When it comes to writing the materials you use to find and match with an Au Pair, I’m all for being comprehensive.
I’d much rather lay it all out for a candidate (and for myself) so that s/he can make an informed choice about whether or not to pursue an interview with us. I’d prefer to weed people out with my materials, than wait until after we discover, in a conversation, that something about my family is a deal-breaker for the candidate. But that’s me; I’d rather write than talk.
However, for every good choice we make about how to present ourselves and how to go through the finding & matching process, there is always a downside.
As an American Host Mom in Europe, I find my au pairs through Great Au Pair.com. I have a VERY detailed profile description, and have completed their 22 Interview questions for host families in a fair bit of detail.
(If you’re not familiar with the site, the questions cover topics like “What duties will be expected of the au pair?”, “Who does meal planning, cooking, grocery shopping?”, and “What modes of discipline and parenting style do you use?”)
I have populated all of this with lots of detail because I feel it lets a candidate know more about us. Right up front, they are able to make a well-informed decision about whether our family would be a good fit for them.
I like to use an Au Pair applicant’s questions back to me as a way to gauge their interest, see how much attention they are paying, get an insight into how they think, etc.
I’m concerned that the detail in my profile makes it hard for a candidate to have many questions. As I start corresponding with candidates and ask what questions they have for me, I often hear “your profile is so detailed, it covered every question I have.”
Of course, some of this is just laziness (so helps to rule out ones I don’t want), but it is true, I’m pretty comprehensive.
So my question:
Is it better to leave gaps in your family / role description to leave more opportunity for questions, or better to lay it all on the table up front?
Image: Cesar Astudillo on Flickr