Once you’ve found a candidate that interests you and you have her contact information, you need to establish contact reach out to her. I’ve found that an email is a great way to start the conversation. (If she does not haves an email address, go to the phone pronto.)
An email can "warm up" a candidate by giving her the basic information about your family. Because it is written information rather than spoken information, she can take her time translating it, pronouncing your names, looking up your state on the map, and so on.
Your email has three goals:
- To make sure that the au pair is cool with the basics of your situation: location, # kids, usual work week, etc.
- To give her enough information that she can have something to know you by when you call.
- To make sure that she is actually still looking for a position, and/or whether she has other families in play.
In addition , I always attach a photo of my family, and our host family essay. Depending on the au pair’s level of interest in your basic situation, she can use your family essay to get a better sense of you all.
You email can also start to ‘sell’ your family to the candidate, because it is likely that your text, your photo, and your family essay will display something out your family’s personality and host family approach.
Armed with the basic information, the candidate is able either to reject you on very basic grounds (e.g., because you’re in New Jersey and she wants California) or get excited about your phone call. Plus, she now has your email– and an enthusiastic candidate will take advantage of that and reply to you.
But what do you put in the email? Here’s one example…
Hi (AuPair Candidate) —
My name is Terrific Hostmom. I am a host mom in NiceTown, New Jersey – which is just outside of New York City. My family and I are looking for a new au pair.
We recently received your application information from < our agency >. We might have a family situation that matches your interests. Because we have had several au pairs over the years, we have a pretty good sense of the kind of an au pair we are looking for, and you seem like the kind of young woman who might do well with our family. We know that girls with your qualifications can match very fast and so we hope this email reaches you soon enough that you can consider us.
Here’s a quick introduction to our family: My Husband HD and I have two children, Child One (age x) and Child Two (age y). We also have a very friendly dog, Coco. We live 20 kilometres outside of New York City, in a suburban town called NiceTown. There are a LOT of au pairs here– many from < your country >– so it’s easy to make friends.
We are looking for an au pair who is kind and loving, is mature and responsible, is a safe driver, knows how to swim, and is not afraid of dogs. Our au pairs generally work Mon-Fri before and after school, and 2 Saturday nights per month– an average work week is 36 hours.
I am attaching our family essay and a photo of all of us. Would you be willing to look over our family essay and see if the position we have looks interesting to you? If it does, we could plan to talk on the telephone soon.
Please let me know that you have received this email— and whether you are still looking for a family.
We hope you’re interested in talking with us and exploring the opportunity to au pair with our family.
All the best,
Have you used an introductory email, before a phone call to a candidate? Anything you’d advise? Do tell….