Hiring an au pair is an important family decision. The right au pair can become an invaluable part of the family. They can form a bond with your children, while providing domestic support within the home. However, there are certain pitfalls involved in hiring an au pair. In the following sections, we take a look at the process and highlight some issues of which to be aware.
What to look for in an au pair
Au pairs are usually foreign nationals, usually aged under 30. They can come from many different backgrounds and bring different levels of experience to the role. This can make selecting the right au pair for your home a difficult process. For example, do you need an au pair with specific language skills or cultural sensitivities? Maybe your children have certain needs that you need an au pair to accommodate. There may also be issues if you need an au pair to travel regularly with the family. These are all questions to clearly define before you begin the process of selecting a candidate. Overall, the au pair needs to be a 'good fit' with the family and able to fulfil their role within your home.
What duties do au pairs undertake?
The duties can be quite broad. The key role is taking care of children, although au pairs are not fully-trained nannies. In addition, the au pair may undertake light domestic chores, such as dusting, tidying up and laundry; however, they are not expected to carry out full housekeeping duties. It is important to define and communicate what you need from your au pair ahead of time, so you are both happy with the arrangement. It is also worth noting that while the au pair will share their culture with your family they will not 'teach' your children a foreign language, but instead they are there to learn the language of their host country or host family. Their language skills may be limited, and they will use their time with you (usually up to a year) to develop these further.
Selecting and screening potential au pairs
This can be difficult and the reason why so many families choose an agency to help them vet and shortlist candidates. Finding suitable candidates in itself can be challenging and time-consuming. When you have a shortlist, you should conduct an interview, obtain and follow-up references, carry out a background check, and ensure all immigration paperwork is in place, if applicable. This can be frustrating, but it is crucial. If possible, the au pair should also meet and interact with your children under your supervision. We make this easy by doing all this paperwork on our client's behalf.
Au pairs generally come from overseas, which can raise issues over visas and the right to work in Europe. Other issues to consider include the hours you would like the au pair to work each week (the maximum is usually 35) and how they will integrate into your household. There is also the matter of pay and holiday. An au pair is a live-in role, so you will need to consider the living arrangements, which should include a private bedroom and bathroom.
Direct recruitment vs agency recruitment
When it comes to au pair recruitment, you can go it alone or use the services of a specialist agency such as ours. While recruiting directly gives you an element of control over the process and also some flexibility, it can be a daunting task. An agency can take the stress out of the process and also give you peace of mind, as they will carry out screening and interviewing, including a full background check. There will also be consultants on hand to answer any questions and resolve any concerns.
The benefits of hiring an au pair
When you hire an au pair, you get the chance to welcome someone from a different culture into your home, who will be eager to learn and who will provide valuable help around the home. In return, your au pair will learn about their host country, develop their language skills and gain practical work experience in childcare. More cost-effective than a nanny, an au pair is a popular choice for busy families.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of hiring an au pair, please contact Holly on +337 60 03 83 55 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org We will be happy to provide help and advice on any aspect of the au pair recruitment process.
*NB: Not all of our current vacancies are posted online due to the privacy of some of our HNW and UHNW clients.