What is Au Pair World?
Au Pair World is one of the most popular Au Pair matching websites which is available in multiple languages. Prospective Host Families and Au Pairs can register for free on the AuPairWorld website and create a profile. With the free Au Pair Worls membership you can filter and search Au Pairs’ or Host Families´ profiles and read them. However the full access to contact oportunities with the free service is limited to Au Pairs only. They can send Host Families direct messages on Au Pair World without any charge. Email addresses are not disclosed.
Host Families however can only contact Au Pair candidates and gain access to their full contact details on AuPairWorld if they have subscribed for the Au Pair World premium membership. Rates for the premium membership for Host Families differ between countries and are available for one, three or twelve months.
Host families may ask themselves if it’s worth it to buy the premium membership. This is really not an easy question. On the one hand you could argue, that Au Pair candidates will most likely really want to become an Au Pair and don’t just create an account to see what comes up. At least if the candidates have a nice profile. It’s much cheaper to become a premium member for a couple of months than signing up with a proper Au Pair agency.
On the other hand, host families could search for an Au Pair on other websites for free. Like Facebook or similar social networks. The downside is, that potential candidates might not be super commited to the idea of becoming an Au Pair.
Depending on your personal circumstances and flexibility of possible start dates, one or the other way might be better for you.
How does the first contact on AuPairWorld usually happen?
On the AuPairWorld website they call the first message “Application”. All the messages remain in your personal message account on AuPairWorld. You do not receive any email addresses of the other member if you don´t ask for it. Depending on how you set the inbox settings, you can get an email notification everytime someone sends you a message. Or only every few hours or once a day.
In summary, the first contact between Host Families and Au Pair happens when one of them sends an application to the other. It´s quite common that when you are applying for an Au Pair position or searching for an Au Pair on AuPairWorld that you have to send and receive many applications. There is high demand as lots of families and Au Pairs search on AuPairWorld and therefore you often don’t hear back at all. AuPairWorld shows an “answer rate” which gives you an idea how likely the other party will respond.
Is it easy to communicate through the AuPairWorld website?
If you contact a Host Family or an Au Pair candidate, AuPairWorld will automatically add a general message saying something like: “We like your profile and could imagine to become your Host amily”, or on the Au Pairs application “I like your profile and could imagine to become your Au Pair”.
We highly recommend to send a more personal message to distinguish yourself as the default message may leave the impression that you randomly send out applications without even reading the profile properly.
As soon as you have “applied” to an Au Pair or a Host Family this message will automatically be added to your “Sent” folder where you can also see, if the addressee has opened your message or not. That´s especially interesting for Host Parents as you get an idea on how “motivated” the Au Pair candidate is, if she or he doesn’t even open the message for a couple of days/weeks.
Every incoming message or application will automatically be visible in your “Received” folder. This mailbox system is definitely good and prevents you from opening messages which you may have replied to already saving you lots of time.
We are pretty certain about one AuPairWorld fact: Most likely you will contact more than just a handful of Au Pair candidates or Host Families and the AuPairWorld mailbox helps you to keep an overview over your incoming and outgoing messages. You can also add comments to a profile, highlight profiles as favorites, archive messages and use some filter functionality in the messaging system.
Personally, we are taking the conversations “offline” from AuPairWorld after the Au Pair candidate expressed that she/he is also interested in our family and if the Au Pair´s profile seems really interesting to us.
AuPairWorld is a great opportunity to get in contact with many Host Family or Au Pair applicants, but because they don’t provide an App the whole messaging process can get a little inconvenient especially if you prefer to communicate with your smartphone. Therefore, we recommend to continue the conversation via private email or WhatsApp and normally the Au Pairs are also happy with that.
How many applications do I need to send out on AuPairWorld?
Well, this questions is surely a tricky one and shows Au Pair World limitations: As a Host Family you do set your “minimum requirements” and answer some questions. As an Au Pair candidate you choose which country you like to live in, set an earliest possible start month and the longest duration of your stay. You also answer some questions about certain skills like languages, driving skills, child care experience and about what the Host Family should be like. On the basis of this information, Au Pair World matches your profile with the profiles of Host Families or Au Pair candidates.
You can spend many, many hours browsing through Au Pair candidates’ or Host Family profiles which Au Pair World suggests as “matches” and apply only to those, which you really like a lot. Reading through a lot of profiles from A to Z is time consuming especially as some of the profiles can be extremely detailed.
Especially for busy Host Families just like ours we follow a time efficient approach:
Just check the most relevant facts on matching profiles that Au Pair World suggests. The number of “matching” profiles can be a three digit number of a few thousand registered Au Pair profiles on AuPairWorld. Some profiles probably won’t appeal to you as either you don’t like the photos shown in the profile or something else catches your eyes, which you might not like. Try not to spend too much time on the pre-selection and rather apply with a more “general”, but still personally addressed message without necessarily reading through the whole profile of an Au Pair candidate especially if it´s really long.
Just copy in one paragraph and adjust it to address the right person and if other alterations are necessary, do that as well. This is probably a more random search and you will end up sending out more applications than usual. But we feel that you could save time with this approach and it increases the number of contacts. You can somehow “pass the ball” to the other side and express general interest then let the other side decide if they are also interested and take it further from there.
What is our experience of using Au Pair World for our Au Pair search?
We use the more random approach as said above when we look for an Au Pair. One reason for that is the fact that we are a German family living in the UK and that we are normally looking for a German Au Pair who can speak German with our children. Many German Au Pair candidates we contact don’t select us because they want to live in an English-speaking family. That’s totally understandable because they will learn English quicker if they speak it all day long.
But there are still a number of German Au Pair candidates that can imagine to live with us and obviously accept the fact that it will take a bit longer to get to a certain fluency in English. Some may see the advantage that we will at least not struggle with communication issues which may occur in English speaking families. Very often problems between Au Pairs and their Host Families seem to arise from a lack of communication. If the Au Pair´s English language skills are not perfect she/he might be a bit shy to tell the Host Family when something does not work for her/him.
How many Au Pairs do we contact on Au Pair World?
For the Au Pair search in 2017, we sent over 60 applications to German Au Pair candidates. As described above most of the time I checked their profile quickly for following things:
- Picture of the candidate: Some leave already mixed feelings towards a candidate: For example if I don’t see a single photo with a child but instead only photos with friends, pets or grown up family. I personally also think photoshoots like black and white pictures with lots of make up are inappropriate for an Au Pair application
- Planned duration of stay
- Childcare experience
- The copy of the “Why do you want to become an Au Pair” section.
As described above, I normally send out a standard message, where most of the initial text is the same for every application. From the over 60 applications I received positive feedback from around 15 candidates within one week. I need to admit, that in the same time I only received 3 applications from Au Pair candidates who liked our profile on AuPairWorld…
A few more applications came in from other advertising for our Au Pair position like Facebook groups or a Forum for Germans living in London. This small number of applications from Au Pair candidates already shows that we as a German family are not the most popular family for German candidates.
We ask those Au Pair candidates who replied to our application to fill-in a self-assessment before we arrange a skype call. We skyped with all seven Au Pair candidates who have sent back the self assessment. This is quite a big number for skype interviews, but we wanted to be sure to pick the right person. At the end We narrowed our candidates down to three and actually my favorite didn´t come through AuPairWorld.
For the ones which we unfortunately had to reject even though we liked them and would have hired them if we hadn’t found this awesome candidate, we offered to ask around to help them find a nice Host Family among friends and colleagues.