Let’s talk Ethics…Soft Skills as important factor in your application
Working in childcare means working in an industry that is loaded with ethical and moral questions, values and opinions; even more so when it is in-home childcare. It can be quite easy to oversee what lies right in front of you. That’s why we as recruiters try to point out the important facts right from the beginning. And besides a screening of your ‘hard’ skills, such as knowledge of child development, skills in settling, nappy changes and activity planning, this also involves an assessment of your ‘soft’ skills such as communication skills and, you guessed it, ethical values and positions.
Of course as a Nanny agency we are committed to keeping all children safe, happy and healthy. Since we rely on our field employees working in the families’ homes, we need to have full trust in them and in their work ethics. I suppose you can guess that we wouldn’t get a very valid picture if we would just ask you as the applicant directly whether you are reliable, honest and trustworthy, dedicated to their job, respect confidentiality and are tolerant. So we have a list of soft skills we need to see and we have certain ways on how to assess them.
Below you find a list of some of the most important ethical positions and values we expect in our future employees, why we value them and how we assess them. Rest assured, we pay attention to the little things so it will pay back to ensure that your interaction with us reflects your ethical values from the very first contact.
Dedication to Nannying as professional career path
It is important to show the recruiter that you actually like the job you’re applying for since it is a lot more likely that you will commit to it and perform it in a professional way for many years. In order to see whether applicants are dedicated to the job as a Nanny, we not only ask why they want to work as a Nanny but we also assess how much time and effort they put into their application, how relevant the information is that they provide or whether we received just a generic CV suitable for all or no job in specific. If the latter is the case the applicant is more likely to apply for Nanny positions among others and won’t be as dedicated to child care as expected. The way you talk about previous experience and jobs to come can also tell a lot about your dedication. Do you show excitement and enthusiasm? Do you have a clear understanding of the position and the duties included? Finally we also ask your referees about your approach to nannying and childcare within a previous job.
Nannies need to be reliable when working in families’ homes. We expect you to arrive on time and work for the booked hours. We expect you to contact us and the family in case you can’t arrive on time or go to work. We expect you to update your details and perform all duties to the expected standards.
We think that reliability is more a general characteristic and an ethical value rather than just a behaviour pattern observed in a specific job. Based on this we assess your behaviour during the recruitment process and see whether you are reliable when it comes to providing information for the interview, following up on outstanding documents and reference checks or responding to messages and phone calls from us.
Being invited into someone’s home is a great privilege and we need to be sure that all our nannies can be trusted. Besides police checks and reference checks we can get a first idea on whether you are trustworthy by checking on whether they provide the same information in verbal answers to interview questions and in your CV. We will always read your CV thoroughly in advance to be able to pick up on possible discrepancies.
Professionalism is very important especially in an industry where many nannies were previously employed cash in hand and without a professional approach. In short, in order to hire a professional nanny we need to take into account all aspects of the application starting from a professional resume, professional communication and presentation at the interview right through to attention and questions at the induction. A professional nanny will not only interact professionally with the agency but also maintain professional boundaries with families, communicate professionally with them and approach the daily job responsibilities in a professional (that means guided by set standards rather than individual gut feeling) way.
Good work mentality
Since nannies work most of the time without supervision we need to be sure that you won’t check personal social media during working hours, don’t engage in private relationships with clients, provide a high quality service, respect the family’s parenting style and be pro-active but respectful at all times.
We can get an idea about this characteristic when asking in interviews behavioural questions about how you would behave in a certain situation but we can also get clues from your approach to the application. Do you ask questions about how to perform certain tasks according to company standards? Do you understand the professional Nanny-Family-Relationship? Do you go the extra mile to impress us by being especially well prepared, having read about the company in advance and participating actively in every step of the recruitment process?
Looking at integrity we want to see whether you as the Nanny are a good role model for children, will always respect them as individuals and interact with them according to their needs providing a stimulating, safe and nurturing environment. How we perceive is often how we think a family will perceive you. So we consider whether we feel respected and recognised. Of course it is different interacting with adults and children but if you don’t feel respected it is definitely a red flag and needs to be analysed further.
Assessing all those points will give us an idea on the ethical attitude of you but it is always worth remembering that especially interviews are exceptional situations where excitement might influence performance. Assessing ethical values is only another piece we add to complete the picture of an applicant.
Which ethical values are most important for you as the Nanny? Share your experiences in the comments below.
The Recruitment Team