I worked as a nanny for 23 years and I’ve used just about every job search avenue out there. Newspapers (yes, the print kind they had before the internet!), full service placement agencies from across the country, online job sites, social media, and of course, networking. Nanny agencies have been my most successful and easiest avenue by far.
Before I jump into my list of why let me clarify that when I say nanny agency I mean quality nanny agency or stand-out agency as I often call them. Unfortunately not all are. But if you’re lucky enough to live in an area with a stand-out agency, and some bigger areas have several, here are the advantages of working with one.
If you’ve ever looked for a job on a site like Care or UrbanSitter or in a networking group, you know that it’s like looking for your Price or Princess Charming. You have to kiss A LOT of frogs before you find the right one. When you work with an agency, all the families are screened and only those that are quality employers make the cut. Of course not every family registered will meet your particular needs. The agency will narrow down the families they present to you based on your requirements and qualifications. But you won’t have to wade through countless families that are paying daycare rates or want you to do childcare, housekeeping, cooking, household management, and every other task under the sun.
Access To Jobs That Aren’t Publicly Advertised
When a family has an established relationship with an agency and their caregiver decides to move on, often the family’s first call is to their agency. Those jobs from repeat clients aren’t listed anywhere else. Those families don’t waste time scrolling through Care or posting an ad in a facebook group. They were happy with the agency’s placement process before and want to go that route again. By being registered with the agency, you’re in the first batch of potential matches. Often a match comes from that first batch and the agency never has to open up recruitment to new caregivers.
Competitive Wage and Benefit Package
Are you tired of connecting with really nice families that offer a fraction of what you need to make and no real benefits? It’s one of the most frustrating parts of the job search. Because agencies pre-screen their families, you know that the families you’re matched with can afford and are willing to provide you with a fair, competitive compensation package.
Save Time And Energy
Most nannies are looking for a job while they’re still working a full-time schedule. Who has time to spend hours sifting through profiles and messages? Working with an agency means you can focus your time and energy on families that have the real potential to be “the one”.
After Interview Feedback
Getting honest feedback after every interview is essential in improving your interviewing skills. When you’re working with an agency, you’re not working in a vacuum. They’ll talk to the parents after the interview and find out what worked, what didn’t, and share that helpful information with you.
An Advocate In Your Corner
A job search is a difficult and emotional process. Having someone in your corner can make all the difference. Your agency rep will help guide you, brainstorm with you, and support you. Plus they’ll advocate on your behalf with prospective families.
Agencies want to present families with professional and polished documentation on the nannies they recommend. It’s part of their brand. This means that they’ll work with you to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward from the get go. This kind of expert representation in an invaluable resource in landing the type of job you’re interested in.
Part Of An Exclusive Club
Great agencies are known for having the best families and nannies. Their success is built in large part on their reputation. So when you’re accepted by an agency, when you pass their screening process and they give you their stamp of approval, it means something to the families you’re interviewing with. You’re not starting from square one in selling yourself. The agency has laid the foundation and you simply have to close the deal.
After Placement Support
Even in the best placements, there will be challenges. When you’re placed through an agency, you have someone to call on for help. Someone who knows you and the parents you’re working for. Someone who understands the unique aspects of the job. And someone who will listen, support, and if needed help you and the parents work through whatever you’re facing.
Once you’ve been placed by an agency, it’s easy to reactivate your application when you decide you’re ready for a new position. They know you, what works for you and what doesn’t, and they can speak to how much your most current employer loved you. I know nannies that have been placed by the same agency for every job in their 10, 15 or 20 year career.