How to Choose the Right Au Pair for Your Family

Choosing an au pair can be one of your most important decisions. It’s crucial to pick someone your family will get along with and who you can trust.

Often, this comes down to personality. You want to find an au pair that is confident and fun. Getting to know them during the interview is a great way to determine whether they are a good match for your family.

Background Checks

Whether you’re searching for an au pair for your family or you’re a professional who needs to hire someone, background checks are an essential part of the process. They can reveal information about a candidate’s history that you may not be able to uncover otherwise, including criminal records, education and employment verifications, and reference checks.

The good news is that many au pair agencies, such as Go Au Pair, have a comprehensive screening system that can help you find a candidate who’s an excellent match for your family. They’ll consider your specific preferences and match candidates based on their abilities, personality, and cultural fit, rather than simply looking at their experience or qualifications for the job.

You’ll work with a matching specialist during the entire process. They’ll speak with you about your preferences, search for candidates and interview them until they find a match that’s right for you.

Your LCC (Local Cultural Care representative) will also support you and your au pair throughout the year. They’ll complete in-home interviews, conduct orientations and check in with you regularly to ensure the au pair’s placement works well for both parties.

It’s a good idea to ask if the agency will support you as a host family, like helping with visas, coordinating flights, and providing a local liaison to answer any questions. Having local people on hand to offer advice and guidance is critical, as is following all relevant laws and regulations.

Reference Checks

Whether you are looking to hire an au pair for your family or you are a host family who is considering hiring an au pair, reference checks can help you choose the right person. They can reveal information about an applicant’s skills and experience that cannot be found on their resume or job application.

It can also give you insight into the candidate’s work ethic and character, which will be crucial to their success as an au pair. You can make the best hiring decision by ensuring that all references are truthful.

Reference checks can be done in various ways, including over the phone and by email. However, these methods can be time-consuming and add to your workload.

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When collecting references over the phone, ask them for their contact details and a convenient time to talk. It is essential to make the calls early on and to be polite and respectful of their time.

Preparing a list of questions and delivering them to references ensures that the reference check is thorough and objective. It will also help you to avoid discrimination based on race, age, national origin, or religion.

While reference checks are essential to the recruiting process, they should not be used as a substitute for interviews. They should be conducted objectively and relate to job performance, duties, and the information the applicant provided on their application or during the interview.

Personality Tests

Personality tests are a valuable tool to identify personality strengths and weaknesses that can help you find your ideal au pair. 

Most of these tests require the test-taker to read statements and indicate how often they apply to him. Some inventories also need the person to respond to true-false questions about his views and beliefs.

The reliability of personality tests can vary, depending on the types of items used and whether or not the test is scientifically validated. However, some common characteristics are shared by all scientifically validated personality tests.

In the early days of testing, personality inventories used what is known as face validity: items were included because they appeared to be valid in the eyes of the test-taker. However, face validity is only one of several reliability measures, which also has internal consistency and the quality of the data analysis.

Fortunately, today there are personality tests explicitly designed for employment settings that tap into the big five and are written in a way that is not likely to offend most job applicants. They also aim to ensure that the results only reveal a little information needed to make an informed hiring decision.

Interviews

A good interview can help you decide whether a candidate is a good fit for your family. You’ll want to know if she has the necessary job skills, like childcare and health and safety certifications. It would be excellent if you also inquired about her level of English proficiency, culinary skills, and parenting experience.

Most au pairs are nervous about their first interviews, especially if they’re speaking in a foreign language. However, it is essential to put them at ease and make them comfortable with the situation.

Once you’ve decided on a few candidates, schedule an interview online. It can be tricky because you must see the person’s facial expressions or body language. But it’s still a great way to understand her personality and whether she can live with your family for a year.

Another option is to conduct a face-to-face interview in your home. It can be easier than an online interview because you can use notes and questions to guide the conversation.

It’s an excellent opportunity to tell her about your experience with other cultures, the challenges of being away from home, and why you think an au pair would be a good match for your family. But it’s also a chance to gauge her problem-solving instincts and determine whether she can thrive living with your family day in and day out for an entire year.

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