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Hiring a Babysitter

At Sittercity, we always recommend that you follow a clear routine when hiring and screening a babysitter. Best if you avoid a totally blind trial-and-error process that will waste your time and efforts. Since you're going to be letting someone into your home, into your life and around your children, you'll want to make sure that you don't cut any corners during the hiring process. To help ensure that things go smoothly, we'll walk you through what we've found to be the best babysitter hiring process, step by step.

Post Your Job on Sittercity

Though you're always welcome to search through the sitters, an even easier way to find someone to care for your children is to post a job and let the babysitters contact you. It may sound counterintuitive, but the process does work.

Cull Responses and Pick Your Top 10

We've got some awesome babysitters on our site, so odds are you'll come across a slew of local babysitters and nannies. Narrow down your responses to your top 10 favorites before diving any deeper into the process.

Screening Step One: Check Online Feedback

Will you honestly have time to interview all 10 babysitters? Unlikely. So you'll want to start thinking about getting your list down to a solid five. Step one in the screening process is to check the babysitters' profiles to see if parents have left online feedback that may help you make a decide on your top five.

Optional Screening Step: Phone Interviews

Once you have your top five, you may choose to call the babysitters to chat with them on the phone and get a feel for their personalities. Does she sound bubbly and friendly or like an unenthused Debbie Downer? Listen to your intuition - if something doesn't feel right, no amount of questioning is going to settle those initial feelings.

Screening Step Two: In-Person Interviews

Armed with your Sittercity list of interview questions, ask the babysitters the questions you feel most important in determining which one of them is a great match for the job. And make it a family affair - don't be afraid to introduce them to your children to watch them interact with each candidate. If the babysitter can't handle them now, she probably can't handle them when you're out.

Screening Step Three: Check References

By now, you probably have your top three babysitters in mind. Time to check each candidate's references. Each Sittercity sitter lists at least one reference in her profile, so that is a good place to start. Call or email these references with the reference questions you've found on right here in our library.

Select the Top Three Sitters

Screening process nearing completion, you've taken the necessary steps to selecting three qualified sitters who are perfect for the job. Pick your favorite and use that babysitter as your primary babysitter. The other two babysitters can serve as backups in case your primary babysitter can't make it to a job.

Screening Step Four: Complete a Background Check

Don't hire your favorite sitter quite yet. If the sitter doesn't already have one, run a background check through Sittercity's partner, LexisNexis, just to be sure. It's only $14.99 and will provide you with peace of mind that's utterly priceless.

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