Hiring a domestic helper in Hong Kong is undoubtedly useful, as they help out with household chores, looking after children and caring for the elderly. Naturally, employers want to appoint trained and qualified staff who are reliable and can be retained for a long period of time.
Finding the right candidate can be a tough ordeal at times for the employer, as can maintaining a positive and open relationship between employer and helper. If you don’t have experience in hiring staff, or are not sure what qualities you should be looking for, consider engaging the services of an agency that has a successful track record in placing suitable Hong Kong domestic helpers with employers.
Some of the issues that expats face when hiring domestic helpers in Hong Kong include:
1. Medical Costs
Some domestic helpers are chronically ill from the start, or develop some illness during their work tenure with their employer. This can have a drastic effect on their work which can, in turn, affect the household. This can create serious issues for the employer, as they have to tend to their medical requirements. Along with this, they have to carry out their daily chores themselves while continuing to pay monthly wages to their helper. Therefore, it is advisable to take out an insurance policy with medical benefits, and hire helpers only after a thorough medical examination procedure.
2. Carrying Out Checks
Finding trained domestic helpers in Hong Kong with good knowledge about their work and past experience may be difficult for an employer, but hiring untrained or inexperienced staff will likely lead to incompetence.
Also, employers who are not used to hiring staff may not be able to undertake the appropriate checks themselves. For instance, some prospective helpers present false documents or references to land a job, leading employers to think they are qualified, so not conducting the proper checks can lead to problems. This is why it is advisable to seek professional guidance from an agency that has experience in finding the best domestic helpers in Hong Kong.
3. Following Instructions
Trained and experienced helpers generally need only a small set of instructions for carrying out their chores in a satisfactory manner. Even so, there may be instances when work is not carried out to a sufficient standard. To avoid miscommunication, it is good policy to set instructions in the helper’s native language so that there is less potential for misunderstandings.
Even in these circumstances, it can be the case that tasks are not completed satisfactorily. In this scenario, it is a good idea to find out if there are other problems with following the instructions, and so it is advisable to ask the helper to repeat what they have understood, or even ask them to write it down as a sort of reminder list. This will also help build better communication between the employer and the employee.
4. Setting Guidelines
It is important to establish from the outset what the guidelines and expectations are with regard to issues such as using personal devices or watching television during working hours. Once these guidelines have been set, it ‘s important that domestic helpers adhere to them.
5. Personal Affairs
Problems can sometimes occur with the relationships that domestic helpers have with members of the household, or others in the neighbourhood. If issues arise in these relationships, it can have an effect on the employer too, as it can lead to tensions and a negative atmosphere. In this situation, early resolution is always advisable, in order to stop relationships deteriorating to a stage where they become untenable.
This is a further reason why the screening and interview process is so important, as it gives employers a sense of the character and personality of potential helpers, and an idea as to whether they are going to be able to maintain positive relationships with those around them.
It is important for employers to hire competent domestic helpers for their household tasks. For this reason, it is strongly advised that you seek the assistance of a professional who is experienced in interviewing and screening domestic helpers in Hong Kong, as they will be able to advise you so that you are in a better position to make an informed decision.
Edouard Muller is a French entrepreneur working in the Hive Sai Kung. He is the founder of HelperPlace – a leading platform to find the right domestic helper in Hong Kong.