Communicating with Head Office As a Nanny

For new nannies, it’s always exciting to join a new agency with all the future work prospects and the potential to find the “magic match” with the perfect family. However an agency also means you have competition for work with other extraordinary nannies, and without practice, an unprepared and sloppy inquiry can mean the difference between a position being offered to you or someone else.

Here are some tips to come off your absolute sparkling best on the phone:

  • Before you dial, figure out WHAT you need and WHERE you need it! The Booking Agents are always first to pick up, and will be the ones helping you directly or transferring you as needed. Remember, On-Call and Placements are entirely separate departments and are not privy to each others’ job postings and clientele. If you do not know what you need, take the extra time to figure it out.
  • Take a deep breath! Speaking too fast due to excitement or anxiety can make it difficult to get your point across to a Booking Agent, and it wastes their time and yours to try to slow you down and repeat yourself. This is especially the case if you are calling from a cellphone in a noisy area or a spot of bad reception. Speak calmly and clearly, and wait until you are in a spot of good reception or a quieter area.
  • Introduce yourself. Remember you’re calling an agency that handles hundreds of calls: we won’t know you by voice! Tell us your FULL name, and whether if you are an On-Call or Placement nanny (your city helps too!). Things will move much faster once we can look up who you are in our system!
  • Smile! This may sound odd, but smiling while talking on the phone will change your inflection and attitude – it makes you upbeat, and feel better to boot! It also helps to make you sound outwardly invested and enthusiastic about the topic you are calling about – a flat, disinterested tone does not instill confidence in the staff booking you, but a bright, engaged tone certainly does!
  • Calling for an On-Call position: When requesting an On-Call position, please have the 6-digit job number(s) ready. Remember, as Booking Agents see hundreds of jobs for all On-Call clients across Canada, it’s very important you have this code handy so we can immediately find the booking you want. If you are already familiar with the family by name, we can also look them that way. We cannot search in the system using regions.

Good Example 1: “Hi there, this is Emma Forrest, I’m an On-Call nanny in Vancouver. I’m interested in job number 632111 and 632112 and am hoping they’re available. “

Good Example 2: “Hi, this is Jordan Hansen calling from Calgary. I have a pair of On-Call requests from Diana Riley for Sept 14 and Donovan Wu for Sept 15, and I wanted to request them please!”

Bad Example: “Hi, I want the job on Tull Street & Fong Road for Thursday.”

  • Calling for a Placement position: Placements works differently from On-Call, and you will often need to be re-directed to the appropriate Placements Consultant or Manager. Make sure you look at the Placement job code carefully – they start with either FTP (full-time), PTP (part-time), or STP (short-term) followed by 4 digits and a city code.

Generally most calls will go to the long-term Placements Consultant, but if your position code is STP, ask specifically for the Short-Term Placements Consultant. Please do not ask for job clarifications for Placement bookings from the On-Call Booking Agents, as they do not have access or information to those – save your questions for the Consultant!

Good Example: (at initial call-in) “Hi, I’m Lilah, one of the Placement nannies – could I please speak to the Short-Term Consultant?” – (to STP Consultant) “Hi Susie, I’m Lilah Choi, one of the Toronto Placement nannies – could I ask some questions about STP-1234TO?”

Bad Example: (at initial call-in) “Hi, what are the details about this family contract for summer in Vancouver with the twins, the pay range says X but I want Y since I have a car and can do more things for them, can you call and check? I don’t have a job number I think they’re somewhere in Kits or Dunbar I forgot.”

Have other tips to share? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!

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