9 ways to make better — and safer — hiring decisions
Care.com strives to give you powerful tools that can help you to make the best hiring decision possible. Whether you're searching for a nanny, babysitter, pet sitter, housekeeper, senior care provider, etc., we know how hard it can be to find the right person to fill that job.
Safety should be an important part of that process. You want to make sure that the person you're inviting into your life is someone you feel you can trust. Nab the right hire with these nine steps.
1. Read the Care.com Safety Guide
The safety guide gives you step-by-step information on gathering candidates, narrowing your choices and interviewing potential caregivers that can help you make the absolute best decision for your family.
2. Review your potential hire's safety verification
The Safety and Verification section of caregivers' profiles on Care.com gives you up-to-date information about the candidate's safety verification status, including background check information and phone and email verification.
3. Perform a third-party background search
Narrow the playing field by accessing information about potential caregivers through social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and by researching news stories about them. You should also connect with state and local municipalities to obtain information about criminal and traffic violations they may have — check with local police departments and the department of motor vehicles. (Your caregiver may need to sign off on some of these checks.)
4. Check reviews from other Care.com families
Care.com members support each other through the use of candid, peer-to-peer reviews right on a candidate's profile. A star-rating system and comments section make it easy to ascertain a former employer's take on a caregiver you're considering.
5. Connect with references
Before you hire a caregiver, check several references. Put together a list of questions to ask previous employers — including things that will be relevant to the job you're hiring for.
6. Get a criminal records check, among others
Care.com gives you the opportunity to access a variety of background checks prior to making your final hiring decision. These checks include criminal county and federal record checks spanning seven years of address history. To see what's included in each option and determine which is right for you, read this Background Check Guide.
7. Ask about health and substance abuse
When you interview your potential hire, see what her feelings are about alcohol and drugs. Consider requesting that she get a drug test from a hospital before she starts. Ask the provider to provide a letter from her doctor verifying that she has had a recent physical and can perform the tasks of a child care job.
8. Trust yourself
If you feel uncomfortable with the way a candidate answers a question, probe further and ask follow-up questions. Maybe have the person spend more time with your family, so you can observe her interacting with your child. But if something doesn't feel quite right, there very well may be a reason. If you're uncomfortable with a potential caregiver, don't ignore your instincts.
Once you've hired a caregiver for your family, your work still isn't finished. Keep the Safety Guide handy for more information on how to proactively manage and monitor your caregiver, as well as for providing you with peace of mind.
Corey Whelan is a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn, N.Y.