Many people are familiar with online classified ad sites, such as Craigslist. These are low-cost, easy to use, and work much like posting an ad on a college bulletin board or in the local newspaper. These sites also advertise local nannies and families looking for nannies—and while these sites may be good resources for many things, there are two main drawbacks pertaining to hiring a nanny from Craigslist and other sites: time and safety.
Families looking for nannies or other household help via classified ads can expect to find it to be very time-consuming. Just as with a newspaper classified ad, the burden is fully on the seeker to do all the work; all the contacting, interviewing, checking and vetting, etc.
Safety is another key issue. Those advertising on these sites have paid to place an ad; they could be anyone. In addition, when using internet classified ads, anyone can view these ads and access your information. It is never wise to give out personal data (name, telephone number, address, email address) in a public area. These ad sites are not protected by passwords and are unsupervised for the most part. In contrast, traditional nanny hiring agencies and most reputable online hiring sites do not allow your information to be seen by the general public. It is always better to use an experienced and reliable website with a good reputation than a listing or online classified ad site—especially if you are hiring for the first time.
There have been many news articles on the safety issues of hiring someone using a site like Craigslist. Although the site, and many articles, warn the users of criminal misuse and instead encourage those who find jobs on the site to meet in a public place, many users do not heed the warning. There have been cases where criminals have posed as babysitters. Obviously, care should be used if posting an online classified ad, just as you would be vigilant about the candidates who contacted you about a newspaper ad or from a bulletin board. With your family’s care, no amount of precaution can be considered too much.
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