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Hire Helper without Agency

  1. #1
    Canucker is offline Registered User
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    Hire Helper without Agency

    Hi All,

    My husband and I need to hire a helper to start mid-September or early-October and are thinking of not going through an agency. We are looking at hiring another helper's sister straight from the Philippines, but before we do this we were hoping to get some feedback from others if this is a good idea or not... pros and cons... etc.

    Thanks in advance!
    Canucker

  2. #2
    AndreaY is offline Registered User
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    We hired our helper's sister from the Phillipines and are kinda regretting that decision. We decided on that cos we thought that we will have someone who will get along with and listen to the helper we have. Cons: she never worked as helper before and her standard of English or hygiene is poor. It is hard to explain to someone why they need to be use different cloths to clean different things (I have seen her clean the toilet seat with the toilet brush that just cleaned the inside of the toilet bowl) when they do not really understand what you are saying, let alone why. Also, as we found out, sisters may get along well socially, it's a different thing altogether when older sis asks/instructs younger to do something. My helper finds it hard to get her younger sis to do exactly as she does, cos her younger sis thinks she is being bossed around. Thirdly, we are not really satisfied with the standard of work, but since have no agent to request for replacement, we have to live with the consequence of hiring someone we have not seen. So, my advice is that it's better to hire someone whom you have interviewed or if not, hire thru an agent so that there is someone you can call if the helper does not reach the standard that you'd like. Of course, if she has worked here before and has glowing references, then I am sure it's worth taking the risk.

  3. #3
    Konradsmom is offline Registered User
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    My mother recruited her helper's sister also, and AndreaY is right that where sisters get along socialy, and probably in a family context, in a work setting it may turn out very differently. Her helpers are now hardly talking to each other because one finds the other too patronising, bossy etc. And when they started fighting and bitching at each other, it becomes a problem to get anything done in the house. And the thing is, things didn't get bad until after a year or so of the sister arriving......so its kinda hard to tell.

  4. #4
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    I don't think Canuker is hiring 2 sisters. Has the sister worked in HK before? If she has you should be able to hire her directly. First timers have to go through an agency.

    Details on how to hire direct are here:

    http://www.philcongen-hk.com/labor/main.htm
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  5. #5
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    Forgot to answer the 2nd part of your Q.

    Have you met the helper? Did you interview her over the phone?

    If you like her, why not ask her come to HK for an interview? Tickets are cheap on Cebu Pacific air. It's worth meeting face-to-face and perhaps do a trial.

    We were also introduced to our helper through a friend of hers. I interviewed her over the phone and really liked her. Fortunately my cousin in Manila agreed to interview her in person and she passed with flying colors. As it was her first time in HK, we had to pay the agency to do all the paperwork.

    Some people are more comfortable hiring a helper thru an agency. If things don't work out, they'll let you select another for free. Also, some agencies make helpers play high placement fees and the poor women are in debt even before they even start working. Which is very sad.

    There are both pros and cons. If you have a good feeling about the helper, then I would take the risk and invite her to HK for an interview.
    Last edited by rani; 08-16-2007 at 09:16 PM.
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  6. #6
    Canucker is offline Registered User
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    Rani,

    Thanks for your advice... you are right, we are not hiring a 2nd helper, just one.

    She has never worked in Hong Kong before so I guess we will have to go through an agency if we like her. I like your suggestion about bringing her over for an interview and a trial-run. We really like her sister who is working for us part-time and she has also offered to help "train" her sister and help her adjust to working in Hong Kong. As well, just because we like our current helper does not mean her sister has the same type of personality that would get along with us.

    Thanks everyone for the advice!
    Canucker

  7. #7
    witty_han is offline Registered User
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    Hi, I have no comment on the OP but rather introduce myself that I am an ex-domestic helper in HK, and desperately looking for employer again. However, I am in Philippines right now and can be hired directly even will not go through agency. Thank you very much! I have also posted my ad on www.geoexpat.com classifieds section.

  8. #8
    ami
    ami is offline Registered User
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    helper hire

    Best place to find a helper... my daugters and I went to HSBC on a Sunday morning and handed out business cards... 100 of them. We interviewed 80 or so. Hiring our helper was a gift, she loved children and did a great job of house cleaning.

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