Some nannies stay with families for many years. Some have stayed in one nanny position for over a decade! But a nanny position is the type of role that typically has an expiry date that comes sooner than jobs in many other industries. So when you are looking for a nanny to work with your family, how much should you focus on the length of a nanny job in the candidate’s work history?
It’s definitely something to take a look at, but whether a nanny has only jobs lasting for many years or only jobs lasting for 1 year or less is not necessarily an indicator of their ability. At Nanager, we’re very well aware of the flexible nature of the nanny industry and the number of factors that influence the length of a nanny job. We go deeper with candidates to assess anything that seems like it might be a red flag.
So what might we keep in mind when looking at each length of a nanny job?
Long-Term Nanny Jobs
- Can show a willingness to commit to a family/position.
- Likely means that they have experience working with children of different ages.
- Often demonstrates flexibility to fit a changing set of tasks as children start school.
- Usually indicates an ability to work well with people and create consistent positive relationships.
- Likely means that they have less experience working with diverse households and children.
- May indicate such a comfortable connection with a family that they might struggle to bond with a new one.
- Could mean the ease of a long-term role has developed into an inability or unwillingness to go back to the harder early stages of a role.
Short-Term Nanny Jobs
- Likely means they are seasoned in establishing new relationships with families.
- May demonstrate a specialty focus on working with a particular age group.
- Often indicates an ability to be successful working with a variety of families and households.
- Usually adds to diversity of experience and willingness to be flexible in their work.
- May demonstrate an inability to work through struggles to maintain successful relationships.
- Could mean that they are only comfortable working with certain ages/stages.
- May suggest that they get bored easily and struggle to commit.
In order for the length of a nanny job to span many years, they need to not only be a great fit with the family but they need to have worked with a family who was willing and able to keep them on for that long. They may happen when they’ve started with an infant and/or if the family has more children and are able to keep the nanny on during any parental leave. It might be that the family continues to provide full-time hours when the children are in school. Or maybe the nanny is able to be flexible with their schedule to work with the family and possibly take on other roles to fill in any gaps.
There are many ways it can work, but also many ways it doesn’t work. Some parents take a year of parental leave and are unable to employ their nanny during that time. Some family’s care needs shift when their children start school or even preschool because they aren’t able or willing to pay a nanny when the children aren’t home. This can impact the length of a nanny job without fault of the nanny. Of course there are also all the other faultless scenarios that come up – a nanny or family may move, or a parent may stop working or be able to manage the children while working from home.
So we look at the whole picture of what a candidate is presenting, not just the length of a nanny job on their resume. At times, if we know a family is seeking someone to work for a significantly different length of time than the nanny’s previous positions, we raise it with the nanny. But we understand how to consolidate our impressions of past experiences with future intentions because we understand the unique nature of the nanny industry and how it can influence the length of a nanny job. That’s one of the reasons we’re the experts!