4 Reasons Why References are Important in the Care Industry

Have you ever been asked to give a reference for someone and worried about what you should or should not say? In the care industry, it is important to give an accurate reference when asked rather than focusing on how it will make the candidate look. Here we will discuss four quick tips on how to give an accurate referral and why it is important.

Why are references important?

References for a nanny are more than just a recommendation you give someone looking to find a new family to work for or a position to fill. A reference can affect not only the person searching for a new family but also the family, the child, and even the agency they may be working with. A reference can make or break someone’s chances of getting a job before they even reach their first interview! Not only is a reference helping make sure that someone is a good fit, but it also makes sure that they know how to do the job and that they do have a verified job history.

How do references affect everyone involved?

Candidate: Everyone wants to find the best job possible for themselves and they want to be a good fit for the family they have applied for. This is not only about finding job fulfillment for themselves but also ensuring that there may not be any easily avoidable issues down the road.

Family: A reference is more than just a recommendation. In the care industry, a reference can either put a family’s mind at ease or permanently turn them off a candidate. They are, after all, trusting this person with their child’s or loved one’s life and they will not feel comfortable doing this if they do not think they are up to the task.

Children: A reference will tell parents if the candidate will aid their child’s development, keep them happy, take their job seriously, and so much more.

Agency: A reference will let an agency know whether they want to have a candidate represent them or if they should pass on them. Agencies are hired to do their due diligence for families by only looking for the best of the best to find that perfect match!

What information is best to include?

It can sometimes be a daunting task deciding what information you should include in a reference and what is not needed. A reference is first and foremost a way for someone to verify that a candidate did in fact work for/with someone else and that they were sufficiently capable of doing what was expected of them. You always want to include the dates they worked with you (as accurate as you can get), what kind of work they were doing (this could be their responsibilities, who they worked with and how, or even their daily routine.), and their personality, and anything else that you think makes them unique. Additionally, it’s common practice for agencies to have questions ready to ask about the candidate, so you will have a clear direction in what they are looking for.

So how do you give a reference?

First and foremost, you should try your best and answer all questions someone might have for you, as long as it’s applicable. The more questions that can be answered will give the hiring party a better idea of who the candidate is and their character.  After answering the required questions, you can then go into more detail about the candidate. You can describe their personality, how they like to do things, anything notable they did, any strengths you think they have. It is important to honestly and accurately give someone a reference without over embellishing or giving them qualities that they do not possess.


Referrals are a way to peer into a candidate from the perspective of someone who knows them and has worked with them. A referral given affects more than just the candidate and whether or not he or she gets the job. The family, children, other loved ones, and the agency can all be affected. Completing what is asked of you, providing details, and being honest are all ways someone can take the responsibility of giving a referral seriously.

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