Many of you have reached out with questions about how to move forward during this time of uncertainty, whether it be with your search for a nanny, your job hunt, or your current working arrangement. While we acknowledge and respect the difficult choices individuals are facing at this time, we also want to share our best tips for staying connected and moving forward in a safe and healthy manner!
Our usual vetting and interview process relies heavily on video calls, particularly because so many of our searches are for relocation candidates who aren’t actually meeting in-person until a lengthy trial! In light of the safety precautions with COVID-19, we are encouraging everyone who will need care in the next few weeks or so to start here! For families who need childcare, this is a wonderful option to start to get to know a candidate. Get creative with your interviews! Holding multiple rounds of video calls with a candidate can help to build a connection.
For the first step, the usual meet-and-greet style is completely appropriate. Depending on the ages of your children, a candidate may do a follow-up interview with them, allowing them to ask questions back and forth and even play a game! It requires a bit of preparation but has very successful results in helping to get to know one another. If that all goes well, it’s been beneficial for families to take the camera around the home and provide a virtual tour of the areas the candidate would be responsible for if they were hired. Transparency is key when working in this digital format, so we encourage everyone to get creative with interviews, and plan ahead for when quarantines are lifted.
“So, what if we meet someone we want to hire? It seems pointless to move forward with interviews if they can’t actually start.” We hear you on this. Every family’s childcare needs are different during this time of school closures and remote office work, with many still needing a nanny to come to their home. As many people find themselves working through this touch-and-go state of our world, more candidates are willing to help out and be flexible for a family that genuinely appreciates them, cares for their wellbeing, and is generous whenever possible. In these instances, it is beneficial to discuss in the initial video interviews what quarantining looks like for the nanny in his or her off time. Are they going out, or staying at home? Are they taking public transportation, or driving their own car? Assuming your family has space, are they willing and able to temporarily live-in with your family until it is most appropriate to re-enter public life? Is the candidate able to take on additional tasks in the home, such as projects, cleaning, organizing, or remote personal assistant work? What is the work plan for the nanny if someone in the family gets sick?
Whether you are a nanny who is not physically working in your employer’s home right now, or you are a family looking to keep the interview process going, here are some creative ideas to get creative with your video calls!
- Read a book together: hold the pages up to the camera, taking turns reading each page and talk about the pictures, making inferences and predictions about what the story holds!
- Write a story together: the nanny gets to be the scribe! Take turns telling a story, one line at a time. Keep adding to the story, and draw pictures as the tale grows! Take it a step further, and self-publish it once you are in-person again.
- Become pen-pals! Draw pictures, have inventive language for the youngest ones and practice those letter-writing skills for your school-aged children.
- Share family photos, telling stories and memories of good times your family has had together: trips, grandparents, school events – you name it!
- Talk about what you are doing in your homes to stay safe and healthy! Talk about the foods you’re eating, exercises you’re doing, projects you’re playing with, and your cleaning routines. These little things can be great bonders!
- Brainstorm ways to be generous, whether with your time, creativity, money, and energy: who can we support and uplift in this time?
- If applicable, host initial interviews with other staff members to get to know one another and gauge the work environment and culture of the home. Particularly when you feel strongly about hiring someone or accepting the job, this is a fantastic way to feel at ease when you do physically start your new employment arrangement.
If there is one thing we can take solace in it’s that we are all trying our best to navigate uncharted waters. We all must do our best to be as graceful, generous, and patient as possible.
We’d love to hear your thoughts, do you have any advice for caregivers navigating this time?
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