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  • The search for the ever elusive “perfect” yaya

    Guidelines when screening yaya candidates
    by Tata Mapa . Published Aug 14, 2009
  • Like any company interviewing prospective employees, parents must operate like Human Resources practitioners when screening yaya candidates. Here are a few guidelines:
    1. Decide on the qualities you are looking for in a yaya. Consider the level of experience you are comfortable with and the person’s educational attainment. Other areas of equal importance include working hours, responsibilities the job entails, and the compensation/benefits package you are willing to provide.

    2. List down questions you want to ask prior to the interview.

    3. Require the applicant to present a bio-data with her ID-picture affixed to it. This must enumerate her personal details and employment history.

    4. During the actual interview, evaluate how neat each contender appears. Her strengths and weaknesses, her plans, and her interests are all significant. Do your homework when getting preliminary information about the applicant.

    5. In the case of referrals, keep in mind that a candidate should never be exempt from close scrutiny just because a close relative or family friend recommended her. It is also important to get feedback from the applicant’s referrals. To yield honest feedback, assure the former employers or referrals that your discussion will be held with utmost confidentiality. Ask about the prospective yaya’s strengths and weaknesses. Have them evaluate her dependability and honesty. Find out why she parted with her previous employer.

    6. Have a background check via an updated NBI or barangay/police clearance.

    7. Upon drafting the shortlist of candidates you are strongly considering, have each applicant go through a drug test and full physical checkup for evidence of good health. Offer to cover the necessary processing fees. Any failure or hesitation on the yaya’s part, after your offer to cover said costs, should automatically disqualify the applicant. Vacillation over something so basic should already trigger an employer’s alarm bells.

    8. Let the applicant and any child in the house have a few minutes together, and observe how they interact. Does the child respond positively to the applicant? Does the applicant have a natural flair for kids?

    9. Finalize everything with both you and the yaya signing duplicate copies of an agreement enumerating all the things you agreed on: house rules, tasks, compensation, schedule of leaves, etc. Each party must have a copy in case future reference is needed.
    It’s ideal to hire a yaya by the onset of your third trimester, so you can properly orient and train her. This way, by the time baby arrives, you can focus on being a new mom and getting your rest, with yaya serving as your ally since she already knows what to do.

    Officially welcoming the chosen yaya into the family activates long-term monitoring and supervision. Having a yaya should not invalidate the importance of having a family member (especially adults), next door neighbor, or trusted helper keep watch on things.

    Find out if your neighborhood association or parish offers classes or seminars for yayas.
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