New functionality added. Host families, re-use your previous job descriptions

previousjob

If you are a returning host family, who previously posted a job, and you wish to post a new one, you’ll see an option on the top of the form to “Use Previous Job ” This menu lists all the previous jobs you posted by date. Selecting any of your previous jobs from this menu auto-fills the job form with the details of that previous job. You can then edit the job, before posting it, to add any changes in wage, conditions etc.

This will probably be the last piece of new functionality this year, but it’s fairly neat 🙂 

Article on Childcare in Irish Times

There was a very well researched and written piece posted on yesterday’s (15/10/2013) Irish Times. The article, written by Sheila Wayman, examines home solutions to childcare issues.

It  covers legal aspects of home childcare and is a must-read for anyone who is considering hiring a childcare worker in their own home.

We even get a bit of a mention 🙂

You can read the article at http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/parenting/in-house-solutions-to-childcare-dilemma-1.1556562

New Functionality Added

We’ve added two new pieces of minor functionality to the site for host families.

The first is we’ve added some code to prevent host families posting more than one job at a time. We need to add this for two reasons, the first is to avoid confusion among jobseekers who see what looks like the same job posted twice, and the second is to reduce the chance of any content duplication issues with Google. Google frowns upon duplicate content, so we want to minimise the chance of any loss of rankings in search results. If you’re a Premium account holder who already has a job posted but wish to post a new one, you should delete your old job in order to do so.

The second piece of functionality is we now list jobseekers on the search results page by time logged in, then date. Prior to this the results were listed by date, then alphabetically. The reason for this was because it was giving some jobseekers an unfair advantage on the search results, based solely on their first name. For example if Abbey logged in at 12am on Monday, she’d appear at the top of thesearch result page for the rest of the day, even though Zoe, who had logged in at 3pm was a more recent visitor.

Employer and Jobseeker Messaging System enhancements

We’ve added some new functionality to the new messaging system, “Message Templates” have been added, these templates save you the trouble of rewriting commonly sent messages – for example, a “Thanks for your Application” message, to acknowledge receiving an application from a jobseeker.  Message Templates are a more advanced version of our old “Screening Letter” functionality, which has been retired.

compose-screen

Before you can send your message templates, you must create them, we’ve added a sample template, which you can use, edit or delete. You are allowed to save up to five templates.

  • To send a message template select it from the “Select Message Template” menu, when you select it the message subject and content is added to your message, all you need to add is the recipient name
  • To edit/update a message, select the message from the “Select Message Template” menu, click the pencil icon, and you are taken to the Edit page. Edit your message template and click “Save/Update” when you’re done
  • To delete a message, select the message from the “Select Message Template” menu, click the pencil icon, and you are taken to the Edit page. Click “Delete” and the message will be deleted
  • To create a new message, you have two options – you can save a message you’re currently composing by ticking the “Save Message as Template after Sending” check-box, this will save the subject and the message as a template after you’ve sent the message. The second option is click the pencil icon, and you are taken to the Edit page. Click “New”, edit the new blank message template, click “Save” when you’re done, and the new message has been saved as a template.

New internal messaging system for au pairs and host families added

We’ve just added a new internal messaging system that allows host families contact jobseekers, directly through the site. We recommend using this mailing system until you are comfortable enough with the person you’re dealing with, to send them your real contact details. We’ve tried to keep the functionality as simple as possible, but here’s a brief outline of how it works:

  1. When a host family downloads a jobseeker’s CV that jobseeker is added to the recipient list on the host family’s new Compose Message page
  2. There is a new envelope icon on the Downloaded CVs, and Shortlisted CVs pages beside each jobseeker’s mini-cv, clicking that icon takes you to the Compose Message page, with the jobseeker pre-selected on the recipient list
  3. As soon as a host family sends a message to a jobseeker, that host family is added to the jobseeker’s recipient list
  4. Both jobseeekers and host families receive an email alert, with message summary, every time a message is sent to  them. These email notifications can be turned off in the user’s Update Details page
  5. Both jobseekers and host families can block senders if they don’t want to receive mail from them anymore
  6. The Compose Message, Inbox and Outbox pages all have standard messaging functionality (Subject, Message and Submit button, etc.) – nothing new to learn there

We’ll be adding to the functionality to this message system over the next few weeks but for now we want to keep it simple and see how it’s used. If you’ve any feedback on it, or would like to suggest enhancements, please post them below.

5 Au Pair expenses that Host Families would not have to pay

 In this posting we’ll take a quick look at au pair expenses the host family would normally not need to cover. We’ve already written blog postings covering topics such as  au pairs’ wages and other au pair costs and expenses you should consider.

  1. Fuel for personal car use – when your au pair is using a car for job-related tasks, such as running errands, or collecting your kids, you should cover petrol expenses. However,if  your au pair is using the car for personal reasons, or for leisure, you would not be expected to pay any related expenses.
  2. Personal items – such as toiletries would not normally covered by the host family.
  3. Non work-related phone costs – while you should cover all telephone expenses related to your au pair’s job, you would not be expected to cover the costs incurred when they make personal calls, unless previously agreed.
  4. Unreasonable grocery/food requests –  Being from a different culture/country some au pairs may  have unusual food requests. Unless you were aware of your au pair’s special dietry requirements when hiring them, you wouldn’t be expected to cover these expenses. Always check with the job candidate before hiring, and agree who pays in advance.
  5. Any expenses incurred outside the au pair’s line of duties – Expenses incurred outside their normal line of duties, such as clothing or dentist visits, would not be covered, unless previously agreed.

Further Reading

Recent site down-time

For the past week or so our site has spent a lot of time offline, we apologise for this, but it has been totally beyond our control.

According to our site hosts, Digiweb.ie, it was due to a DDoS attack on one of their other hosted sites. Their support centre has said the issues have been sorted out now, however we have been told that repeatedly over the last 7 days, only to be disappointed within hours, so we’re not really holding our breath on the matter being closed.

We apologise for the frustration this must be causing, and thank you for your patience. If you wish to have your job posting or premium account extended to make up for the lost time please email us at [email protected]

Moving forward we are looking at moving hosts as soon as possible, however given the volume of server-specific custom code that make up the site, it’s probably going to take months rather than days.

7 Other Au Pair Costs and Expenses you Should Consider

Your au pair’s weekly salary is a complex subject which requires its own blog posting, but it’s not the only expense you can expect when hiring an au pair (we’ve covered au pair wages already in a post we published earlier this year, you  can read our guide to au pair wages here).

After their basic wage the other expenses tend to be household expenses, and they will increase proportionally with the arrival of another adult in your home.

These expenses and costs include:

  1. Groceries – this will probably be your biggest expense, you’ll need to consider the costs of another adult eating up to three meals a day in your home. This cost may be reduced by employing a live-out au pair, but live-out au pairs do tend to be paid a higher wage than live-in.
  2. Petrol – will you be providing your au pair with access to a car? Consider the extra costs for petrol, especially if the au pair is using the car on her days off.
  3. Car Insurance – find out in advance if your au pair has a full license and the number of years of no-claims they have and get a quote from your insurance agency, organise all paperwork before your au pair arrives, as not doing so can lead to expensive surprises.
  4. Leisure – part of  the au pair experience is the cultural exchange, your au pair should share in your family’s leisure time as well as day-to-day living. How often does your family eat out, go to the cinema, take holidays? While you’re in no way obliged to involve your au pair in any of these activities, spending leisure time with them is always a good way of helping them bond with your family, so bear in mind you would be expected to pay your au pairs costs on these excursions.
  5. Electricity/Gas – your electricity and gas bill will also increase when there’s an extra person living in your house, more-so if your au pair has just come from a hot country and is  running your heating, or takes frequent showers/baths, while this may sound like a trivial expense, it does all add up.
  6. Phone – some host families offer their au pair, as an employment benefit, a mobile phone allowance. You should  consider this if you plan on getting regular updates on your children over the phone or by text.
  7. Medical/Dental – while less frequently offered, some host families do offer their au pairs medical and dental cover while in their employment.

Other costs worth considering include au pair travel costs, internet access (if you still use dial-up) , television (if you intend on adding a  SKY Box to your au pair’s room,) and the cost of their language class.

Further Reading

Au Pair Jobs on our Google+ Page

In an effort to reach as many candidates as possible we are now posting all our new job listings to our Google+ page. If you have a Google+ account why not add us, and have the jobs delivered directly to your account page. You’ll find us on Google+ by clicking this link .

It’s also worth mentioning that we also have an account on Facebook, which you can find at https://www.facebook.com/aupairireland and if you prefer to tweet you can follow to our Twitter account at https://twitter.com/aupairirelandie .