1. Upload photos. Au pairs and nannies worry about their safety and their happiness, just as you do about your family. They want to get a good idea of what you are like, and the best way to show them you are a nice, genuine family, is to let them see photos of you all. The majority of nannies and au pairs search for families who have at least one photo in their profile. If you have not uploaded a photo, these candidates will not see you in their searches. Generally, the more photos you upload, the more applications you will receive.
2. Write as much as possible about your family in your profile. If you only describe the duties you require, this does not give the candidates an idea of what it would be like living with you and working for you.
3. Try to imagine what it is like for a young person to consider travelling hundreds or thousands of miles, to a strange country, to live with people they do not know. This will help you to write a friendly and welcoming profile.
4. Remember to state all advantages you can offer, for example “For your days off, it takes only 30 minutes to get to the city of xxxx, where there is a lot to see and do, and where many young people go.”
5. Salary: Check that you are offering a reasonable amount of salary/pocket money, by using the “Salary Guide”. Remember that it may be worth paying a little more if you feel you have less advantages to offer, for example if you live a long way from the nearest city.
6. If you have an au pair or nanny now, or have had au pairs or nannies before, you could say something about this. This can help a prospective au pair feel that you are a family that understands all the possible issues.
7. Are you asking for too much? Life is all about compromise. Look at what you are asking for – are there things which could be “preferred” rather than “required”? For example, you might decide that instead of saying “Our nanny will be required to babysit 3 evenings per week” you could say “We would like our nanny to be available for babysitting sometimes during the week”. In this way, you may get more applications, and you can then raise this question with them in your email correspondence.
8. Languages: Many nannies and au pairs choose to do this work so that they can learn the language of your country. Maybe you could say something about language schools in your area, or the fact that you would like to help by speaking to your au pair as often as possible.
9. References: Nannies and au pairs are sensitive to their own safety. If you specify that you can provide references, this can help. References can be from previous au pairs, or from trusted members of your community such as religious leaders, judges, members of professional associations such as accountants and lawyers, etc.
10. The tenth way: We haven't thought of a tenth way of improving your profile yet!