Hiring a domestic helper may seem like a straightforward task. However, is it really as straightforward and simple as it seems? If so, why is it that some employers seem to always be able to have “good” maids who are able to renew contracts after contracts with them while others struggle to find the “right one”?
In this article, we will look into this area and provide some key tips on what you should look out for when it comes to hiring a domestic helper in Singapore.
Tip #1: Identify your Needs
While this may seem like an obvious one, most times it does help to look deep and understand your needs exactly. Are you looking to hire a helper to:
- Take care of your children?
- Take care of your aged parents?
- Take care of pets? or
- Do routine housework and cooking?
For the abovementioned job roles 1 to 3, it is highly recommended to consider helpers with relevant experiences as these roles would require specific skill sets and personalities to execute.
Or maybe upon reviewing your needs, you actually realize that you may not need a helper after all.
Tip #2: Look deeper into the helper’s qualities
As the domestic helper will be residing in your home and most likely spending a lot of time with you and/or your family, it will be wise to ensure a personality fit between your helper, yourself and your family members.
In this section, we will go through how and what can be done to assess the candidate that you are considering.
After looking at the Foreign Domestic Worker’s (FDW) biodata, you are pleased with what you are presented with. The next natural thing to do is to conduct the all-important interview. If possible, a face-to-face interview will be most ideal. However, it may not always be possible and needless to say if the candidate is overseas. If so, it is recommended to conduct a video-interview instead of just a phone interview. The reason being, a video interview will allow you to better look at the candidate, study her non-verbal cues and expressions which a phone interview would not have been able to capture.
Some questions that you may want to ask during the interview:
|Family Background and Personal Information|
A. How many brothers and sisters do you have?
B. Is your father/mother working? What are they working as?
C. What is your marital status? Do you have any children? (If Yes, how old are they?) Who will take care of your children when you come?
D. Why do you want to come to Singapore?
|Questions in this segment can shed light on the family situation of the helper and allow the assessment on the seriousness and level of commitment that the helper has in coming to work.|
It will help to sieve out the “serious” workers with the need to support their families to the less serious candidates who may be less committed ones.
In your previous employer’s home, what were your job duties?
What is your working schedule at your previous employer’s house?
How old was the child/elderly that you were taking care of?
What exactly did you do when you took care of the elderly/child?
|Questions in this segment allow you to better understand the experience of your potential hire. You may ask in detail to gain a better understanding of her job duties and look out for the relevance of the experience.|
What do you expect/look out for in your next job or employer?
|This will allow you to see if the helper’s expectation is also in line with what you can provide as an employer.|
Additionally, it can also provide information on how “demanding” or realistic your potential hire is.
It is highly recommended to conduct the interview in simple English, as English may not be the first language for the candidates, depending on where they are from.
Of course, the interview is a two way thing. Apart from just asking and understanding your potential hire, it is often a good idea to:
- Share what kind of job and family she can be expecting to join into
- Share your expectations
- Ask if she has any questions or areas that she wishes to clarify
Tip #3: Involve your Family Members
As mentioned previously that your domestic helper will be spending a lot of time with your family, it will be equally important that your family members find her a fit too.
Hence, it would make a lot of sense to involve them in the selection/shortlisting process from the start, including the interviews etc.
Tip #4: The Maid Agency
Over and above all the screening, do also consider the records of the agency you are engaging through MOM’s platform.
Fortunately, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has stepped in and allowed for greater transparency by allowing maid agencies’ clients to rate their services and track transfer and retention rates.
In selecting a maid agency, you may want to select one with a relatively high rating– it will be a safer bet.
Disclaimer: All information provided in this article is provided to the best of our knowledge and years of experience in the industry. GM Connection Pte Ltd and its staff disclaims any liability and shall not be held responsible in any way in connection with the use of the information provided.
This article is contributed by GM Connection Pte Ltd (18C9275), a licensed employment agency in Singapore.
GM Connection is a Professional Maid Agency in Singapore.
We believe that each client is unique with different requirements. As such, we strive to understand each individual client and their family requirements and specially select and match candidates based on their needs. We are proud to mention that each candidate is individually profiled by our team and that helps us better identify the candidate’s abilities and skills for better matching.
Check out: The Finest Maid Agencies in Singapore