You care for your kids the best that you can. But sometimes you need an extra hand to help you on the days when you can’t physically be with your kids. For many, this is where a trusted nanny comes into play.

But how do you find the right nanny in the first place? And how can you ensure that you hire a carer who is the best fit for your family? Here’s a list of five tips that will help you navigate the hiring process with ease.

1. You’ll Need to Be Clear About Your Needs

Nanny work is rarely just caring for children. If your kids need some care while you’re gone, chances are good other aspects of your house will require some TLC, too.

If you’re looking for a long-term nanny who will become a part of your family, the first step to accomplishing this task is writing a thorough job description that outlines your needs. Do you need your nanny to pick up on light housework, too? Do you have a pet that will require care as well?

Many nannies have diverse skill sets and are willing to accommodate your needs. However, don’t ever assume they’ll be okay with doing these jobs before you hire them. Be as clear and direct as possible about what you expect from your nanny to ensure you find the perfect fit.

2. Personality Matters More Than You Think

When you hire a nanny, of course you want a carer who is kind and educated on the ins and outs of childcare. But beyond having a list of requirements for your nanny when it comes to skills, you may also want to choose a carer whose personality fits your family, too.

Try to find out your child’s personality type to develop a better understanding of the nanny they need. Does your child work best in a structured environment? Or do they prosper when around laid-back adult figures instead?

Choosing a nanny whose personality meshes with your child’s is important because it means they’ll be under the care of somebody who can best meet their needs. Being around someone similar to them is a surefire way to keep your kids happy — even when your nanny steps in for you when you’re away.

3. Establishing Your Scheduling Needs Is Crucial

Some appointments in life can be pushed off. Sticking to a schedule for your haircuts isn’t necessary. Sometimes you can get away with postponing physicals, too. One area of your life that definitely can’t deal with spur-of-the-moment changes and fluctuations, however, is childcare.

In order to find a reliable nanny, it’s important to clearly examine and outline your schedule. Do you work part-time? Do you have a full-time job that requires more extensive childcare hours? Do you often stay late at the office? Whatever the case may be, you need to map out the days of the week — and the hours of each day — where you’ll need a nanny to watch over your child or kids.

4. You Become an Employer

It’s one thing to ask your neighbor to watch your kids once a year when you go out to celebrate an anniversary dinner. But when you hire a nanny on a regular basis, you essentially become their employer.

If you’re looking to hire a full-time nanny, brush up on the requirements and responsibilities of being a home employer in your state. Know your “nanny tax” requirements to organize your finances in the most effective way. You may be responsible for supplying sudden unemployment costs or compensation, so it’s always best to research your obligations beforehand.

5. Go With Your Gut

The process of hiring a nanny requires much attention to detail, thoughtful deliberation and research. But even after it seems like a nanny checks out on paper, you may have a feeling that they’re not the best choice for your child or children.

If you ever have an instinct telling you that you shouldn’t hire someone as a nanny, trust it. Whether they seem too strict for your kids or they simply seem hesitant to let you know more about themselves, any red flag that tells you a nanny isn’t the right fit shouldn’t go unnoticed. There will be plenty of other qualified candidates out there — so never settle out of fear.

The process of finding the perfect nanny won’t occur overnight. But once you know just how to navigate the search process, you can feel confident in your ability to hire the best candidate for your and your child’s needs.