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What do you look for in a helper?

  1. #1
    kiwiinoz is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Hong Kong

    What do you look for in a helper?

    Hi all

    I am new to living in HK, and contemplating the idea of a full-time helper. The apartment we will be living in has a maids room... so my husband has given me the option.

    I guess I have a few questions...
    What do you look for when you interview a maid? Are there characteristics to look out for that are good/bad?

    How do you decide if you can trust a maid?

    Can you get maids with first aid certificates/medical training? My son febrile convulses when he is ill, and while I would make every effort to be around when he is ill.. I would just feel a little more comfortable knowing I had someone who knows how to put him in a recovery position, not freak out and do nothing, and administer CPR if needed... is it unrealistic to find someone with those skills?

    I would also want someone to be a friend to my kids, that they can have fun together, and learn to trust someone other than myself or my husband.. is this the wrong attitude?

    If I have a maid, can I still do the cooking.. or share the cooking duties?

    Can you reward your maid for her honesty and hard work? Is there a set protocol? Or can we just do what we want in terms of rewarding?

    I know... lots of questions... sorry...
    Please feel free to share any and all advice you have on what you think works. These boards are so helpful, and I appreciate anything you can share.



  2. #2
    fhurley's Avatar
    fhurley is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Sai Kung
    Hi Lisamaree,
    I think it is very difficult job making sure you have the right person for the job. My advice would be to take someone who is personally recommended by someone you know. Ask around everyone you know and see if they know anyone who is leaving who has a helper. This way you will have much more trust in them. Many of the helpers here are already very well trained some are nurses even as they can earn more money here as a helper than at home as a nurse.
    There are several places offering CPR training if your new helper hasn't done it you will have to pay for the course but it is well worth it. Annerley and matilda hospital are two of these. If you look in the calendar at the top you will see some events for CPR training.
    I think you have exactly the right attitude a good helper will become one of the family and a stand in parent when you are not at home. It is really important that the children have a good relationship with her and that you all present a united front on expectations and behaviour.

    In terms of jobs - its totally up to you which jobs your helper does and which you do. If you enjoy cooking Im sure she would be very relieved not to have that extra job but would be willing to take it on if you are too busy.
    What a few people I know do regarding rewards is offer their helper a pay rise after the first year if they are working as expected. That way they have incentive to do well and you feel they have earned the rise. You can also give them a contribution to visiting their family more than once a year as the contract says only once every 2 years which seems a bit hard to me.

    In terms of what to look for. I would always try and choose someone with experience - you can find this out at interview, always check references. I look for someone who is chatty as I want my children to be talked to a lot to help develop their language skills. You can ask them to come and meet your child to see how they interact.
    I hope this helps.
    If you have any more questions let me know.

  3. #3
    LeahH is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Hong Kong, Mid Levels
    Totally agree with everything Fhurley says, your attitude is a good one. Our helpers are part of the family and a stand in for my husband and I in all respects (e.g. not just discpline, but also responsible for encouraging development, teaching new skills and lots of playtime together etc.).

    A recommendation is always best, but if that's not possible then a comprehensive interview with lots of 'what would you do if...' to establish general common sense and to ensure you are on the same page with regard to key issues.

    The issue of trust is tricky, instincts are rarely wrong and she would hopefully inspire a good rapport and confidence from the outset. Definitely include time watching interaction with your children - someone who clearly enjoys 'playing' would be important to me.

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