As you have hopefully seen our “Meet Nanny” series,we wanted to you to get to know our NannyFusion members too! We have started a new series called “Meet NannyFusion Member”. Through many of our networking experiences the development team has had the privilege of working with many of ourNannyFusion members. We wanted to share more about them with your our readers. Professional networking is a vital part of the nanny industry, we hope that this will help strengthen your professional networking with ourNannyFusion members.
Company Name Nannies from the Heartland
Contact: Mary O’Connor
Facebook/Twitter www.Facebook.com/nanniesheartland http://twitter.com/nanniesheartlan
Years in business? 21
What does your company do? Nanny referral service, temporary nanny service
Member of what organizations? BBB, INA and Twin West Chamber of Commerce
Tell us a little bit about how you got into this business?
My husband and I had hired a nanny through a service in 1989. I later realized that the agency had never personally interviewed the candidate, never did a driving record check or background check, provided no information on how we became legal employers and never followed up with us or communicated in any way after the nanny started. We were really naive consumers. The nanny worked out fine but I felt we had paid a lot for the service and not received much value. At that point in my career, I was considering making a change. I had a background in education and business and my husband worked in employment law and is the “techie” in the family. We felt we could offer a much better, more comprehensive service than what we’d experienced. So, I did some market research, worked with a consultant to write a business plan, attended an INA conference in June 1990 and started Nannies from the Heartland in August 1990.
What is one item that you would like applicants to pay more attention to when applying for jobs?
I would really appreciate if applicants would read the minimal requirements for becoming a nanny through our service before submitting an application. We believe it’s important and respectful to respond to each application. But, many who apply don’t meet our requirements and I feel bad that they spent so much time completing an application. We also spend time reviewing and responding to their application. So, it’s not a wise use of anyone’s time. It’s also important that nannies complete an application legibly and neatly and have spelled correctly on the application and resume.
What is the number one mistake nannies make when interviewing?
Some nanny applicants come to the interview dressed very casually and sometimes not very neat or “put together”. Casual dress is certainly the norm for every day nanny work but they should dress up more for an interview.
What advice would you give to someone considering opening a nanny placement service?
It’s not as easy as it may first appear. Do your homework before investing a lot of time and money into starting the business.
What was your first job?
My first job was picking raspberries for local farmers. I was about 12 years old and the local farmers would hire kids and pay us by the pint. I grew up in Hopkins MN which is the “Raspberry Capital of the World” and still has a big Raspberry festival every year.
When you aren’t working, what do you enjoy?
I love to read, do volunteer work and do activities outdoors. Time with family and friends is special. If I can combine the family/friend time with being outdoors, that’s best of all! I enjoy cross country skiing, biking, camping, boating, kayaking and walking my dog.
How do you give back in your community? personal or professional
I love to volunteer and have been involved with many nonprofits and church activities over the years. I served on the INA Board for 10 years, University of Minnesota YMCA Board for 6 years and was president of both of these. I was a Girl Scout leader for 11 years, involved in my chamber of commerce and was a Sunday School teacher for 17 years. Currently, I volunteer at a food shelf and teen drop in center.
After you retire, what would you like to be doing?
Sleep as late as my body wants to every day! I’d like to do more volunteer work, do more travel, spend more time with family and friends, spend more time on our houseboat in northern Minnesota in the summer.
Tell us a fun fact about you.
I built my own handmade cedar strip canoe when I was in high school and I have travelled down the Amazon River. However, this was not in my canoe!
If you didn’t have your current business, what would you be doing?
I’d be retired if I’d stayed in education! I’d be doing all of those things mentioned in question about what I would be doing if retired.