Saturday

When is the Best Time to Bring up Pay?

opinion 1 When using a website such as care.com or sittercity.com, if I am contacted by a family who is interested in me, but the offering pay amount that they have listed on their job listing is lower than I'd like (but otherwise the job sounds good) should I go ahead and tell them in my response via message? I typically don't discuss pay until a face-to-face interview, but I don't want to waste my time or their's by meeting the kids and going to their home for an interview if they wouldn't be willing to pay me what I need. Is it wrong to go ahead and bring it up, should I wait until the interview, or just not bother with an interview at all? Discussing pay is always somewhat awkward anyway, how do most people handle this type of thing? ~Miss Junebug

20 comments:

Nanny who loves what she does said...

I usually wait until the interview, face to face, Discuss all that is included: childcare, errands, housekeeping, driving, etc. and use a contract!! So there is no surprises. Good Luck!

Mrs. Billy Lamar said...

I think it is very important to discuss pay prior to a personal meeting. Why? For example, say I charge $13/Hr and a family can only afford to pay me $10/Hr. Well, it is best to know this before I drive all the way across town to their home, meet the family and spend time playing w/the children. Gas is expensive where I live at (CA), and it would be unwise for me to drive to many people's homes, not knowing if we were a suitable match or not.

I have had one family complain that a Nanny bringing up pay prior to meeting is showing that she is greedy, but I beg to differ, BIG TIME.

If a family is advertising a lower pay in their ad, I would skip them. For instance, if they say they pay $10-12/Hr and you would like more, it is highly unlikely they will offer you more since they just may not be able to afford it. I would only answer ads where the pay is the same as what you want to make. It makes your job search much smoother and saves time/money.

Good Luck in your Nanny search and I hope my advice helps!

Ms. Vivienne LePeaux said...

If the job sounds good otherwise, send an enthusiastic message indicating your interest in the job and why you would be a good match, then ask, "Is your hourly rate firm or is there room for negotiation with the right candidate?".

If I saw an appealing job, I would never just ignore it without even asking... it doesn't hurt to ask.

And anyone who finds salary negotiation "awkward" is not a professional. When I interview, assuming everything goes OK and we seem to be a good match, I simply say, "Shall we discuss the business part now?" to segue into salary.

Village said...

This is just my five cents, but I think it should be covered prior to a interview. If the family doesn't want to pay a proper rate, why interview? Either they don't have the money or don't want to spend it on something so unimportant as the care of their children.

Why go on an interview if the money is unacceptable? It doesn't make sense. Go on interviews where the rate offered is in your ballpark. That seems more realistic than thinking you are going to up the parents at the interview. The parents also may be thinking they can negotiate a full time housekeeper as well, for an extra dollar or two an hour.

It amazes me that in my area of the world, housekeepers get $25 an hour, and you can't go low enough for child care. I saw an add this week for $85 for 50 hours of care. $1.70 hour. Seriously.

NannyPoppins said...

There is nothing wrong bring up salary/pay before a face to face interview. If anything, corresponding through messages/email can make this conversation less awkward. The posters above made some great suggestions on how to get the topic started. I think bringing up pay is important so you do not waste not only your time but their's. And I do agree with the one person it does not hurt to ask if they are willing to pay more for an excellent candidate!

a mom of 3 said...

Personally, I'd just email them and tell them you are interested, reiterate your experience and simply state my rate is X/hour or X/50 hr week. As long as the rate you are stating is reasonable- even if it's the high end for your area, it's fine.

Regarding what the person said above about housekeepers making more than nannies, that has always been the case. Housekeeping is hard manual labor and you generally have to commute to a job, work 4 hours and leave so it's always paid a bit more hourly than nannying. Plus many nannies say they don't get paid to do housekeeping which obviously means they aren't getting paid the rate of housekeeping. So if your rate is higher than the going rate for housekeeping, I'd say it's definitely too high

Agreed said...

Like the previous posters said, I think you should bring it up (nicely) in the corresponding emails. Going on an interview for a job that probably won't offer the money you are looking for is not a good idea. What if you go and fall in love with the kids? Then you are forced to decide if you are willing to take the cut in pay, which is bad because you originally budgeted for more money.

Along those same lines, I think it's important to consider other outside factors before interviewing, such as the commute. I recently had to quit a nanny job because the commute was too much. Yes, I should not have taken a job that was too far but in my defense it was the traffic that was unexpected. That being said, don't go to a job interview for a family that lives too far (or will get you in traffic).

♫ Amy Darling ♫ said...

@Mom of Three...yes housekeeping is hard manual labor, however childcare has a much higher liability. Why? A housekeeper can purchase liability insurance in case she breaks a vase, etc. while cleaning, but if a child gets injured during a Nanny's shift, the Nanny is highly liable. There is no insurance she can purchase that can protect her if a child falls down the stairs, etc. while working.

Kelly Star said...

Is it just me but have all the rates on Sittercity drop? All the parents want fulltime childcare but post rates of $200-$250 per week. The jobs sound great until I see the rate. So frustrating.

MissMannah said...

In my experience, if the parents are advertising a rate of pay, they are either planning to pay exactly that...or lower. I don't think I've ever managed to talk up a rate of pay, I think I've always "settled" for what the parents wanted and what I felt I could accept. Times are hard and sometimes you have to settle, unfortunately. If it was me, because I am looking at the job ads right now, I would probably respond to the ad very warily and tell the mom the job sounds great but I charge $X per hour. Put the ball in her court but don't expect a reply.

But then you also have to ask yourself if the rate of pay is a lot lower than you'd like or just a couple of dollars. If you can make the sacrifice and there are absolutely no other good jobs available, I would probably just go for it. Consider what Agreed said as well. Commute is a big deal because if this person lives nearby but if another family offering more money lives a good 25 miles away, you might be wasting that extra money on gas anyway. I've been there as well, and it was a big mistake.

Marypoppin'pills said...

"Tell the mom the job sounds great but I charge $X per hour. Put the ball in her court but don't expect a reply."

Excellent advice, MissMannah!

Miss Junebug said...

I ended up bringing it up via e-mail. She advertised that the pay was $10/hr, for 3 children ages newborn, 2 and 4. I would also have to take the oldest to and from preschool and do light housekeeping. The job is also probably going to be about a 30 minute drive. I definitely feel that with 3 small children + housekeeping and driving responsibilities, $10/hr is really low. I responded with my usual rates and she came back saying they MAY be able to pay the lower end of my rates. Which, depending on the housekeeping and driving distance to preschool, etc, may not cut it either but we'll have to see. SO, lots of things to consider... interview is on Wednesday....

MissMannah said...

MJ, I don't know where you live or what your cost of living is, but even I wouldn't accept $10 an hour. Our cost of living is very low so $10 is usually pretty good for here but not for all that work. I would probably accept it for 3 children if there were very minimal chores, no commute and no extra driving. Was the 30 minutes of driving from your house or driving the oldest to preschool and back? Maybe you can convince the mom to pay your lower salary rate and also a gas stipend for driving her preschooler. To be perfectly frank, though, you might want to pass on this one though, because it sounds like she's a cheapskate. Good luck on Weds!

Nanny S said...

I definitely second the cheapskate comment. Some parents just don't get that this is your job you depend on just like they depend on theirs. To answer your original question, I used Care.com for the first time a few months ago. I believe my rate was listed as $15-20(?). I had many parents email me with jobs of infants and multiples and 2-3 kids all with their rates listed as $5-10. At first I thought it had to be a mistake. Some mother thinks I'm going to take care of her infant twins and preschooler plus housekeeping for $8...? (A more appropriate rate in my area would be $18-20) So as we conversed I emailed back "I see your rate is listed as X. Mine is X. Is this open for discussion?" Many parents gave a cold "no" and that was that. One stated it was a mistake and others said it was negotiable. To echo what someone said above, I have found that when parents list a more specific rate, like in a newspaper or something ($11-13/hr) they expect to pay the lower end or less. This might be where nannies get their "greedy" reputation from, but I just can't deal with families that try and cut my pay everywhere and maximize my duties. It shows lack of respect and is not conducive to a good employee/employer relationship, two things that are really my only essentials for a job.

MoneyBags said...

While I agree that some parents are cheapskates, some just cant afford the higher prices. If they list their amount on care.com or wherever, most of the time that is all they can afford to pay. Some parents do list a lower price hoping to pay less, obviously if they can get away with saving money they will try. I am not saying that a nanny should not make good money. Being a former nanny myself, I know it's hard work and we deserve a good rate. Therefore, if you charge a higher rate than a family is willing to pay... move on.

NannyPoppins said...

I agree with the above posters. And 10 dollars an hour for that amount of children, the commute, and using your car sounds rather low. But it's worth the shot if you can try to get her to "raise" the pay rate or at least compensate gas etc. Good luck on your interview and let us know how it goes!

Wow said...

I agree with the poster who said that some parents can't afford the higher price, and that seems to be the case here. That's why there are daycares.

MissMannah said...

Exactly, Wow. And if you're really hard up, many states subsidize daycare, but too many people don't want to accept a "hand-out" or are too prideful to admit they need a little help. They'd rather advertize a 35-hour week job for $100 or a 40-hour week job for $125 (two I came across yesterday!)

Nanny S and Junebug, I find it interesting that parents will actually email you on Care.com. Maybe that is a regional thing too because I have never once had a parent reach out to me first. I have to constantly check the websites so I can email a parent as soon as they post an ad. I suspect that they only respond to the first couple of emails and they start deleting them after that. I only get a response to maybe 20% of the parents I contact.

Is this common for yall too? Or do you find that you are more often than not contacted by the parents first? I apologize if I seem to be taking over your thread, Junebug.

Kimmie said...

Agree with the others. Lately I've just been discussing it in the initial emails. I find parents want all the credentials but want to pay me like I'm their 13 year old neighbor.
Best I saw this week was for a 60 hour a week position that would include overnights for 3 kids , 2 of the kids being 4 month olds, and they wanted to pay $150 at the most a week.

NannyB said...

I would just mention it in a quick email. I very, very rarely have parents reach out to me either. Usually I sort through the listings and dismiss any that are not what I'm looking for or pay is extremely low.