Each month we highlight one of our agency partners, and get to know a little more about them and their insights into the household employment industry. This month we spoke with Melissa and Bill Ridler, co-owners of The Nanny Connection.
- Founded in 2004
- Serves the greater Cleveland area and all of northeastern Ohio
- Specializes in long-term placements and on-call child care
How did you get started?
We had a good friend who managed the original agency’s on-call service, and we were attracted to the flexible work schedule and the location of families we served. We purchased the agency’s local territory and called it the “Cleveland Nanny Connection.” Then, when presented with the opportunity, we saw acquiring the “parent” agency as an opportunity to incorporate it into our existing business structure while continuing to serve our local community – it was a natural fit.
What is your biggest challenge?
It’s a big challenge to find truly qualified candidates. We sort through hundreds of applicants, select a good portion to funnel into our screening process, and only come out with a few that meet our standards.
What strategies do you use for recruiting candidates?
We look to engage candidates quickly. We offer a great referral program and we use online resources, but the best way we find good candidates is through word of mouth, especially from our other nannies and our Army of Moms program. Local colleges are also a good resource, especially for on call sitters that need a flexible schedule.
How do you market your agency and find new families?
We have a great referral program for our families, and we also attend networking events to form local relationships, get involved with community organizations, sponsor local events, and make donations to non-profits to gain exposure to local families. We also spend time making sure our website’s SEO is being utilized, and we take advantage of Facebook advertising.
How do you distinguish yourself from online agencies? / How do you show your value?
We pride ourselves on a personal approach, which we believe is the core of how we stand apart from online agencies. We meet with families and nannies in person in order to assess family’s needs, caregiver’s qualifications, commitment, individual personalities, values, etc, which is crucial for making quality placements. We believe personal contact is the most effective way to ensure a good match. You can’t get that with online agencies. We also show families how our experience and approach helps find quality nannies, and how much work we save them if they did it on their own through an online site.
How do you help families and nannies understand the benefits of legal pay?
Our process starts from the very beginning – any time a family requests information about hiring a nanny, we talk to them about compensation. We use the handouts that GTM provides as part of our welcome package when initially meeting with families, we present it in email when a nanny is placed, and we put the information in front of them multiple times. With nannies, we strongly discourage any who want to be paid off the books. We educate them on both the benefits of being paid legally, and the consequences of not.
What changes have you seen over the years in the household employment industry?
Online sites certainly have impacted how families search for child care and how agencies are involved. We’ve also seen that more families are using part-time coverage than previously, along with an increase in work-from-home parents that still need child care. We’re also seeing more families choosing to send their children to day care or preschool facilities earlier in life.
How has GTM helped your agency and your families?
GTM is the expert when it comes to knowing the laws – information and resources are always shared with us, and we have total confidence in GTM’s representatives to educate us and our families. Being able to rely on and refer families/caregivers to GTM instead of having to learn everything ourselves has made things much easier.
What are some fun facts about you or your agency?
We are a family-oriented business – Bill left his corporate job in 2016 to work with the agency full-time. We are proud of our Army of Moms program – these volunteers are our brand ambassadors when they are out in the community. They receive referral fees for quality nannies/sitters they recruit to work with us and commission when families they refer to us join the agency.