Okay, you have decided to go for it. You have registered and now you get to delve into the profiles of hundreds of Au Pairs. The new “Search and Select” system is rolling out one country at a time this year, and there have been a number of changes to the process, which may seem cumbersome but aimed at helping families finding and keeping the best Au Pair for their needs.
Adjustments to the new system are rolling out every month, but while we wait for the system to perfect itself, here are some tips from people who have used the new system over the last couple of months:
- When you request a “Connection” with an Au Pair, display genuine interest. Remember, the families start this process. They can see the entire pool of candidates and do some winnowing before they ever send a request to an Au Pair. Au Pairs are nervously waiting, wondering who will contact them. How do they do their winnowing? Although Au Pairs want the opportunity to improve their English and travel, what they want most, is to be valued. They want to be liked, not just as a childcare provider, but as a person. Here is an example: if one family says, “we are a family with two kids and a dog and live near NYC and want to speak with you”, but another family says, “I see you are an avid reader, and you seem like a kind, patient person. Our kids love trips to the library, and we are all interested in learning more about the culture in XXX! We live in an area with many Au Pairs, outside of NYC, so you will have lots of fun when you are not working for or hanging out with us. I think you would be a good fit for us,” the Au Pair will be more likely to accept the connection with the second family than the first.
- Keep your “Likes” and “Connections” pool lean and clean. When an Au Pair matches with someone else, they will be cited as “unavailable” to you, but CC has chosen to leave them in your pool until you remove them yourself, so that if there was something special you liked about an AP you could make a note, and also to take away the possibility of shock if you suddenly opened your Account to find all of your Connections gone. There is an “x” in the corner of each AP Connection- click it to delete the choices you will not be matching from, as soon as you have the information you needed from their profile. It is better to see your actual choices every time you open your account, instead of the clutter of “disconnected” and “unavailable” picks.
- Be patient. Remember that families dictate the speed of how many Au Pairs they request to connect with. You may have some time off and can handle 10 in a day, or maybe you can only handle one or two a week. Au Pairs have to take Connections as they come. Most of the Au Pairs are finishing up their schooling or working while they wait to be matched, and once their AP account is open, the speed of requests can be overwhelming. They tend to read through family profiles meticulously, because the connection requests are all they see, all the choices they have, and they want to get it right. It takes time to read through several potential host family profiles and choose who to accept connections with. ***5/21/18 update- Au Pairs can now slow down how many Connections they get at a time by clicking “Unavailable”! This means they have all of the families they can handle interviewing for the moment. You should see a red dot near their name if this is the case. Keep them in your “Likes”, and if the red dot turns “green”, they are ready to connect!
- Be thick-skinned. Do not get frustrated if an AP refuses to connect, or disconnects after an interview. It is all part of the process toward finding a great match for all parties involved, and you will be forced to disconnect with Au Pairs yourself in order to make a final choice.
- Be open to change. If you get repeated rejection for connections, re-read your family rules. In your mind, become a 20-something Au Pair. What kind of life would you look for, if you were coming to the US for the first time? Does your profile reflect the “Spirit” of the program, which means valuing the Au Pairs needs and desires as equal in importance to your own? Are you too strict? Are you generous enough?
- Use your Placement Manager. If an Au Pair is more than usually slow to respond to you, the PM can reach out to them to find out what is going on!
Thursday, 5 April 2018 5:33 PM