Do you want to find just the right au pair for your family? AuPairWorld gives you powerful tools to reach this goal.
But how can you use these tools most effectively? And what can you do to avoid some common mistakes that host families often make when searching with the platform?
AuPairWorld's international team of customer support staff are our top experts on using the AuPairWorld system. And they have some very clear ideas about how you can get the most from AuPairWorld. Here are their tips:
1) Optimise your family profile and use the special features it provides
Au pairs get to know you and your family through your AuPairWorld profile. If you want to find a good au pair, you need to have a have a good profile. What does that mean? The AuPairWorld customer support team urges you to do the following:
- Have appealing photos that give a good impression of your family.
- Write friendly, clear texts that accurately describe what you want to have from your au pair. Think of positive aspects of your situation that will appeal to au pairs (in your home situation and in the local area).
- Think about including a video. It comes free as part of your Premium membership and makes your profile special.
- Already had an an au pair? Think about getting a reference from that au pair and including it in your profile to show new au pairs that things work well in your family.
2) Take the initiative in the search process and engage with the au pairs who interest you
Don't wait for au pairs to contact you. Send messages to au pairs who appear in your EasyFind search manager and let them know that you are interested. Although it is a mutual searching process, many au pairs see the host family as the party who will take the lead role. Make the most of this. The more active and personal you are in the search process with au pair candidates, the more choices you will have. The more choices you have, the more likely you are to find a candidate that you really like. If some au pairs don't reply to your messages, don't worry about them. Au pairs may be at different points in their search process and may have just found their host family when you contact them. Simply move on to the the next candidate.
3) Be flexible with your search criteria and use the EasyFind tool
In your profile, you specify your search criteria (the specific characteristics of your desired au pair and of the planned stay). If you are too restrictive (for example, with the dates of the stay or with the nationalities and ages of the au pairs), you will have fewer search results to choose from. This is not helpful in finally getting a good au pair. Open the door more widely at the beginning of the search process. Also, be sure to manage your search from the EasyFind tool and not from the general search field on the homepage.
4) Be clear about your expectations (in your own mind and with prospective au pairs)
Do you really know what you want to have from your au pair? It takes some time and concentrated thought to really get clear about this. Talk about these questions in the family. Write down what your expectations will mean in terms of your au pair's regular duties. This list of duties is important to use in interviewing au pairs. It also can form the basis of the contract you will make with the au pair that you finally choose and invite to join your family. (Every au pair stay should be regulated by an au pair contract.) As a Premium Member at AuPairWorld, you also get a free Family Handbook for managing your communication with your au pair and integrating a new au pair into your family routines.
5) With promising candidates move quickly to Skype interviews
At the end of your search, you will be inviting an au pair to live with your family. That means you want to have as complete an impression of this young person as you can get in advance. When you have candidates who seem promising, the best way to do this is with a video call functionality like Skype. Here you can talk at length with interesting candidates and get a more personal impression of them. Ask the au pairs detailed questions. And encourage the candidates to also ask you detailed questions. Get to know each other in advance. And as you get closer to a final choice, think about including multiple family members (also older children) in the video calls.
6) Don't rush (finding the right au pair will take some time)
You need to spend some time getting your family profile right - so that it really reflects what your family is like and communicates effectively to au pair candidates. When your profile is ready, you need to be active on the platform and pursue the au pairs who interest you. This also takes some time and does not happen automatically. When you invest this time and attention to your search, you will get the results you want to have.
7) Treat your your pair as an equal partner in cultural exchange and family management from the beginning
A good au pair stay is the product of a positive relationship between your family and the au pair. Good relationships are based on mutual respect and a reciprocal process of giving and taking. Your au pair wants to help you with your childcare needs, of course, but she or he also wants to learn and to grow. Recognise that your au pair also has this personal agenda (and that this a key part of the au pair stay) and you will be able to develop a true partnership. Start to develop this partnership in the search process by asking au pair candidates about their plans and thinking about how you can work together with your au pair in a happy and effective and mutually supportive way.