I had to find an nanny and never having really done this before I tried an agency. Robin at Nanny Connection decided to help me. Well after telling me how I had given her plenty of notice and how she would have lots of opportunities for me she eventually came up with ONE name.
I called the nanny and talked with her. On the phone the nanny told me that her last rate of pay was $X. Her file (that Robin sent to me) said that too. So I told the nanny on the phone that I would offer $X+1. She seemed pleased. But when she came to interview all of a sudden that wasn't enough for her and she was going on about how she needed more. Well outside of that I liked her so I called her the next day to offer her the job at $X+2. She said no.
Okay, fair enough, I started looking again. $X+2 was at the top of my affordability range and it was pretty pricey. I asked Robin to keep looking for me but all she would say was, "I think nanny would accept your offer if you came up to $X+3 or $X+4.". She basically told me there was no one else (what kind of agency are they if they can't find ANYONE else for me to interview?) and kept pushing me to offer $X+4. Nanny called me and dithered about, implying that she would take the offer with more money. I got the feeling I was being screwed.
I took matters into my own hands and found my own nanny using an online search tool and she gladly took $X+1. A few days latter the original nanny called me and said that she'd be willing to fill in for me 'temporarily' if I needed someone. She was SHOCKED when I told her that I already had a replacement for her, and so was Robin. It seemed clear to me that they were trying to wear me down until I was depserate and would pay anything.
Did I mention that Robin's interest in this is that she charges more than a month's nanny salary as a finder's fee????? Now I can't believe that I signed up to pay such a hideous rate. For that fee, Robin screens references and does background checks. Big deal. I can call up references myself and I easily found websites to do full background checks for less than $40. I paid 3 different national online nanny databases at a cost of $30 to $60 each. This is way less than the thousands the finder's fee would have added up to.
This place is a complete ripoff and Robin is only interested in you if you can afford to pay top dollar for your nanny.