Domestic Helper Hiring Tips for Expats in Hong Kong

Domestic help is essential in Hong Kong, especially when you are a working professional with a demanding career.

They come to you as a blessing, helping you out with your chores at home. The tough part is finding the right person to hire as your domestic help. Living with someone is not an easy call to make and when it comes down to hiring a domestic helper who will live at your place with you there are many more factors that come into consideration.

The question is how to figure out on the basis of just 1 or 2 interviews if the helper can be trusted with your children and your belongings, especially if you have had some surprisingly negative experience with your ex-helpers.

Considering the trust you have to place in your helper here are a few tips to keep in mind while interviewing a potential live-in domestic helper.

  1. Ask the help for her previous employers and talk to them personally about their conduct and ask any other questions that you may have.
  2. Your help is going to stay back at home with your kids and take care of them while you’re away. Make sure she knows how to use first aid.
  3. Ask her the reason she left the family of her previous employer. Did she breach her contract with them? If yes, then ask her for a valid reason.
  4. Inquire about her personal life. You must know if she is married and has kids or is single.
  5. Make her talk about her hobby to check her communication skills.
  6. Ask her the reason she chose to work as a domestic help. If she is supporting her family does she plan to go back to it? Get to know her future plans.
  7. Ask her to illustrate her strengths.
  8. Ask her if she knows any nursery rhymes or games for small children. Ask her if she knows some recipes to cook for them.
  9. Let her know your limits and your conditions of hiring her. Be clear about stating the deal breaker like stealing from you or asking for money advances.
  10. Ask her how she intends to discipline a child?

Here are some tips to keep in mind once you have hired the help:

  1. Empathize with your help by thinking about situations from their point of view. They’re away from their families and living at a stranger’s house.
  2. Try not to be too strict and inspire fear in your help. This will only lead them to hide things from you which is not a good sign. Also, you do not want to be too lenient leading them to think that they can do whatever they want.
  3. The helpers are there to help you out with everything around your home, cleaning, cooking and childcare. They’re only humans and you mustn’t expect them to excel in everything they do.
  4. The financial gap between you and your help can be a sensitive topic. So keep all your bank accounts and financial details beyond any topic of discussion.
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