What is the role of a domestic helper?
A domestic helper has many responsibilities in the employer’s home which can be classified into two broad categories: Housekeeping and children/elderly care giving. Housekeeping includes tasks like washing, cleaning,laundry, ironing, cooking and running errands. Children and adult care include tasks like catering to every need of the elderly person, preventing children from accidents and harm, and maintaining their health and safety.The scope of a domestic helper can vary from house to house and from employer to employer. Here is an overview of the few fundamental tasks that a domestic worker generally performs.
● Caregiving services
Caregiving services encompass a whole host of duties like helping children bathe, dress up, eat, and behave. Adult caregiving services include giving timely medication, catering to special food requirements, evening walks and more.
● Household work
If the family has children, the tasks would include dropping off the kids and picking them up from school.
Picking up fresh clothes from the dry cleaner, taking the family to some engagement, cooking, cleaning the house, bathing the pet, and much more.
Domestic helpers must be physically fit and have good management skills. They must be experienced in housekeeping and caregiving services. They should be medically fit for tasks such as lifting heavy objects, standing for hours,and other physical activities.
How do I find the right helper in Hong Kong?
Finding the right domestic helper who can seamlessly perform all the required tasks with efficient management and responsibility needs time and research. Here are some tips that can help.
● Know what you are looking for
Whether you want a domestic helper for housekeeping, baby sitting or cooking, prioritize your needs and determine the qualities you are looking for. Discuss with your family members and inquire about their requirements. Make a list of the qualities you would like the helper to have and conduct your search accordingly.
● Recommendation from friend and family
It is a great help when you hire a domestic helper who has been recommended by a trusted friend or family member. Ask your friends and family about who they hired, which agency the helper works for, about the qualities and skills of the helper, the charge and whether the helper was able to manage everything effectively.
● Agency or direct hire ?
A domestic helper agency will handle everything for you (search, interview, visa processing).
Collect information about the agency, talk to the customer care executives, select an agency which is ethical (no placement fees for helpers) and go through the terms and conditions. You can also save a lot of money through online services like HelperPlace who provide hired help for domestic needs. A lot of helpers prefer this kind of service to avoid paying agency fees because some unethical agencies request 25% of their annual salary. With services like HelperPlace, you can read reviews and testimonials when looking for a helper.
How to do I Interview the applicants?
Interviewing the helper you wish to hire is the most important step of all.
Create a list of questions and things you want to know about the domestic helper. Prepare yourself mentally and chart out the things you would like the helper to know about you, your family and your home.
● Give the candidate enough time and space to answer the questions. Be comforting if the candidate shows signs of nervousness. Do not stop the interview mid-way if you are impressed with the candidate initially.It is a green flag if the candidate is well prepared for the interview. However, you must ensure that he or she fulfills all your criteria and agrees to your terms before signing up for the job.
● Ask questions about previous experience, what the candidate’s skills and weaknesses are, how willing he or she is to take the job, what their rate is, ask how reliable and trustworthy the helper is (with examples) and ask about the candidate’s expectations with the job at hand.
If the candidate is comfortable with you and the terms of the job, go ahead to the next step. Make sure that the worker is happy with the job because an unhappy worker’s unwillingness will reflect in the work. Hence, be diligent and hire your domestic helper wisely.
How to do I prepare the contract?
You can interview the candidate and prepare the contract yourself or rely on a trusted agency to do it for you.
The advantage of opting for an agency is that, it keeps you free from the hassle of handling the entire process. You can save yourself some considerable amount of time. Besides that, a domestic helper agency is experienced and will not miss out on any important point in the contract. However, if you still wish to prepare the contract yourself,read along.
Mention the terms and conditions which are associated with the job. Include details about the charges.
If you provide food and accommodation, include the details about the room and meals in the contract. State the number of hours the worker is required to stay in the house and the list of activities he or she is supposed to perform. Mention a point about the additional services that the worker has to provide in case of emergency needs and how much you are willing to pay for it.
Your first day with your domestic helper
The first day with the domestic helper needs your active participation in the process.
You cannot expect the helper to get involved in the household chores without an introduction or briefing. If you want the best services from your helper, follow the given steps.
1. Start off with introductions: Introduce the helper with every member of the house.
2. Give a tour of the house: Show him or her around the house, the garden, kitchen, store room, bathroom
and every other place.
3. Explain every task: Explain every task that the helper has to perform. Mention specific details that you
expect from every task.
4. Sit down and talk: Talk about the living situation, the house rules and how important it is to maintain the
5. Plan the time management: Plan how the helper should perform every task on time. It is one of the most
important things that you should discuss.
Good luck! 🙂
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