For host families: 7 inside tips for a successful au pair search

You want to find the perfect au pair for your family, but are uncertain how to use all the tools and resources that AuPairWorld provides? Our Customer Service team has put together a list of inside tips to help you get the best results right from the start.

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AuPairWorld gives host families powerful tools to support their goal of finding an ideal au pair. Follow the tips below to make best use of all these resources so that you can find the perfect au pair for your family quickly and effectively.

1) Create an attractive family profile with a personalised touch

Your profile is very important. It's how au pairs get their first impression of your family and your expectations for the au pair stay. If you want to find a good au pair, you need to have a have a good profile. What does that mean? Here are some simple but effective tips for your profile:

  • Upload appealing family photos with descriptions.
  • Write friendly, easy-to-understand texts in the profile that clearly describe what you want to have from your au pair. Think of positive aspects of your location and living situation that will appeal to au pairs.
  • 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 uploading it in your profile to show new au pairs that things work well in your family.

2) Be flexible with your search criteria and be sure to use the EasyFind tool

When registering, 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.

3) 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. Contact them. 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.

4) Make your expectations clear

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) Quickly go to Skype interviews with promising candidates

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

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) Find out about the plans and wishes of your au pair

Of course, your au pair is there to help you with your childcare needs, but she or he also wants to learn and to grow. By recognising that your au pair also has a personal agenda (and that this a key part of the au pair stay), 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 way also in connection with their wishes. With this mutually supportive approach, you'll be sure to have a great au pair experience.