Millennial Au Pairs the new generation

One big change that we are currently experiencing is in the profile of our Au Pairs. They are now coming from the Millennial generation, compared to when Pebbles first started in 2002. Our Au Pair candidates expectations and priorities have significantly shifted.

Some say Millennials lack commitment. In our experience, it’s a case of a new generation no longer accepting to continue working in an environment where they are not happy and getting job satisfaction. Pebbles have prepared some guidance to help you adapt what you’re offering to the new hopes and expectations of Millennial Au Pairs. This will help you attract candidates but also ensure they complete their placement.

According to a survey carried out by YPulse,  “76% of millennials would rather have a job they are passionate about but doesn’t earn a lot of money than have a high earning career that they are not passionate about”. This applies to Au Pairs as well as the classic work place.  Pebbles explains how the new hopes and expectations of the millennial workplace applies to the Au Pair industry in 2018.

Change is the only constant – At Pebbles this is definitely the case!


1. The “YOLO” Effect

“You only live once” – the motto of millennials. Why stay in a job that’s getting you down or where you’re not learning anything if you can find something more exciting, fulfilling and rewarding?

Millennials are more aware of all the options that they have at their disposal. Each time they go online they see the countless possibilities out there. This means that they can be less likely to stick out tough times, just because they have agreed to.

Instead, millennials can be more likely to leave something, if they are not enjoying it. This also applies to Au Pairs. This is why it is so important to ensure that your Au Pair is fulfilled or the placement may break down earlier than expected by your Au Pair choosing to leave, and do something else.

French millennial au pairs in London
How to find and keep a Millennial Au Pair

2. Millennials want to travel.

They are in fact 23% more likely than any other generation to be interested in travelling. Therefore we want our host families to fully understand an Au Pair’s motivations. Whilst they are passionate about working with children, and for some candidates this is the domain that they want to work in.

However for many candidates the possibility to travel and experience another country is their biggest motivation. It is important for us that our host families understand this. To meet this priority we encourage our host families to integrate the au pair into their family as much as possible and help them to discover the UK on their days off.  Support them quest to discover the UK. Do you have family in another town who could host them for a weekend? Are you off to visit another part of the UK for half term, take your Au Pair with you. Help them create a list of places to visit during their stay….

3.  Millennials very rarely make a decision before consulting reviews/recommendations
An study recently found that Millennials give more importance to recommendations compared to any other generation. This is why we strongly advise our families to include feedback from a previous or current Au Pair in their application.

Provide this feedback by video and increase the interest in your family tenfold

4. Work -life balance
Whilst it may seem strange to talk about work-life balance for such a young generation, this is a real change in behaviour from previous generations. More and more of the young generation consider work as something to do between weekends :).

Millennials find money less of an incentive compared to other generations. To test this we did a survey of our clients! We found that rather than a pay rise, Millennial Au Pairs would prefer an extra day of holiday, a day out with their host family, a language lesson or a travel pass. This shift in priorities shows that Au Pairs are more interested in their quality of life rather than making money. We advise our host families to consider this when they are thinking about how to reward their Au Pairs.

Millennial Au Pairs seek different experiences
Millennial Au Pairs seek different experiences

5. Constant Feedback

Millennial Au Pairs crave feedback, not every 6 months but almost on a daily basis. It’s the generation who has grown up putting their life out on social feedback, for immediate feedback and validation from their peers. It’s no different in the work place.  Take time to highlight everything you’re happy with, give any negative feedback in a constructive manner.  They want to learn and progress and are rejecting boredom. Keep challenging them, help them and encourage them – all the time.

Keep your feedback short, specific and regular.

6. The eternal quest for different experiences
Another trend that we have noticed at Pebbles is that less candidates are looking to commit to working for a year. Many of our candidates are taking a year out of their studies where and they want to do multiple things. Therefore they are looking to spend a shorter period such as 6 months working as an Au Pair before going off to do something else. At Pebbles we have adapted to this and introduced a monthly payment system. Therefore welcoming more than one Au Pair during the same year is no longer more expensive.

7. Listen to them and be transparent with them

This generation has grown up in the most child-centric era we have known. They are used to having their voice heard and taken into account. If they give you feedback about any difficulties they are having, show them you’re listening to them and will act on their feedback.

8. They want to learn, in particular English

They have a goal, a very specific one – to learn English. If this isn’t happening, they will quickly lose interest in their placement. Ensure they have access to English lessons, that you’re correcting them, talking to them and encouraging them. Make sure they have opportunties to speak English as much as possible and highlight their progress.

Finally whilst Millennials are considered as one of the most independent generations, they still want to feel supported by your family. Au Pairs want to feel important and like they are a key member of the family. By fully understanding an Au Pair’s motive and priorities, we hope that our families can see things from their point of view and come to an agreement that works for both the host family and the Au Pair.

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