At 1st Choice Au Pairs we recognise that the process of choosing someone to come and live as part of the family is something deserving of much care and attention. This is why we have developed our unique and unrivalled approach in the selection, placement and ongoing support of families and au pairs.
Jay or other staff members from our UK office personally travel to the continent to meet prospective au pair candidates. We therefore usually have a direct relationship with both sides of the relationship. Since our au pairs do not go through another 3rd party agency, we can offer our own personal opinion and thoughts about which au pairs would be suitable for each family, as we have been getting to know them from the very beginning in their search for a family.
As a British recruitment company, we do not accept any fees from job seekers. This means we have no conflict of interest in putting forward anyone for a placement i.e. we are not driven by any fee from a candidate. This means we have no pressure to push someone into a family where we feel there is a chance the candidate may not be suitable.
1st Choice Au Pairs was established in 2004 and is a family business. Jay always did a lot of travelling in previous jobs, sometimes working on projects that took him out of the country for months at a time. With three children ourselves, we found that hosting an au pair was the ideal solution in having an extra pair of hands around to help out during the week.
What was less than perfect seemed to be the recruitment process. We were often left disappointed by the lack of detailed information available about prospective au pair candidates.
Details about candidates was sketchy, with agencies only forwarding what they had received by FAX or email from agencies overseas. Often the documents lacked translation and when further clarification was sought about a candidate, it wasn't possible to speak to the person who'd actually interviewed them.
The emergence of internet based agencies created more choice, but caused great concern about the lack of checks. From an au pair's point of view, this method was also seen to be high risk, with young girls travelling to a foreign country and putting all their trust in people they had no idea about, and if things don't work out then there is no support for them.
So the challenge was to create a highly professional agency that would rethink how the entire process worked, giving greater peace of mind for families and au pairs alike. 1st Choice Au Pairs was born.
We were the first recruitment company in the world to use video as a standard service offering to our clients for each of our candidates. Initially we sent these on CD/DVD to each family but by the end of 2004 we were streaming the video on our web site.
Our short guide to au pair pocket money should help you work out what to pay your au pair..