Chapter 11: Respectfully Reject Candidates

The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Nanny

When you are rejecting a nanny, whether it is due to their lack of training, experience, or references, it is important to do so gracefully and with respect. This not only demonstrates your professionalism as an employer but also allows the nanny to know that they need to continue their job search. While ghosting is increasingly common, it is important all applicants are informed when they are no longer under consideration for a position. You want to build your reputation as an effective and caring communicator.

When to Reject a Job Applicant

Your hiring process may take a week or as long as six weeks. During this process, it is important all applications know where they stand. If it is clear from the application or resume that the candidate is not a good fit, then let them know right away. Thank the candidate for submitting an application, communicate the application has been reviewed, and they are no longer being considered for the position.

It is recommended that you call or email each applicant as soon as you determine that he or she is not the right person for the job. Some employers want to wait until they have hired a nanny or until the nanny starts the job before notifying the unsuccessful candidates. This is disrespectful to the applicants as they may not pursue viable jobs thinking they are in contention for a position with your family. Let candidates know as soon as you know. This is the only fair approach to rejecting a job applicant. Additionally, as an employer, if you have decided that the candidate is not the right person for the job or your family, retaining the applicant tempts you to settle for an under-qualified or less than you had hoped for child care provider.

Treating all candidates with respect is important. Nannies and parents post job descriptions online in social media groups and make comments about the expectations, pay and the employers. The Human Capital Institute report, Rethink Your Candidate Experience shares the following statistics about what happens when a job searcher is treated poorly.

72% of job seekers report sharing their negative candidate experiences online.
55% of job seekers report avoiding certain companies after reading negative online reviews.

“There are many times that nannies apply to my agency without having the proper qualifications required and I have no choice but to reject that nanny applicant”, shares Heather P. from Nicole’s Nannies. “Having to turn a nanny away is never an easy task, but it’s one that many agency owners have to manage effectively.”

How to Reject a Job Applicant

You may reject applicants using an email up until they have come into home or met you for a coffee during an in-person job interview. After an interview, you should call the applicant. You owe the candidate the courtesy of a call even if you follow up the call with a rejection letter by email, text message, or instant message. Here is an example message:

Thank you for investing time to apply and interview for the nanny position. We have received a lot of applications from highly qualified and experienced nannies. At this time, we have chosen to proceed with another candidate whom we feel more closely meets our needs. We wish you the best in your job search.

Employers in the United States do not have to give a reason for not hiring a candidate. Most employers choose to send a standard rejection letter without explaining why a candidate did not receive the job. One of the most common reasons why companies do not provide you with specific feedback is the fear of lawsuits. Many candidates when given interview feedback may not want to accept the company´s reasoning and assume there was underlying discrimination. Various state and federal discrimination laws allow prospective employees to file a lawsuit against the prospective employer in cases of discrimination. Another reason why companies may choose not to give feedback after an interview is because some eliminated candidates get angry and argue the decision.

When rejecting an applicant, make sure the applicant cannot misconstrue the words you use or find evidence of unlawful discrimination. Applicants may ask and you may be tempted to share details on why an applicant was not hired. Be careful about any criticisms or advice that you offer.

Many applicants are seeking feedback to improve their interview skills and/or better understand their local job market. If you are working with an agency, they will be in a good position to help the nanny gain insights from the experience as their role is to manage the experience for everyone during the interview and hiring process.