, the general rule is you get what you pay for. Reputable online nanny job services that specialize in nanny recruiting will charge families between $50 - $150 to post the family's job advertisement and make candidates available.

The best online nanny services make legal [FCRA Compliant] pre-employment background checks available to families - either included in the fee - or - at additional fee. Parents are responsible to throughly screen and background check any nanny they recruit online - your children depend on your due dilligence!

Paid Online Nanny Job Services: What's Included?

All paid online nanny job services will post the family's job in their online job advertisements, and will make a list of nanny candidates available for the family to consider.  Online nanny job services DO NOT prescreen the nanny candidates - this is the hiring family's responsiblity!

The best online nanny job sites will require that the nanny candidates complete an extensive online questionaire to collect information parents need to know to consider them for their job. There is a HUGE difference among the online nanny job sites in the quality BOTH of their online questionaires AND the quality of the search tool parents use. The best online nanny job sites set standards and will not list candidates who will not completely answer the questionaire. The reasoning is that candidates who will not complete questionaires are less serious about the job search.

Quality online candidate search tools are another mark of the best online nanny job sites. You should be able to search on the most important criteria such as where the nanny lives, whether the nanny is looking for full time or part time employment, whether the nanny is seeking a live in or a live out position, etc. These criteria help you, the hiring family, narrow down the large pool of candidates into those who might fit your family's job and in general make your hiring experience more efficient.
TIP: The best online nanny jobs sites allow you to search and preview, but not contact, the candidates without requiring pre-registration.

 Background Checks: The best online nanny job sites understand and inform families about the importance of nanny background checks. Leading sites such as 4nannies.com include a pre-paid nanny background check in the family's membership fee to encourage the practice. Other online nanny sites might offer links to providers of background checks. Sadly, some completely ignore this important component of a successful and safe nanny hiring experience.
TIP: Look for pre-employment nanny background checks that comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Other Quality Measures

The best online nanny job sites have invested considerable time and talent to inform and advise families, as well as tools to help families, to help the family make a good hiring decision

Some things to look for include:

  • Interviewing: Do they provide you advice, forms, suggested questions?
  • Job Descriptions: Do they provide you sample work agreements and articulate industry norms to help you develop an agreement with your nanny that covers all the bases?
  • Your Safety and Security: Do they publish your email address? The best online nanny job sites provide email links and do not publish the actual email address. Can you choose to keep your phone number private? Again, the best online nanny job sites want you to be comfortable with the job information they publish. How safe is the data on the site? Look for reputable certifications from specialists such as Verisign, Network Solutions, etc. to insure that your personal data remains secure. It costs money to develop a secure website and the best online nanny job sites have made the necessary investment.
  • Salary Help: Do they provide information on standard salary and benefits. What about the Nanny Taxes and Payroll Issues?