In the news lately we are hearing too often about companies being scrutinized for their practices. Agencies, let alone businesses in general are not supposed to charge anyone to look for work! I am specifically speaking about Nanny Agencies that ‘assist’ a childcare provider in finding a great family match. Nannies being promised a great position….for only $4000! When they say that they can’t afford it, they borrow from friends or family, or worse they borrow from the source and are charged huge interest rates. This is not ok and you would hope that hearing just one bad story would prompt others not to be taken to the cleaners.
The harsh fact is that these agencies are taking advantage of people and it has to stop. This doesn’t mean that you should be skeptical of all agencies, it just pays to educate yourself and ask the right questions up front.
Please know these few simple things when starting the search. You do NOT have to pay for a job!! If someone tells you otherwise, they are wrong as it is illegal to charge an employee to assist them in finding a job (with the exception of education).
1) Straight up ‘Do you charge any fees at all for assisting me in my search?
2) What is your process?
3) What do you offer and why should I choose your agency?
4) Can I see a list of current job openings?
5) Typically how long does it take to be placed?
6) Can I also use other avenues/agencies to find work?
If you have red flags about any of the agencies answers, there is probably a reason and you should trust your gut.
Agencies are not only supposed to work for the family but for the nanny as well. If you don’t get the utmost feeling of professionalism, respect and most importantly, honesty, then opt out. A great agency is measured by its customer service, knowledge and experience. Having been in this industry for over 6 years, I have heard horror stories and it breaks my heart.
Here is some information taken directly from Employment Standards website:
Employees do not have to pay to find employment. They cannot be charged by an employer for giving them a job, by an employment agency for helping to find them a job, or by anyone for information about possible employment opportunities.
An employer, an employment agency, or any other person must not ask or require a person looking for a job to pay for any services associated with finding a job, including:
- giving them a job;
- helping them to get a job with someone else;
- providing them with information about possible employment opportunities.
Services that are not associated with finding a job or providing information about jobs may be provided for a fee. For example, an employment agency may charge a fee for providing other services such as education.
It’s no wonder that agencies get a bad name as a whole ….even without someone giving them a chance. The point is that there are still great agencies out there! Those that will offer you education , protection and honest to goodness support! If in doubt, ask someone as referrals act as a great starting point.
Good luck in the job search!
Lisa Bruce is a mother first and foremost to her 2 wonderful kids, wife, Placement Manager and owner of the newest Nannies on Call branch in the Okanagan.