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Welcome to the National Household Employer Association (NHEA)
NHEA aims to provide education and support to every member to help build and maintain a successful working relationship between employer and employee.
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Welcome to NHEA News and our first member newsletter. NHEA is delighted to have you as part of our association. We hope you find the following articles useful. If you have any ideas for future content, please do not hesitate to contact

Top Tip
Make sure you have a work agreement with your employee to avoid future disputes.
  Plan ahead: only include what is necessary
   Use plain language: write concisely with no ambiguity
   Skip the hard work: use a standard work agreement and much of the work is done for you
   Customize: make any agreement specific to your home’s needs
   Leave no stone unturned: include everything you think is relevant
   Involve your employee: it is their agreement after all
   Sign and date it before the job starts
   Give a copy to your employee

Article: Interviewing Techniques

A journalist is the ultimate expert interviewer. And a journalist wouldn’t ask the President if it’s hard being a President. They would ask: “What is it like to be a President?” The reason for this is that the answer will be much more informative and interesting. The first question would just reveal a ‘yes/no’ answer and you would then have to ask ‘Why?’ The second question already finds out a lot more detail about how the interviewee thinks and organizes their thoughts.

And that’s what you want to know as an employer: how your employee might be thinking and reacting to certain situations that they may have to come across while working for you. So the number one key rule for interviewing a candidate is to ask them ‘open-ended’ questions which allow them to do the majority of the talking and for you to really sit and listen to their answers. That way you’ll get a lot more out of them and really find out about their interests, personality, way of working and much more.

Open-ended questions usually begin with the words, how, why, when, who, what and where. For example: when interviewing a candidate for a gardener position, ask, “What is it about gardening that you like?” instead of “Do you like gardening?” When interviewing a nanny, ask “Why do you want to work with children?” not “Do you like children?” (Anyone with a modicum of intelligence is going to answer yes at a childcare interview to that! And it doesn’t reveal a thing about the candidate themselves).

Other key interviewing techniques:
  Review job requirements before the interview.
   Prepare a list of questions ahead of time – use them with each candidate so you can compare and contrast.
   Make sure the questions are legal and in lines with the employment discrimination laws.
   Keep to a time limit. Plan for 2 hours for each interview.
   Allow the candidate to do most of the talking, you’ll find out more that way.
   Start off with easy, softer questions to build rapport.
   Listen to your instincts and intuition.
   Consider how the candidate will fit in with family members and see them interact with each other if possible.
   Think of the future – will this candidate fit in 6 months/a year from now?
   Be friendly and courteous – and thank the candidate for his/her time.

Family Fun: Kids’ book clubs

Winter and cabin fever go hand-in-hand for many families who live in areas of the country where the weather isn’t that kind from November to March. One way of staving off the winter boredom is to run a weekly or monthly book club for kids. Growing in popularity all over the country, this is a great way to get a group of friends together and provide some educational, imaginative time for your children.

The best book clubs for kids are run by a few friends who can alternate hosting the club. You can get together to decide on which books you want to include (the local library is a great help for recommendations) and a regular time to meet. Before the meeting, the kids read the same book and bring it with them for snacks and discussion. The host child may want to be involved in asking a few of the discussion questions, or helping to develop a craft activity (can be as simple as just drawing a character from the book).

Some of the best kids’ book clubs also relate their choice of books around a theme– a holiday celebration, the seasons, someone’s birthday, monsters, pirates, princesses….the list is as endless as your imagination!

Some basic questions you can use with most books:
  What was your favorite part?
   Who was your favorite character?
   What was the funniest moment?
   Did you like the way it ended?

Have a good month!
NHEA Editor