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1. What payment methods to you accept?
Cash, check, echeck and credit cards. A convenience fee is charged for use of Echecks and credit cards.
2. Do you provide a guarantee?
I cannot guarantee any candidate, as no assessment can perfectly predict success; however, my assessment process does reveal psychological risk factors that would not otherwise be noticeable. There are also factors not related to personality, as well as unknown factors that also impact overall success. The purpose of our assessment is to provide you with a great deal more information about your candidate's and your own personality, so that you are better equipped to choose someone who is a good caregiver and also a good fit with your family and avoid the usual pitfalls of the hiring process.
3. Why doesn't anyone else provide this service?
This assessment process is the culmination of decades of personal experience employing my own au pairs, working as a business attorney and as a clinical psychologist. I have intimate knowledge of the stresses and difficulties inherent in hiring and working with child caregivers and have dedicated years to researching and developing methods to make the selection process less stressful and more transparent and reliable.
4. Will you select a nanny/au pair for me?
No. I will not do the actual selecting for you, but I will help you make the right selection for your needs with ease and precision. I tend to be pretty straight-forward, so if I have a strong opinion one way or another, you will know.
5. Are you a nanny agency?
No. We provide childcare-specific personality assessments and help with narrowing down your selection of agencies and/or applicants.
6. Are you affiliated with any agency?
No. We are an independent consultant and are not affiliated with any nanny or au pair agency.
7. Our au pair or nanny agency says they do psychometric testing. Isn't that the same as your assessment?
No. Some au pair and nanny agencies give their applicants the "16PF" or the "DISC" assessment. The 16PF measures a number of personality traits, and the "DISC" focuses on traits relevant to employment, such as capacity for teamwork. These tests do not help you, for several reasons:
(1) The results are easily manipulated. These are multiple choice tests, and if you want to appear to be a great candidate, the "right" answer is obvious, so it's easy for candidates to make themselves look better than they are.
In contrast, I use a test that captures personality traits similar to the 16PF, plus additional tests that are impossible to manipulate because, (a) the questions are not multiple choice. They are open-ended and ask about experiences rather than how a person views herself, and (b) I incorporate projective testing, which is also impossible to falsify because you can't tell from the content what it's even measuring. In fact, a single projective tests can be used to assess all kinds of attributes. The one I use is also used in the psychological assessment of CEO candidates in some of the biggest corporations. It is used to assess different things, but it is the same test.
(2) These organizations only give applicants one test, which is never sufficient to draw any conclusions about a person. I use 3 separate tests. Each one accesses a different part of the mind, providing a multi-dimensional view of her personality. This gives you a much more comprehensive picture of your candidate.
(3) Their tests only measure conscious thoughts and beliefs that a person has about herself. The 16PF and DISC are what's called "self-report" measures - the test-taker is reporting on how she consciously views herself (eg: "I like things to be very organized").
My assessment looks at unconscious processes that impact how your candidate relates to your child and you. These are aspects of your candidate's personality that she is not aware of, such as the capacity to self-reflect, to trust and to experience closeness in relationships (such as the one with your child).
(4) Your candidate's score on the 16PF or DISC is not useful to you. First, you don't receive the results (and would not be able to interpret them even if you did). Second, these organizations use the test solely to weed out completely unviable candidates. So, the only thing their test reveals to you is that your candidate satisfied the bare minimum requirements to enter the program (because she didn't "flunk" the test). Also, if their psychometric testing is so effective, why is the turnover rate for nannies and au pairs so high that no one will tell you what it is?
My assessment not only helps you weed out unfit candidates based on a much higher, more discreet level of analysis, but it also sheds light on your candidate's strengths, weaknesses and areas of concerns. I also use the information to provide you with questions you can go back to your candidates and clarify.
(5) The agencies don't gather any meaningful information about your personality to help you determine what kind of person with whom you're likely to work best and get along. This is the reason behind my parent survey. A great candidate might not be the best fit for you, and these irreconcilable differences can sour the relationship.