September 05, 2019Guide to hiring the best domestic worker in Singapore
- Post By: Site Admin
You have registered yourself for a training program that goes beyond the workplace hours. You have to do the laundry that you have been delaying for three weeks. You come home to a house that is turned upside down- which you cleaned in the morning before leaving for work. You are dead tired but you still have to cook food for the family. While cooking you finally realize that a having a helper would be nice but you don’t know anything about how to hire one. We get your struggles. Below, we discuss some useful tips to help you hire the best domestic worker in Singapore.
Know what you want from your domestic worker
Before you start the process of hiring, it is always better to make a list of things you want from your helper. This will help you identify the tasks you want your domestic worker to perform. We would advise you to focus on the most important aspects as it will help in finding a suitable helper that best fits your lifestyle. Do you need help with the kids or an elderly? Which tasks are the most important to perform first? Do you want a part time or a full-time helper? One can be quick to become dissatisfied with their domestic helpers if they expect them to be good in everything.
It is important to keep in mind that a highly skilled/experienced domestic worker will expect a higher wage. Also, hiring a helper will not get you rid of all of your duties. So, setting realistic expectations and listing down the important tasks you actually need help with is a keyto maintaining a balanced relationship. Hence, knowing what you want from your domestic worker will help in creating a better relationship between you and your helper.
How to find your domestic worker in Singapore?
A busy lifestyle has led to a great number of people wanting to hire a helper. There are a large number of agencies where you can hire domestic helpers easily. Or, you can simply go for a direct hire. Generally, maid agencies will cost you a lot more. However, they usually take care of associated costs such as the immigration fees, interviews, work permits, training and transportation costs. You can also search for domestic helpers via the directory of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in Singapore.
Direct hires are best for people who already have a close friend or relative that have experienced the hiring process before. Not only will they be helpful in guiding you through the process but also simplify it. Additionally, they may also be able to recommend you a domestic worker that is best suitable for your needs. A direct hire will save you the extra cost and processing time otherwise associated when hiring through an agency.
You can also make use of word of mouth method when hiring directly. Why? Because it will help you come across people who are looking to transfer their domestic helpers too. If they are helping their domestic workers to look for a new employer, they might recommend you and this way you may be able to avoid the agency fees altogether. Also, you will get a hand on an experienced helper in Singapore who is considered to be a good employee from someone you trust.
Finding the right Agency
Since the number of maid agencies are endless in Singapore, the only way to choose the best one is through their placement and retention rate. A reputable domestic worker agency will have high retention and high placement rate and a low transfer rate. You can also use the Ministry of Manpower to narrow your agency search. Similarly, it is best to overlook an agency with any demerit points as to avoid any hidden fees, faulty services or a poorly trained worker. It is advised for you to go for a reputable agency as it provides quality services.
You should also be on a lookout for agencies that were shut down by the MOM. thesame goes for the ones that are under investigation. This probably means that these agencies were responsible for illegal activities and you wouldn’t want to make a hire through them. Also, reading blogs about people’s experiences with agencies will help you paint a picture of what to look out for when you are interacting with one. You may also come across good recommendations. While some may even point out the shady practices or any hidden fees and how one can spot or avoid it completely. Following this process will definitely help you in narrowing your search in choosing an agency free of demerit practices and will help you in hiring a domestic best helper suitable for your needs.
Things to look out for when making a direct hire
If you do not want to get yourself into the agency hiring, you can hire a maid directly through the Ministry of Manpower website. Direct hiring gives you the freedom of choosing your own domestic helper, avoid substantial costs of agencies and help your worker avoid agency placement fee. You will have to submit the paperwork for yourself. Thankfully, the Ministry of Manpower has made this process convenient and easy to follow.
It is important to note that a maid who is working in Singapore with an expiring contract is a transfer hire and not a direct hire. Also, if you are hiring a maid from Philippines, you will have to go through an agency to fulfil Philippine Embassy requirements. Hiring a domestic helper may seem like a cheaper option and will save you the hassle of a shady agency. However, it will leave you directly responsible for your helper. Meaning, you will have to make all the arrangements of hiring a maid such as her plane ticket, immigration processing and other such costs.
How to pick the right domestic worker
To state the facts, there are around 243,000 foreign domestic workers in Singapore at the moment. There are countless more who are applying to agencies on a daily basis. With such a wide pool of available workers, it is a daunting task to find that one worker who possess the right skills and personality best suited to your lifestyle. Whether you go for an agency or a direct hiring, narrowing down your research to a set criterion will help in making your decision practical. There are plenty of ways through which you can simplify your research such as knowing which skills you want, the demographics, wages and more. let’s go through the following to help you in picking the right domestic worker for you.
The current demographics of foreign domestic workers in Singapore are as follows;
- Around fifty two percent are Indonesians
- Thirty percent are from Philippines
- Fifteen percent are from Myanmar
- The rest are from other countries
Not only is this an extensive number to choose from, it also makes it important for you to keep an eye on current and future legislation. The maids advertised on agencies are immediately available. However, some laws may restrict the new foreign domestic workers from entering in Singapore. This is currently the case resulting in a few maids entering the market. This makes the hiring process limited and competitive.
It is important for you to consider the personality of the domestic helper you wish to hire. Where there is no set procedure that helps you figure out your helpers’ personality immediately. You can look out for certain criterions such as the helper should match your desired requirements. The helper must be willing to adapt to the requirements of your home and family. She must be open to learning and trustworthy. It should be easier to communicate with your helper. Meaning, she must possess a friendly positive outlook which makes it easier to have a conversation with her.
Qualifications and Salaries
In general, the more experienced the maid, the higher the wage she will expect.It is worth noting that thePhilippines and Indonesia have imposed a minimum wage. You can pay your domestic worker higher based on the qualifications and language, training certifications and skills they bring to the plate. Some maids have specialized in childcare or other services, while others are university educated or have a lot of working experience in Singapore. Helpers with these qualifications and skills can definitely make your life easier and prove to be of greater worth. Paying higher wages to these domestic helpers won’t hurt.
If you are looking for a maid that pose no language barrier then you should go for a worker from Philippine as English is their most commonly spoken language. It is important you choose a maid who most closely resembles your own background if religion and culture is your top priority. If you want a maid to look after your children then it is best to choose the one who is highly experienced in childcare. Those who need a maid to take care of an elderly or child with special needs then it is best to go for the one who have received specialized training.
The reason transfer maids are becoming popular in Singapore is because hiring them is cheaper and faster. Unlike new hires, transfer maids are looking to finish off their current contracts or extend their work permits. You can either hire them directly or through the Ministry of Manpower by submitting proper paperwork. Hiring a new maid can be both a time consuming and a costly procedure. Transfer maids help you cut the costly procedure and hire them right away. One of the main advantages of hiring a transfer maid is that she can start the work in a week or so and has adequate experience working for a household in Singapore. This makes their adjustment and training period shorter. It is important to note that you should avoid hiring a maid who have switched her employer more than three times in a year as this can mean that the maid had issues retaining her employment.
Precautions when choosing a domestic worker
You should take certain precautions even though you used an agency to hire a domestic maid. Using a trustworthy agency to hire a helper is one way to ensure safety for yourself and your family. Also, you should make sure whether she is legally allowed to work in Singapore or not (issues such as under-age). You should also make sure you know the qualities or skills you want your worker to have. It could be culture, language skills, training and experience. Knowing this will ensure you don’t argue or become dissatisfied with your helper. The Ministry of Manpower’s website can be helpful in regard to looking out for maids that have been complained about before so you don’t end up hiring someone who was involved in a theft or a crime. However, these complaints are not backed up by proof or investigation and so should not be made the only basis for judgment.
If you have found your ideal helper, it is advised, you should maintain a proper employee-employer relationship with them. As an employer you have certain duties towards your domestic helper. The Ministry of Manpower entails a proper work ethic that suggests the employer to give their maids a day off, pay her legal fees, give her sufficient medical coverage and to not mistreat her. Lastly, it is advisable for you to conduct a proper screening to ensure that your maid actually possess the skills she claims she has.
Domestic helper insurance online
Domestic helper agencies are incentivized to sell you expensive policies as they mostly work on commission basis. Instead of purchasing a domestic helper policy directly from an agent, you can find cheaper alternative policies online. These online policies provide sufficient medical coverage, accident insurance, protection against thefts and lawsuits and much more at a cheaper cost. Purchasing insurance will help you know that you are protected and maintain a calm environment between you and your helper. It will be useful even in case of an unfortunate emergency.
It is obvious that hiring a domestic helper in Singapore can be expensive and loaded with high agency costs. If you think that you won’t be able to hire a full-time foreign domestic helper than you can simply go for another option such as hiring a part-time help. The key is to know the tasks you want immediate help with and hire accordingly. If not then you can always look for someone in your social circle to lend you a helping hand.
The biggest mistake you can make is thinking that there is nothing left for you to do once you have hired your desired helper. Domestic helpers need to be appreciated as they work to take care of your family and home. So, remember to show them you care by appreciating them and giving them a paid holiday once in a while so they can catch up with their life outside of work. It is also important you give your helper enough time to settle in and adjust.