Searching with Nanny Agencies: Tips for Nannies

Published by Matt Mason,

Searching with Nanny Agencies: Tips for Nannies

Searching with nanny agencies is an effective way to lead your search for a family, but there are things you can do to help your agency help you.

As a search platform, we work with many agencies, so we asked them what tips they would give nannies searching with nanny agencies.

We posted an open question on a private, agency-only Facebook group. The post secured comments, likes and views from over 90 agencies and ran for one week from 11 June.

Help Agencies Help You

Read the job description carefully: Read job descriptions carefully before applying or asking questions. Investing time to understand the details provided in the ad is essential.

Only apply for roles you want: Applying for roles you are not committed to wastes time.

Make sure you match the role’s demands: If the role asks for six years of experience and you have two, that’s very likely not the right role for you.

Searching with nanny agencies the recruitment specialists

Give the agency a reasonable time to respond: They’re likely managing multiple contacts (families & nannies)

First Impressions Count: Nannies who communicate effectively and are organised stand out to agencies.

Organise Your Documents: Ensure your CV is current, perfectly presented, and has all the key information. Check it/use a spell check! And share it with agencies in an editable format, like a Word document rather than an image or a PDF.

Please have all your documents in one place and ready to share digitally when requested at registration and share them in a single email as attachments.

Top tip: Have a cover email template that you can adapt for each approach, and check that your documents are the best reflection of you.

Searching with Nanny Agencies: Setting Yourself Up for Success

Manage your social footprint: Agencies and families will likely check your social media footprint, so you need to manage it. If you don’t want someone to see a profile – lock it down.

Searching with nanny agencies and your social footptint

If you have images or posts online that are easily searched and counter to your desire to work as a nanny, either lock them down or delete them. This includes comments in groups!

Present yourself as a professional: If you’re sharing an image with an agency or family, ensure it’s a professional image that reflects you and your desire to work in childcare.

Look the part: Whether it’s an online or face-to-face interview, present yourself in a way that reflects how professional you are – and this is true of family and agency interviews.

Nanny search and keeping is simple - an icon of nanny in a magnifying glass

Think about the image you are projecting and whether it fits with the role’s demands, e.g., excessively long fingernails will not impress a mum with a toddler! And your Friday night outfit is likely not the thing to wear for a trial at a family’s home!

Prep yourself for interviews: A little preparation time goes a long way. When obvious questions are asked, you know how to answer them well and cover the points you wish to make. Help each other by having mock interviews with other nannies who are searching.

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Ensure Your CV is 100%: Check it, double-check it and recheck it. You are relying on it to open doors; if it’s poor, It will act against you.

Working In Partnership With Your Agency

Ask all the questions to your agency: Before the first interview, ask the agency all outstanding questions about the role and the family.

Have a salary conversation with the agency (IN GROSS TERMS): If you need to work out the net, that is for you to do with YOUR TAX CODE on one of the many available online salary calculators. #GoGross

When searching with nanny agencies, show 100% Search Commitment: Finding a new role is a job in itself. So when you start the process, commit yourself to it or step out of the process until you are ready.

As You Start To Interview

Be professional: If you commit to an interview, make that interview. If there’s a serious reason you can’t attend, inform the agency as soon as possible – it’s not just your reputation you are damaging,

Give timely Feebback: As soon as you can, after an interview, give good, honest feedback to the appointing agency.

If, in the process, you secure another role, let the other agencies who are supporting you know your search is over ASAP.

Searching with Nanny Agencies: Good Communications Are Key

Searching with nanny agencies being organised

Simple, Clear, Considered Communications: Poor comms is the quickest way to undermine an agency/nanny relationship (and this works both ways!).

No message bombing! Sending multiple messages is counterproductive as it clogs up inboxes, making the matching process less efficient. Constructing one considered message raising all relevant points is much more effective.

No ghosting: Ghosting is also a big red flag! Just tell us if you are no longer interested in a role. We understand and won’t hold it against you for future roles. If you’ve gone through the interview/trial etc., get back to the agency, even if it’s to decline the role.

When searching with an agency, manage your dairy: If you commit to a meeting, do your best to make that meeting. Set reminders and give yourself time to get the on time.

Please be patient: After applying for a position, give agencies time to review and respond.

‘We need time to prepare your file, send CVs, and contact families. Your patience is appreciated while we strive to provide a thorough and thoughtful response.’

Remember, the agency is working on your behalf to secure the best possible connections for you.

Maintaining & Growing Your Profile

Mainatining your nanny profile

CPD – Keep it up!: When a nanny can demonstrate Continual Professional Development (CPD), it stands out to both agencies and families. It shows everyone that you are committed to your career and commands attention.

eDBS & the update service: This is a no-brainer: Get your ENHANCED DBS and get it on the update service (and know it’s on there). It saves money and shows you are committed to your career and safeguarding.

Enhanced DBS Blog Banner square for the Special offer with Personnel Checks

If you need a new eDBS, we can help you secure one through our partnership with Personnel Checks

Keep your documents updated: The vast majority of professional nannies proactively maintain their docs, and it makes a great impression.

Adapt to the marketplace: The dynamics of roles are constantly changing, and the nannies that move with the times will find more opportunities. Look for areas in which to specialise: SEN, Sleep Consultancy, Maternity Nursing, etc. A little training can help unlock new opportunities.

Show you passion: Childcare is a wonderful career; it shines through at the interview stage and beyond when someone shows passion and positivity.

General Search Pointers

Does the role fit you? Initially, the job adverts is the primary source of information. Please read them carefully.

Finding the right nanny roles
  • Is there an experience and qualifications fit?
  • Is the salary in line with expectations
  • Do the days of the days of the week, hours and living arrangements work?
  • Is the location right?
  • Do you have experience with that age group?
  • Is it realistically the right next role for you?

Approach the appointing agency only when you feel there’s a good fit.

Repect job requirements: Not every job will be for you. But it may be for someone else. Concentrate on where there’s a strong match.

Talking salary: Before the first interview, talk to the agency about the salary and where you should pitch yourself. Be realistic, and don’t price yourself out of the market. You can ask for the moon, but you won’t get it.

Professional (qualified) nannies with extensive experience will command higher salaries. Nannies beginning their careers will be below the average. Pitching yourself at the wrong salary will undermine your credibility (and don’t listen to comments on social media – they are often way off.

When you’re not making progress

Check your documents: Are they in good order and up to date?

Strengthen your profile: Are you maintaining and growing your skills through CPD?

Be flexible: Are there areas where you can show a little flexibility to open yourself up for more roles?

Don’t outprice yourself: Price will affect demand. Pitching yourself just a little bit lower will secure you more interest.

A frutrated nanny

Are you applying for roles for which you are qualified? Having realistic expectations is crucial.

Are you carefully examining the job requirements for fit before applying? e.g. Must have a newborn or must have a driving licence, are inflexible demand.

Have you asked for feedback from a trusted recruiter? If you’re searching with a nanny agency and enthusiastic and passionate about your career and good agency will make time for you and give you pointers.

Moving With the Times & Myth busting

Roles are changing: Just as the types of families that employ nannies have changed, so have the roles offered. Increasingly, families value nannies willing to pitch into family life. It will limit your choices if you choose to be inflexible (and that is fine).

If a role demands a nanny who can help around the home, it doesn’t make that role wrong. But it may be wrong for you. Comments like “I am not a housekeeper” or “I am not a cook” are inappropriate when these duties are clearly defined as part of the job.

GO PAYE (no more cash!): When approaching families directly for a role, for career protection and benefits, nannies must only accept roles with a PAYE arrangement.

Nanny Paye Square Logo

Encourage your appointing family to use a professional PAYE service, like NannyPaye.

The Biggest Myth: ‘Nanny agencies just want their commission’

Not all agencies are the same. A good agency recognises the value of a nanny and works hard on their behalf. Here’s a direct quote from one of the agencies that contributed to this post.

‘Most agencies are family-run small businesses that genuinely care about their placements and reputation. It’s hard to hear nannies saying they don’t want to use an agency because a specific agency is not helping them.’

A quote from a participating agency

Let’s love and be grateful for our industry

A red heart denoting love for the nanny industry

Let’s not forget that we work in a wonderful industry.

Yes, nannying is demanding and far from an easy option: Nannies shape young lives and help families thrive.

Searching with nanny agencies, we got this!

We hope you find this helpful when searching with nanny agencies. One of the consistent themes was that the majority of nannies know all this and operate to this level everyday.

Searching with nanny agencies nanny with child

The opportunity is to help more nannies search more effectively when searching with nanny agencies.

Most importantly: Good luck with your search.

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