If you’re looking for a babysitter or a nanny, Care.com might have caught your attention with their cute TV commercials. It can be hard trusting your children with someone you don’t know, so the idea of getting verified people with ratings and reviews makes a lot of sense. They also allow you to find senior care, pet care, and personal assistants. But how well does it really work, and what kind of success are users having?
When you’ve exhausted your family and friends and still can’t come up with someone to watch your kids it can be really frustrating. You’ll either have to take them to a day care, or forfeit a night out if you’re stuck with them. It can also be really hard to find quality care for your parents when they need it, whether it be at home care, assisted living, or finding a retirement community for them. And pet owners run into the same sort of problem with their pets, and need to outsource the walking or the watching, and even need overnight care for trips.
Care.com claims that you can find these sort of people more quickly and easily than going it on your own, or just asking around. They don’t make a lot of big claims, and let you sign up for free so you can get into their user interface and see for yourself if it’s something that is worth upgrading or not. This is a pretty successful business model that we’ve seen implemented on a lot of different websites that offer a service.
They’ve got a pretty widespread television campaign with cute kids talking about what kind of babysitter they would want, and this is enough to push most parents to their computer to find out what the deal is with this website. This is especially true if you’ve reached an impasse and have been wondering how to find a good babysitter for your kid or caregiver for your parents. Aside from that they are providing a service that many people are in need of, so that will also add to the hype effect, and make it seem like it’s the site to use for these kind of searches.
The basic Care.com service is free to use, both for those trying to find a caregiver, and those wanting to find work. There are premium subscriptions that can be purchased, and allows you greater access to profiles, background checks, and contact information. So basically, if you actually want to benefit from the site, you’ll have to pay for it. It’s $35 a month, with discounts when you purchase multiple months at one time.
The job of evaluating the people you find on their site belongs to you. Since it’s free for people to create a profile, you’re basically going to have to sift through the profiles and check out all of the details on your own. You can make sure that they’ve gotten their background check completed, and you can use their messaging system to get a feel for the person. You can also do a phone interview with them, all before deciding on whether to hire them or not. It’s a lot of commitment still, but all of the information is at your fingertips instead of having to start from scratch.
Care.com is positioning themselves to be the go-to site people think of when they need to hire a babysitter or find care for their parents. Many baby boomers are currently trying to find ways to assist their parents, and as those baby boomers age and need help the previous generation will be searching for help, so you can expect this site to be around for a while. Their business model might need some tweaking, because it seems that for most people a paid membership will be required. But it’s nice that they let you try it out for free and browse profiles without a credit card.
When it comes to the care of your children, parents, or pets, you don’t want to rush through and just try anyone. Putting the time in on the front end will make the rest of the process go more smoothly, and the more research and qualifying you do before you make the hire will be rewarded later with less problems and better candidates showing up at your front door.
Final Care.com Review
Care.com is doing a lot of things right, including providing the sort of information you’d need to make a smart decision for your next hire. By showing you a lot of different options, and letting you drill down from there, they let you keep your autonomy in the decision making process. They also have a lot of helpful tools and guides on how to ask the right questions in the interview, and how to weed out potential bad apples.
Since it’s free to sign up and take it for a spin, we suggest doing that so you can get a feel for how easy it is to use, and if there are any potential candidates in your area. That way if you find someone you’re interested in and want to get more information on them and be able to contact them, you can do so and the $35 fee will be worth it since you didn’t have to put a lot of time and effort trying to find someone through other methods.