6 Safety Checks for New Hires

These safety checks will help you better understand which childcare candidate is the right choice for you and your family.


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Nannies, babysitters and other caregivers are people with whom you entrust your most prized possessions. So it goes without saying that safety is the principal concern when it comes to hiring a new one. Beyond the general requirements you set out in your job posting, trust is the most crucial quality you should be looking for.

On Care.com you can find a range of articles with helpful tips and advice for putting safety first in the hiring process. Using the 6 safety checks for new hires below can also help you decide which candidate is the best choice for your family:

  1. Interview thoroughly.
    Really take the time to get to know your applicants in the interview process. Be sure to ask all the questions that are important to the job and specific to your family. This is also an opportunity to detail your safety concerns or your strategy on handling emergency situations, if certain rules apply. Furthermore, it is a good idea to schedule the first meeting with a potential nanny at a neutral location, like a coffee shop.
  2. Request background checks.
    Carers can upload documents on Care.com and you can request to see them. If references and DBS checks aren’t immediately available, then by all means request them. Find out more about requesting criminal record checks here.
  3. Check references.
    To undertake your own reference checking, ask your potential caregiver to provide a list of previous employers over the last five years, including dates of employment. Ask for at least three references and make sure two of them are former employers.
    Here are some good questions to ask when you contact references:

    • What is this person like to work with? Is she/he flexible, inflexible, social, shy, open to constructive criticism or defensive?

    • What were the caregiver's strengths and weaknesses?

    • Was she/he punctual? Did she/he call in sick often?

    • Why is the caregiver no longer working for you?

    • Would you hire her/him back if needed?

    • Did she/he take initiative or do better with explicit instructions?

    • Was the caregiver warm and engaging or tougher to get to know?

    • For childcarers: How did the kids relate to her/him, how did the parents connect?

    You should have a candid conversation when you speak to the reference and explain your situation, the job's responsibilities, your needs and even your parenting and management style to see, if their former caregiver may be compatible with you. Parents tend to be honest with one another--be open and ask questions.
  4. Check driving records.
    If driving the kids or a senior is part of the gig, you'll want to check the carer’s record. Explain that you will be looking into their driving record as it pertains to the job. You can check with the DVLA to confirm the licence validity dates, any current endorsements on the licence and whether the driver is disqualified. The driver must complete a D888/1 form to give you permission for the check. Also, if your carer will be driving your car, touch base with your insurance company to see about adding coverage for the caregiver.
  5. Do your research.
    You are online at this very moment. Google your candidate and see what pops up. Check her/his profile on Facebook and other social media networks. More than likely nothing too out of the ordinary will come up but you want to make sure to take these precautions.
  6. Check your motivation.
    Reviewing the background of someone who will care for your children is an incredibly important task. If something doesn't feel ‘right’ about a potential hire regardless of her/his check, don't hire her/him. However, if you find yourself constantly searching for the deal breaker in each candidate, it may be the result of an unrelated stress. There are extensive checks that go into hiring. So just prioritize what is most important to you and remember to trust your instinct. You'll be well on your way to matching with someone who suits your family.


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