Host families that are looking for an au pair for the first time are often not sure if looking for an au pair on an internet platform is really the best option. At first glance, it seems like it would be easier to find an au pair through an agency. Many agencies also claim that hiring them will save the host family a lot of time and trouble and that they will make sure that the au pair will adapt easily to the new life with their host family. A lot of families like the idea of having a contact person. This does sound great, but that’s not how au pair agencies really work. The only personal contact a host family has with the agency is often just in the beginning.
Afterwards, the host family only hears from the au pair agency through emails or over the phone.The strategy of most agencies is to find an au pair for you, but then never keep in touch afterwards.
Furthermore, agencies are springing up like mushrooms nowadays. If you start looking more closely at them, you will see that they are more about quantity than quality. Of course, there are good agencies out there too that will guide and help host families through the process of finding an au pair, but it is really hard to find them. One host mother says: “Unfortunately, we haven’t had very good experiences with au pair agencies. After hiring them, they almost never considered what we were looking for in an au pair.
When we asked ‘why?’, they told us that with such high expectations, we would never find an au pair. However, we didn’t think that what we were asking for was so hard to find. We rather got the impression that all the agency cared about was to receive their commission for finding an au pair for us. So they didn’t want to spend too much time on actually looking for what we had asked for. Instead, they wanted us to compromise. Ultimately, I had spent more time scheduling meetings and talking to the responsible agents than I would have spent searching online on my own.”
If you decide to look for an au pair online, the process will definitely be more transparent. You are the one who decides what you want and what you don’t want.
Origin, age, gender, language skills – these are usually the criteria for searching for an au pair online. And you will only get results for au pair candidates whose profiles actually fit your search keys. No compromises!
Another advantage is that after looking at the profile of an au pair candidate, you can get in touch with them right away. You can ask all the questions you want and anybody else without interfering or making things more complicated. If you are a host family looking for your first au pair online, your search will probably generate various “good results”.
Only after contacting potential au pairs will you know for sure what characteristics are important to you and which au pairs simply won’t be a good fit for your family. Slowly but surely, you will get an idea of what your “dream au pair” should be like. This is important, since you will live with this person for a long time. The better you know what you are looking for in an au pair, the faster you will be able to find an au pair online. In order to help you with your search, we’ve come up with some “guidelines and tips for finding an au pair online”.
Finally, searching for an au pair online is obviously a lot cheaper than hiring an agency. Looking at the profiles of the au pairs is free. If you want to contact an au pair and need the contact information, you have to apply for permission first. Once this permission is granted, you have to pay a fee of about 30 to 60 Euros. With this fee, getting in touch with the au pair is just one click away. You can contact the au pair directly and ask for their email address or phone number. You have unlimited access for a certain period of time, usually 30 to 60 days, so you can take your time while searching for an au pair online. The first email is followed by the first phone call , video chats over the internet and, if everything works out, you can exchange contract documents by mail.
To sum it up: If you follow some basic rules, looking for an au pair online has several advantages over hiring an agency. It is more transparent, cheaper, faster and you can choose between more au pair candidates. When it comes down to it, you know best what’s right for your family.