Hiring a Babysitter, Step-by-Step
Making the search process more effective
At Sittercity, we always recommend that you
follow a clear routine when hiring and screening
a babysitter. Best if you avoid a totally blind
trial-and-error process that will waste your
time and efforts. Since you're going to be
letting someone into your home, into your life
and around your children, you'll want to make
sure that you don't cut any corners during the
hiring process. To help ensure that things go
smoothly, we'll walk you through what we've
found to be the best babysitter hiring process,
step by step.
Post Your Job on Sittercity. Though
you're always welcome to search through the
sitters, an even easier way to find someone to
care for your children is to post a job and let
the babysitters contact YOU. It sounds
counterintuitive, we know, but it really does
work. So kick back, have a cocktail (ha! If life
were that easy, would you really need a sitter?)
and wait for the eager responses to roll in.
Cull Responses and Pick Your Top 10.
We've got some awesome babysitters on our site,
so odds are you'll come across a slew of local
Super Nannies who have faced earth-shattering
tantrums, been elbow-deep in poop and know the
value of a harmless bribe. Narrow down your
responses to your top 10 favorites before diving
any deeper into the process.
Screening Step 1: Check Online Feedback.
Will you honestly have time to interview all 10
babysitters? Unlikely. So you'll want to start
thinking about getting your list down to a solid
five. Step one in the screening process is to
check the babysitters' profiles to see if
parents have left online feedback that may help
you make a decide on your top five.
Screening Step Optional: Phone Interviews.
Once you have your top five, you may choose to
call the babysitters to chat with them on the
phone and get a feel for their personalities.
Does she sound bubbly and friendly or like an
unenthused Debbie Downer? Listen to your
intuition - if something doesn't feel right, no
amount of questioning is going to settle those
Screening Step Two: In-Person Interviews.
Armed with your Sittercity list of interview
questions, ask the babysitters the questions you
feel most important in determining which one of
them is a great match for the job. And make it a
family affair - don't be afraid to sic your
children on the sitter. Pluck them from their
Play Stations and watch them interact with each
candidate. If the babysitter can't handle them
now, she can't handle them when you're out.
Screening Step Three: Check References.
By now, you probably have your top three
babysitters in mind. Time to check each
candidate's references. Each Sittercity sitter
lists at least one reference in her profile, so
that is a good place to start. Call or email
these references with the reference questions
you've found on right here in our library.
Select the Top Three Sitters. Screening
process nearing completion, you've taken the
necessary steps to selecting three qualified
sitters who are perfect for the job. Pick your
favorite and use that babysitter as your primary
babysitter. The other two babysitters can serve
as backups in case your primary babysitter can't
make it to a job.
Screening Step Four: Conduct a Background
Check. Don't hire your favorite sitter quite
yet. Is she going to be your biggest ally or
your biggest mistake? Run a background check
through Sittercity's partner, LexisNexis, to be
sure. It's only $9.99 and will provide you with
peace of mind that's utterly priceless.
Check out our review of
Care.com and learn which online
sitter service fits your needs.