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finding a helper - advice

  1. #9
    starbucks2 is offline Registered User
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    PS I would definitely make sure you get written references that you can cross check with a phone call. We rang our helper's previous employer who had since moved from HK to Dubai to make sure the written reference stacked up.

  2. #10
    Obiwan is offline Registered User
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    Like SB2, we found our helper through asiaxpat.com, and she turned out to be great so far :) We went through the listing, selected those that meet our criteria and interviewed them. Most of them have been working in HK and are familiar with the visa application process etc. Good luck!!!

  3. #11
    coco1 is offline Registered User
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    Hi. Recently hired our first helper through asiaxpat to help with a toddler- paid to have Evelyn Reyes help organise interviews/ contracts etc. I understand she doesn't charge the helpers anything, unlike some agencies but the employers are charges a small fee. We saw several suitable candidates- all from the Phillipines and some were happy to look after newborns. Happy to recommend them. Good luck with everything

  4. #12
    Portia is offline Registered User
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    Also, you should read the references critically. Do they actually say that she is good at cooking or does it say that she has responsibility for cooking? I also do not like to hire unless I can follow up on the reference with a former employer. I find that some of the former employers are quite keen to help their former employee get a job, so again you need to think about what to ask as some of them don't like to mention anything negative. I like to ask what 2 or 3 things that they could have improved on.

  5. #13
    southside852 is offline Registered User
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    References are key and don't take a word of what the helper says to you as truth during the interview. Always double-check their info with past employers etc...Many helpers do not like working with other helpers b/c of the whole hierarchy thing - first helper, 2nd helper etc....Also I have found that the good ones, know they are good and in away, they are interviewing you! if you hear of a good one through word of mouth, call her immediately and if manage to interview her and like her, have a contract there ready to sign. They will get hired in a second. We lost two great helpers b/c we waited just 1 day.

    I have heard people having great success with Asiaxpat.com, but the most ideal helpers are those whose families are returning to the States and cannot bring them back versus those who have not renewed their contract.

  6. #14
    Monkey is offline Registered User
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    I had problems getting interest from potential helpers to take the job until I started to make it clear in the interviews that they would not be expected to sleep in the baby's room, do night feeds etc and that whenever my husband and I are home (I will return to work after 6 months)we would be responsible for taking care of the baby. This seemed to allay many of their fears about the potential workload involved in having a newborn in the house.

    I had much more luck calling helpers directly than using an agency. In reality I don't think the agencies do much in the way of really pre-screening and you can get a good impression and save a lot of time by having a quick call with the helper directly and deciding whether you want to interview them. I also found that you have to act quickly. The first time around, as I was working I would always line up the interviews for Sundays by which time many of the candidates that looked good on paper already had offers.

    Unfortunately the helper I had originally hired decided not to come to back from the Philippines last week and this time around, I called candidates the day they appeared on asiaxpat and arranged interviews for the same or next day after work. I also made it clear this time to all candidates that I would not consider hiring someone if I was not able to speak to their previous employers to confirm written references.

    This worked much better and I am very optimistic about the helper we are now in the process of hiring. Good luck!
    Last edited by Monkey; 10-21-2009 at 05:49 PM.

  7. #15
    daffer is offline Registered User
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    My experience is, on the other side, the helper may not like you taking care of the baby yourself, and only leaving her with the cleaning and the cooking to do etc. I really wonder why?

    Say both of us work full time, we take our elder son to a nursery and our younger baby to the local nanny who has been looking after him since he was 2 months old during the day. So it will leave my helper at home all by herself during the day doing abit of cleaning and may be some cooking in the evening, basically not too much to do.

    And she decided to quit after a week working for us, I think its mainly because we wont give her too much opportunities of taking care of our children.

  8. #16
    Obiwan is offline Registered User
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    Our experience was different. We interviewed about 10 -15 helpers from AsiaXpat and they were all willing to look after newborn. Not sure if it's because as part of the screening process, we looked for those who had experience looking after babies/toddlers.

    As a side note, a helper I spoke with made my jaw drop :) She said that she would only work for gwai lou (we are American born Chinese, so not considered gwai lou (foreigners), and only wanted to work for employers living on the peak, and expected to be provided a proper size room with AC etc. I think we live well in HK, but I am reluctant to employ a helper with these pre-requisites. I guess, they are interviewing us too, and we didn't pass with this one :)

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