A guest post comparing Cultural Care and GoAuPair, by MultiTaskingHost Mom
On AuPairMom we spend a lot of time sharing tips for matching with an AuPair. It makes sense that we focus on the interview questions, how to evaluate experience in a certain skill, and how to interpret the vibe given by the potential au pair — these are all ways that we can test for a good fit between the candidate and our needs.
I wonder, though, how much our success at selecting an au pair depends on the way that any particular AuPair Agency actually structures the matching process.
For example, the first agency we used, Cultural Care, assigned us a placement manager. The placement manager would suggest three au pair applicants for us. Then, we had 48 hours to decide which one we wanted to continue to stay “matched” with. At this time, no other host family was able to view the application or talk with the au pair, until we “released” them or the time limit expired.
This process did benefit someone who liked the more time saving and hands off approach, and who appreciated the help of a placement manager. But for me? Honestly, as someone who likes to take my time to make decisions, the short window of time stressed me out.
Next time around, I also searched with a second agency, GoAuPair, simply because we were matching at an off-time and I wanted to increase my pool of au pairs who were “special needs willing”. While GoAuPair also had a placement manager available, host families were able to look at all au pair’s complete applications using a sorting feature through the website.
For a week, I did nothing in the evening but read/scrutinize au pair applications. I was able to contact potential au pairs when it worked for me, and could speak to as many as I wanted at one time. This way I was less stressed about running out of time.
I was surprised, too, that I also liked that the au pair we ended up matched with was also being interviewed at this time by a few other families. I didn’t feel like she was picking us because she was “afraid she would not get a family.” She was able to make an informed decision.
Yes, this was a much more time consuming way to do it, and might not work for everyone, but it fit my style. I liked how I felt much more in control of the matching process.
This experience leads me to wonder what other host families think about the benefits and frustrations about how their agency sets up the matching process.
What is it about the matching process that you Agency uses that has worked well for you? Not so well for you?
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