Founded in 2001, Sittercity is the pioneer in online child care resources. Since then, millions of families and sitters have used Sittercity to fill an essential need: making critical child care connections. Many families typically return to Sittercity after their initial search to find backup care, or to find a new professional when their previous sitter moves on to other opportunities.
Have you ever wondered what Sittercity is like for families searching for the sitter that’s right for them? Read on to learn more about the typical process.
Posting a Job
The recommended first step in a family’s child care search is to post a job outlining their needs. This is the option that most families find success in and helps them easily narrow down their options. In a job posting, we encourage families to include:
- When they need care (the schedule, duration and start date)
- The number and ages of children
- Specific job requirements (experience with infants, multiples, special needs, etc.)
- Typical responsibilities (driving, homework help, light housekeeping, sick care)
- Location (in-person or virtual)
- A written description of the opportunity
Once the job is live, the family will be alerted about new applications. You can read more about writing a winning job application.
Searching for Sitters
If a parent wants to be in more direct control of their search for care, they may take advantage of the Sittercity search feature to browse active profiles in their area. After providing their zip code in the search field, parents can filter profile results on:
- Distance from family
- Last login date
- Years of experience
- Completed background checks
- Comfort with pets or sick care
We highly encourage uploading a professional photo to encourage families to view your profile. You can see what your sitter profile looks like to interested families.
Once a parent has connected with an applicant, the next typical step is to set up an interview. Sittercity allows for families to handle all interview scheduling through the site by requesting a meeting directly from a sitter’s profile. In the interview request, a parent will specify:
- Date/time of interview
- Interview type (in-person or phone)
- Number and ages of children
- Hourly rate
- Specific job details (including any pets the family may have)
If the parent selects a phone interview, the sitter’s phone number will be made available to the parent once the interview is confirmed. If the interview is to be conducted in-person, the parent will provide their home address or the address of a comfortable public place within the request.
Additionally, you must add availability to your calendar in order to receive a request. By keeping your availability up to date, you’re letting families know exactly when you’re free to provide care. Here’s how you can add your availability to your profile.
Trust and Safety Screening Tools
Parents can use the following tools to perform their own preliminary screening:
A virtual conversation is usually a parent’s first step in vetting applicants. The Sittercity messaging system doesn’t share full names or contact info in initial messages, so families and sitters have a secure method to connect before moving forward offline.
Sitter Tip: Message personalization, asking relevant questions and a quick response time can all contribute to a better application experience—for both you, and interested families.
As mentioned previously, families use Sittercity’s request to interview feature to connect with sitters on a more personal level. Requesting interviews through the site can help families and sitters keep track of these interactions.
Sitter Tip: Sitters have 24-hours to accept or decline a request, so make sure to check your email for notifications.
Many parents say references are the #1 factor in hiring sitters, so you can expect families to ask for this information to verify your prior experience.
Sittercity has a grading procedure in place when background checks are processed. Once a report has been processed, Sittercity will then publish a badge to the profile of any sitter whose check returns with zero records found. If interested, parents can request a background check or motor vehicle records check from any sitter profile to view current badging results.
Sitter Tip: Families prefer profiles with current background check results. Proactively complete a background check to expedite the typical screening process. Once you’ve received your results, parents can view your badging results from your profile, or you may share a copy of the report in an email to the family.
Keeping these things in mind will help you to build further trust with families. We encourage you to visit our Trust and Safety Center for more information.
Sittercity is here to support you in every step of your job search. If you have any additional questions about this process, please reach out to our Sittercity team and we’ll be happy to help.