You have decided that you need a helper in your home. Yes, it is possible to find and hire a helper on your own but of course, most people will engage an employment agency. It might be the best possible solution, as the agencies have already done the screening and some basic training before the helper has begun working here in Singapore. Each helper also has a different personality and different level of skills relative to their job scope, which is also why engaging an agency is paramount to getting the helper that fits your household’s job requirements in the shortest time possible.
Lets explore the different factors you could consider when choosing an employment agency to work with, starting with location. It is logical that you would engage an agency within close proximity of your residential address, for example if you are living in the eastern part of Singapore you would generally want to look for an agency based in the east.
Most maid agencies deploy helpers from multiple nationalities, but the main nationalities of helpers are still predominantly of Indonesian and Filipino origin. Some agencies for example are able to deploy caregivers that are of Burmese nationality so it also depends on your necessity for skills required, and language. Nationality is by no means a major factor when it comes to job scope and skills required in your household however some employers of certain nationalities would require a specific helper from the same region in order to have less communication and cultural barriers.
The Credibility of the agency is quite an important factor, and the tech savvy world we live in nowadays offers information about agencies and people’s experiences with them to become more accessible than before. Also ensure that your Employment Agency of choice is a registered agency, with their License number prominently displayed on any online portals or marketing materials from them. You can find information about agencies and customer’s experiences with them through forums, social media outlets, even on the Ministry of Manpower’s website. Also most agencies will have a website of some sort, think of it as a digital storefront which is where they showcase their services, testimonials and company details.
Use of Portals
Continuing on with the technologically proficient world of today, many potential employers have turned to portals such as ours (Searchmaid) to enquire and interact with a large number of maid agencies. Within the comfort of your own home you will be able to browse and shortlist selected biodatas based on your requirements before committing to an agency and meeting with the helper. Portals are the most advantageous when it comes to creating a connection with agencies and shortlisting the best biodatas en masse without having to call agencies one by one, but be sure to have a more detailed enquiry when using the general enquiry system on any portal to avoid being overwhelmed by agencies calling to find out exactly what type of helper you’re looking for.
Agency responsibilities and rates
Ultimately an Agency has a strict set of laws and regulations to comply with as the Ministry of Manpower is highly active in enforcing its mandates and protecting the employers, helpers and agencies. The rules and laws set by the Ministry of Manpower that are set to regulate ethical service and rates serves as a guideline that agencies should follow especially with paperwork processing and all related matters however it is all in the agencies and staff’s hands to ensure that the best service and care is rendered to both employers and helpers. Agency fees are all dependant on the agency but do not let this be a major defining factor when making your choice, allow for the agency to explain why they are charging as such. There should also be a clear breakdown of all the fees and expenses you will incur. Employers should also be realistic of their work expectations when hiring a helper and it would be best to discuss thoroughly the expectations and work scope with the agency and helper as well before committing to hiring.