A Note To Nannies And Parents About Social Media

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nannies and social media

The other day, I met with a family who wanted me to consult with them on a nanny-related issue.

Marci has been their nanny for the past two years, but they recently started following her on her various social media channels. Now, to be honest, if I wasn’t in the nanny management business and a stranger told me about stalking an employee on social media, I might think it’s over-stepping. BUT since we are talking about someone you are trusting with your most precious possession – your child – in the privacy of your home, I have no problem with social media stalking.

“We noticed that the past month Marci has been partying a lot, which of course is not our business… but we saw on Facebook that while she was at a party she smoked and had some very provocative photos,” this family told me. They also said they noticed a change in Marci’s behavior and that she seemed less involved with their two kids.

When I asked if there was anything else that was bothering them about Marci, they said they also saw a video of her drinking and acting out of control with a few other people.

What would you do if you found this out about your nanny?

We all might answer that question differently, but I am writing this because my goal is to help nannies understand the power social media has on the many aspects of their lives, but particularly their job security when it comes to being a caregiver.

As most young people are aware of these days, it’s not just families who are using social media. Some studies show up to one-third of employers actually use social media to recruit employees. Things like references to marijuana, photos with alcohol and spelling and grammar mistakes in posts are cited as potential red flags, according to recruiting software company Jobvite.

It’s becoming a very common thing for me to have parents tell me about disturbing things they see their nannies do on social media. Another mom called me in panic because her friend saw a picture of her nanny wearing Chanel glasses that were identical to the pair that mom had lost two weeks earlier. I have countless stories about nannies who lost their jobs because they posted horribly negative things about the families they worked for on social media.

My hope is that parents realize their nannies are allowed to have lives outside their job and enjoy social media, but at the same time, I caution nannies to think twice before posting photos or videos of anything that could call into question their character.

When I ask parents why they feel it matters what their nanny is doing on social media, the most frequent answer I get is perception – it’s easy to judge from photos. At the end of the day, parents wants the peace of mind that the person looking after their kids is also a role model for their kids. If a parent’s perception of a nanny is tarnished because of some photos or offensive language on social media, there isn’t much the nanny can do to undo that negative judgment.

Another note to nannies: If you think blocking your social media from strangers or using privacy settings to keep parents from searching you on social media… Think again. I know of a few companies that will crawl through almost every social media site and will be able to access private information. You also have to remember a parent’s network is huge. Just because you don’t think the family you work for is on social media doesn’t mean their friends aren’t.

I write this as a wake-up call to both parents and nannies. Social media has damaged more than a few employer/employee relationships, but when it comes to caregivers, the stakes are so much higher. In certain jobs, partying all the time may have no effect on a person’s job performance. But watching someone’s child will always be different because if a parent loses faith that the person looking after their kids is an upstanding person and always in the right state of mind when with those kids, then the relationship is forever damaged.

If you’re interested in more information about our services as they relate to your nanny, check out our nanny consulting page  or contact us today.