For us parents, peace of mind and safety are non-negotiable priorities when it comes to our children and homes.

With the rise in impostors and criminal activities, it is now safer and easier to go through a reputable recruitment agency to choose a nanny to look after your children and your home.

Here are some tips to guide you in making the right decision should you opt for the agency route:

1. The company must be legitimate and registered

It must preferably have a website with detailed information about how they work, a prominent address and clear contact details. Choose an agency that has an open and accessible communication platform, and where feedback to inquiries is given promptly.

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2. Find out how the agency works

Get as much detail as possible about the costs and benefits and make an evaluation of this against what you are looking for. It’s always good to shop around and compare service providers before making a decision. Avoid agencies that have hidden costs and surprises.

3. Choose an agency that has industry expertise to match your requirements

Preferably choose one that has an innate knowledge of nanny placements. It is critical that you provide them with your specifications from the onset, stating what you are looking for, what you are prepared to pay, and other details such as age, nationality and experience required. That way you are assured of getting a suitable candidate first time. Convenience goes a long way towards easing the burden of the working parent’s busy lifestyle.

Some candidates will oversell themselves on paper and fall short on practical skills. On receiving a placement fee, most employment agencies will also have a guaranteed free replacement period of between three months and 12 months

4. They must be able to show you a list of their clients and testimonials that you can independently check and verify

It’s always good to get a referral either from someone you know or who has experienced their service first-hand. Get an invoice or receipt for every payment you make and avoid making payment before you have covered all ground in determining the quality and authenticity of their service.

5. Find out if you can have a trial period during which you assess the candidates on job skills

Some candidates will oversell themselves on paper and fall short on practical skills. On receiving a placement fee, most employment agencies will also have a guaranteed free replacement period of between three months and 12 months.

6. Get as much information as you can about South African labour laws including contracts, salary scales, working hours, leave days and UIF registrations, so you keep well within the country’s legislation.