Today’s blog is from Ron. Right before taking a job in the Email Marketing team at Care.com, Ron learned that his father had a very aggressive form of brain cancer. Here he talks about how he helped his mom find someone to help care for his dad – without having the experience of working for Care.com.
Two summers ago, my mother and I found ourselves desperately looking for help. My father was ill, and being that I lived a 12-hour plane ride away, I was home for two weeks to find a caregiver who could help both my dad and my mom. The irony was that I was about to start my job at Care.com and was about to learn the hard way how to hire a caregiver. It turned out that we didn’t know the first thing about what to look for. We had created a caregiver profile that was incomplete and wrong. It took a week of interviewing over a dozen caregivers until we identified our real needs, adding some and dropping others.
So whether you are looking for a babysitter, nanny, tutor, special needs aide or senior caregiver, I thought I’d share some of the things Mom and I learned along the way:
- Include Dad in the Decision Process. This might seem like a no-brainer to you, but to Mom and me, we thought it was obvious not to bother our patient. But in the end, we needed to make sure there was a connection between the two people who would spend the most time together: Dad and his caregiver.
- Consider what the Situation Really Needs. Mom and Dad didn’t want someone living in the house. It meant sharing a kitchen and a bathroom and losing some of their personal space. But it turned out that it’s actually what they needed – and I needed to convince them of that. It took some getting used to, but my parents learned to accept that some loss of privacy was worth the comfort and necessary support.
- Re-think Your Must-haves. We thought we wanted the caregiver to speak Hebrew (the main language spoken in my parents’ house), but this need fell to the bottom of the list as we realized that the combination of a non-smoker and the ability to lift a 200-pound man became harder to find (along with the medical training and compassion he could show my father).
- Don’t Give up or Settle. You’re going to meet a lot of people and believe me, as horrible as it sounds, if you’re in as dire of a situation as my mom and I were in, you’ll feel like hiring the first "decent" person who walks through the door. All I can say is don’t. Don’t settle on decent. Keep interviewing your applicants. If it helps, re-post your job profile with an updated job description based on what you’ve learned along the way. You will find someone who is better than "decent." You just have to keep on trying.