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Tips on how to narrow down candidates on au pair world(8 Posts)
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I did a long list and then a short list. There were things that were important to me, like being sporty, non smoker, able to drive, over 21, EU citizen, must have lived away from the parental home. Some of those things I could filter on the site itself.
Then I short listed on other criteria that weren't as crucial, like being a graduate and having a good reason to need to learn English, not being too soppy about children (anyone who thinks children are precious angels or other tosh would have a nervous breakdown after a week with my two), giving some personal details on their blurb about their background, interests or aims in life (basically something that indicated they could communicate and had a realistic view of the world). I also used a bit of gut feeling, just whether the seemed likeable and easy-going or not.
I sent a reasonably detailed email to my shortlist with the job spec, a warts and all description of the family, the perks and money. From the ones that replied I picked three to interview by Skype and had the DC in the room for part of the interview to see if they would engage with each other. If none of those three had been suitable I would have gone back to my short-list.
If you're not in London, do a search on your area (just do 'search the site' - that will narrow down MASSIVELY (eg I searched for 'Scotland' and was instantly down to about 10 obvious potential candidates).
Once someone has replied to you once on the site, ask to start corresponding via a normal email address. Much easier to have a more natural conversation. Tell them quite a bit about your family - and look for someone who tells you a lot about themselves in return. IME, many au-pairs will send a one or two line response - but good ones will be wanting to exchange info so they can suss you out too.
I'm currently on week 3 and she's nothing she said she was whilst we were talking for the 2 months !! I'd do what the other poster said and narrow down. I'd narrow down to approximately 10 then go from there !
If you want an au pair plus best to look for someone with prior experience as then they already know whats expected of an au pair and the plus bit. Write extensive notes on what you want and what you're providing perks etc and share those. Dont be afraid to get into detail here - it might put some off but thats what you want - doing the detail once the person has arrived is always a poor second and no guarantee you will agree.
Its always a good idea to get to know exactly what the au pair applicant wants from the deal - sometimes I have found people are too polite to spell it out but if you know what works for the applicant you will know what will make the arrangement work when either of you has to tweak your end of the deal.
Money is important but most people want to be with a family they feel comfortable with and where they can relax on their own time doing what they like. My current au pair has made alot of friends locally - its important for her to have her free time and know when she can get off duty to be out with her friends. We work around each other but I do try to make sure that if she has plans I dont ask her to cancel as thats her enjoyable time. She has proved to be a great help in the home for me and my kids really like her although missed their old one for a couple of months. It does take 6-8 weeks in my experience for it all to bed down but you should be able to see signs from the beginning that you have the foundations to work together.
Filter them against your essentials and desirables hat you've drawn up for the job description.
Then read their profile carefully to see what they say about their experience and motivation.
If thy pass that go onto messaging them but be firm about hat they want. About 50% will randomly drop out of contact anyway.
I have just had to ask an AP to leave. It's awful for everyone.
Be ruthless, don't give them the benefit of the doubt.
Most of all you must click with them. This one sounds obvious, but is easily overlooked when comparing experience, hobbies etc.feeling at ease with someone often is instant, I mistakenly thought we'd grow on each other.
Try and get someone who is already here. They will already have had a huge reality check about the 'beautiful experience' of being ab Au pair. Also you can actually meet them face to face.
We have a new aupair who is really fabulous and one last year who was great too.Good luck!
I'm currently looking to get an au pair plus, would really appreciate some tips on how I can narrow down the list.Thanks
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