We love it when nannies come to their interviews with amazing reference letters. We know that these letters take time to write, and we appreciate the effort that goes into writing them. But, parents, don’t write a glowing letter of recommendation for your nanny if you don’t mean what you write. The next parents who hire your employee will believe what you wrote. And unlike us at BeeBoo, they may not bother to call you to check. They liked what you had to say. It was what they wanted to hear. It validated their impressions. They relied on the accuracy of your letter to make their hiring decision.
I understand the problem: if the departing nanny asks for a letter of recommendation, it may be difficult to refuse the request. What should you do? Write the truth. How long did she work for you? Her dates of employment. Was she reliable? Always on time? Not really. Then don’t mention it. Did she love your children? Did she treat them as her own? Do tell. List the activities she did. The responsibilities she had…
For us, it is always shocking to speak directly with an employer whose verbal assessment is completely different from the reference letter they provided.
On the other hand, sometimes we are also presented with a very short and uninspiring letter about a nanny who has worked for a family for ten years. Ten years and less than ten sentences? To our relief, when we contact the employer, we get a much more complete and favourable assessment. In this case, the letter, instead of being a help to the nanny, is a disservice to her and to any potential future employer.
A word of advice: take the time to write honest and transparent letters – these letters are very useful for nannies in future jobs.