Tips for Nanny Employment Verification

When it comes to employment verification, there are two important elements. The first is verifying that the nanny is legally able to accept work and the second is verifying previous employment.

In the United States, nannies must be legally authorized to work in the United States to accept a nanny position. United States citizens, lawful aliens admitted for permanent United States residency, or an alien with a valid work permit may be eligible to accept a nanny job in the United States. To verify a nanny’s eligibility to accept employment, parents must complete Form I-9 from the Department of Homeland Security, US Citizen and Immigration Services. All employees in the United States who were hired after November 6, 1986 must complete form I-9.

Prior to hiring a nanny, parents should investigate a nanny’s previous employment claims. Previous employers should be contacted and queries should be made about the individual’s job title, tenure and salary. Past employers should also be asked why the employee left her position and if she would be eligible for rehire. Parents may also wish to ask if there were any problem areas that they should be aware of and if they would recommend the nanny without hesitation for a childcare job where she provided care without supervision.

Studies show that job applications do falsify, exaggerate and inflate past employment claims. By verifying a nanny candidate’s employment history parents can not only secure accurate information about previous employment but can verify the information the nanny provided against the information the past employer provided. A discrepancy could indicate the nanny was not truthful on her application.

Prior to contacting a previous employer parents should attempt to verify the contact information independently. Parents may use the Internet to search for a private family’s phone number or address to ensure the contact information provided by the nanny was not fraudulent.

Once you’ve found a nanny you wish to hire, it’s essential to offer a position contingent on a background check. When hiring a nanny to provide care for your children in your private home, you want to gather as much information as possible about the candidate so that you can make an educated and informed hiring decision.

When conducting nanny employment verification keep these tips in mind.

  1. Have your nanny sign a release form. Before contacting past employers have a signed release from your candidate to do so. Having one can make past employers at ease when it comes to divulging information.
  2. Research contact information on your own. Look up the contact information for a former family or business online and see if you can find contact information that matches.
  3. Listen to the tone of the past employer. When talking to a former employer, listen to the speaker’s tone of voice. Is the contact enthusiastic when speaking about the candidate?
  4. Pay attention to what the past employer doesn’t say. Pay careful attention to what the previous employer doesn’t disclose. If her responses are short and to the point and she refuses to answer follow-up questions, it could be a red flag. While some corporate employer’s have strict policies about the information they will release parents typically don’t.
  5. Ask to see a business card or work agreement. Asking to see proof of previous employment can help to confirm that the information provided was truthful.
  6. Write down responses. Keep a journal of responses from past employers so that you an easily review data later.
  7. Don’t skip the I-9 form. Parents who employ an individual who is not legally able to accept employment in the United States can face fines and penalties.
  8. Confirm information the applicant gave with previous employers. Use the information provided on the resume or application as a starting point for asking questions.
  9. Ask for a landline number to call. With reverse lookups, you can often verify who a phone number is registered too.
  10.  Look for gaps in employment. If there are gaps in an applicant’s employment history you want to know why. Even if she was traveling overseas on a humanitarian mission, you want to know so that you can account for any gaps in employment.

For more information on background screenings please review our Guide to Nanny Background Checks.