Should I Use a Nanny Agency or Look For a Job Myself?

It is a common question of job hunters: should I try to find a job on my own, or should I apply with a placement agency? And with any job hunt, the answer seems to be the same: it depends on the quality of the agency. This is true of nanny agencies in particular. There are many great companies out there, with reputable and trustworthy employees. But there are also many agencies that will take advantage of your job hunt to make money, regardless of how it effects you or the family you will be caring for. Here are a few tips to remember when choosing a nanny agency:

1) Never pay an agency to find you a job.
In BC and Alberta it is illegal to charge someone to help them find employment. Do not agree to pay an agency fee under any condition. This is especially true of nannies coming from overseas.

2) Look up the agency online.
Enter in the name of the nanny agency to any online search engine and see what comes up. Many agencies have websites, which are worth looking at. Additionally, you will sometimes find news articles about agencies with particularly bad reputations.

3) Look for a referral to an agency from a friend.
If you know someone who works as a nanny ask them what agency helped them find their job. You can also ask former employers which agencies they have used to find nannies. If you don’t know anyone who has a relationship with an agency, ask the agency for a reference. A good nanny agency will have lots of nannies willing to attest to their quality.

4) Avoid nanny agencies that want to send you to several interviews at the same time, because it is likely they are offering the same opportunities to everyone who has applied and has the same availability as you. It is advisable to find an agency that sends you to interviews based on factors besides your weekly availability and this may result in you having less interviews, but you will have a better chance of getting hired. A good nanny agency will pair up nannies and families based on child care philosophy, personality congruence and even sense of humour. Keeping these factors in mind when pairing employer and employee will ensure a great match and a better chance that you will get hired.

Hopefully these tips will help you find a great nanny agency. Good luck job hunting!