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Interviewing Tips For Child Care Owners

 Finding the right employees, the ones who are the perfect fit for your business, isn't often a simple task.
To make certain you hire the person best suited for the position you're looking to fill, it's best to prepare for the interviewing process ahead of time. By taking a few tips from the pros you can spare yourself from problems down the road.
Here's what professional interviewers suggest:
Seek Recommendations If you've been in this profession for a while and know plenty of others who are in the same business, utilize the contacts you've made. Referrals can bring you some of the best employees.
If you're just starting a child care business, reach out to nannies, babysitters and see if they're interested in steady work or know others who may be seeking full time employment.
Personalize the Interview Many employers start an interview with "tell me about you," or "what can you tell me about yourself?" David Bakke, a career expert, advises taking a different approach. "Ask them about their education, likes, dislikes, hobbies and other things of that nature. By getting them to open up to you on a personal level, you'll have a better idea of the person you're dealing with."
Provide Scenarios Come up with a few situational interview questions to see how the candidate responds. For example you might say: 'You've just finished putting the children down for a nap and one little boy crawls over and starts wrestling with another - how would you respond?
"This is just another way to get to know more about the candidate, which is always a good thing,"suggests Bakke.
Check Backgrounds "While conducting background checks may be a given, you might want to consider conducting a more in-depth background check,"says Bakke. "Employment history, education history and a credit check may not be enough. Also, don't neglect to have a criminal background check performed. In fact, depending on your state, this may be mandatory for anyone you hire to care for, or work around, children. Regardless of your state's requirements, this is something you should do as you can never be too careful.
Talk to References
Along those same lines, contact references. "Investigating references is even more important when it comes to hiring for these types of positions because many employees in these fields are often freelancers or independent contractors," says Bakke. This makes it easy for them to add in a reference or two (or even a line on their employment history) that may not necessarily be accurate. The last thing you want is to hire someone with a great resume that just may not be "the whole truth".
Consider Passion According to career coach Steve Langerud, the best predicator of high performing employees who will stay around for the long haul is passion. "You don't always know it when you see it! Many interviewers take the approach that they will know a good hire when they see them. But there is rarely any data on which to base the decision."
A person applying to work for you may show you her certification, but does she explain how what she's learned has made her more passionate about children and their well being? Perhaps she has had life experiences that have driven her to enter this field. Probe and inquire.
"The key is to have candidates speak about the skills they wish to use in their work; the topics or issues they wish to engage; the people they work well with in teams; and the environment that gives them energy ... this technique drives to the heart of high performance and retention," says Langerud. "Good talent can learn specific skills."
Look for Problem Solvers Search for people who are problem solvers, as this is a quality that's especially important for small businesses tworking with children and on small teams with few co-workers. Hiring trustworthy professionals like this will save you the time and energy of having to make every little decision yourself.
"Problem identifiers tend to cost small businesses time finding small problems that could have been handled by them,” says Bryan Wetzel of Skubes.com, a site that provides educational video and media for kids. "I'm looking for problem solvers, the individuals who understand the company and the direction we are going and our goals."
Research Candidates on Social Media Social media counts as a reference as well, so do a little online research on your candidate. An employee is a reflection of the company, so what you put out there does count.
"I will look over LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and do searches to see what I can find," says Wetzel. "Our company is about educating young kids; we do not want to have any scandals."
Another red flag to look for when finding the candidates' social media profiles is whether they openly talk about their work online or their former or current employers in a negative light or at all.
Arrange a Working Interview "When you're interviewing caregivers, you really want to see the person in action and doing the job, to see how they perform," says Carolyn Stolov, family life expert at Care.com.
Ask your candidate to come in for a day and work, so you can see how the person handles the tasks, interacts with other employees and cares for your customers. Don't just leave the person alone -- get to know them and see if you like and feel comfortable with them.
If one day isn't enough, ask the person to come back. Or make it a week-long trial period. Also, you should always pay the candidate for these working interviews, no matter how long or short they last.
Trust Your Gut "If something excites you about a candidate, explore this,” suggests Cynthia Shern, marketing communications and talent acquisition at Task Inc.. "If something seems not quite right, pay attention and probe further. If your probing makes the interviewee defensive or angry, this is a danger signal."
Ultimately, go with your gut, she says. A gut reaction usually happens for a reason.
While there are no absolute guarantees in life, following these guidelines when interviewing propective caregivers should help you find the candidates best suited for your business.
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