I can’t tell you how hard it is to find people that take babysitting seriously. During my time as an agency that places babysitters for ongoing, permanent, or on-call positions I’ve heard and seen it all, and I’m still surprised at the laissez faire approach that people try to get away with when talking to me about why they want to babysit. If I were a parent I would want someone like me to take on the recruiting process. It is one of the worst parts of doing what I do. People don’t show up for interviews, don’t return your calls, show up late for interviews, come to an interview dressed inappropriately, and so many other things.
Once the first visual impression has taken place I then have to listen to them communicate. I’ve had responses like: “What’s the big deal. It’s just babysitting. I’ve been doing that since I was 12”, “Why do I need to have some college I’m just taking care of kids”, “I’m a mom and I don’t have any college what’s the big deal?”, “Babysitting is easy, I especially like taking care of babies,” “Don’t you just sit and watch the kids?” “I just need some extra cash so sitting around with some kids seemed like a good answer”. I could go on.
I am appalled at these responses. First of all, yes, I was babysitting from the time I was 12 BUT was I a good babysitter at 12; that would be a resounding NO! Do I understand the difference between the serious responsibility I’ve been given when babysitting now; unequivocally YES! That’s why I don’t hire babysitters that haven’t reached some level of maturity to understand that. That’s why I have a requirement of some college, hopefully, that helps to ensure some level of maturity and professionalism, and this isn’t guaranteed either.
I’ve learned after 6 years of recruiting that my intuition combined with logic is ALWAYS right. I’ve gone against my intuition when I’ve conducted background checks and reference checks that have been good then hired a babysitter only to confirm that my intuition was spot on, and they didn’t deserve my consideration or employment!
First impressions are so important, and if a candidate can’t even respect the position enough not to show up in short-shorts and a t-shirt, or unkempt hair and hygiene then I can’t expect them to be respectful of the important position of a babysitter. When I first started this business I dressed professionally and I hired some people that didn’t and sure enough; let down. Be wary of the babysitters that want to do nothing but talk, have a lot of excuses for personal events, won’t give you paperwork that you ask for, seem to be difficult to contact, and can’t follow basic instructions like please send your resume, and they simply send you an email without a resume.
Yes, I’m particular when it comes to my team of babysitters but I don’t take the responsibility of childcare lightly. I’m one of those people that believes that children actually are important and it just isn’t lip service. I want parents to feel safe, and the children happy.