For Parents

How to Spot a Fake Reference

When hiring childcare staff, outstanding references are extremely vital to the process. We get thousands of applicants every day here at The Nanny Solution and sometimes; we do get individuals who list friends or family as references. So how do we spot a fake reference? Here are four ways in which we can make sure we have nothing but real references.

Sherlock Them! 

Put on your Sherlock hat and baffle them with carefully selected questions. For example, if you feel that the reference is giving very vague and generic answers to your questions, you could probe further by bringing up specific situations like “How did you handle sick days? Or “Which payroll service did you use?” and so on. And believe me, if the reference is a fake they will not be able to answer these correctly! 

Age Check

At the very beginning of the reference call, ask how old the person’s children were when the applicant started working with them and after your follow-up questions, ask again how old the children are now. A fake reference will be stumped, whereas a parent usually will not take too long to remember the ages of their children. 

Turn to the Web

Everyone and anyone has a digital footprint these days and the references are no different. Look for them on social media or professional sites like LinkedIn and see if their information matches the information that the nanny has provided during the interview. This may sound like a lot of work, but we’d rather do the extra work than let a fake reference slip by us unnoticed.

Ask for multiple references

We always ask for a minimum of 2 childcare references here at The Nanny Solution. We also make sure that we speak with all of the references provided by the nanny. We do this, in order to verify the information shared with us during the interview sessions and to gain a better understanding of the nanny’s work ethics. 

People often ask us our secret to finding these extraordinary nannies, but the secret is that there is no secret! We believe in an extensive and rigorous screening and screening process and we don’t move forward with an application unless we are satisfied at every level of the organization that the nanny is extraordinary!

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