Forums  •  Classifieds  •  Events  •  Directory

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Like Tree7Likes

Advice on how to look for a helper

  1. #1
    Chipon's Avatar
    Chipon is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    13

    Advice on how to look for a helper

    Hi, i am new with helper issue and have no idea how to start looking for one. We just had our first baby 2 months ago. I am at the moment on a maternity leave and i have also taken an additional unpaid leave until september 2013. that means i have another 3 months before going back to work. I know that this might vary, but how long approximately does it take to get a helper, from the first visit to the agency till the helper could start working? When you went to an agency, do you need to pay any fees if at the end you could not find the right helper? What else do i need to know or to prepare before going to the agency? Any advice or suggestion would be very much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Sharon Liaw is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hong Kong, Hong Kong
    Posts
    8
    It took me about 4-5 months to get a fresh new maid from Philippine. I would advise you to get one ASAP. You may consider d local Philippine maids or fresh new one from Philippine or other Countries. D agency fees for d fresh Philippine now would exceed hkd10,000. Somehow, my maid's cousin in Philippine is looking for a maid job in HK. You can pm me if you want to get her^^.

    Anyway, let me know if you want to know more issues about helper.

  3. #3
    Sharon Liaw is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hong Kong, Hong Kong
    Posts
    8
    Btw, I need to pay agency fees upfront first to get a maid for my case. But, they allow you to change her if you are not happy, which include only few hundreds charge.

  4. #4
    ilgattonero is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    hong kong
    Posts
    8
    One of the things you have to ask yourself is whether you want a helper who is fresh from Philippines/Indonesia/Sri Lanka or an experienced helper who is in Hong Kong.

    The former is often inexperienced and you will have to invest a lot of time training her from the start - cooking, using the washing machine/vacuuming/ironing, shopping and getting around. Then there is also helping her deal with the culture shock and being away from home.

    I chose to go with getting an experienced helper in HK as I didn't have the time to train her from scratch. An experienced helper can cost more especially the good ones who have tons of experience and have worked with Western families. An experienced helper can also sometimes be set in their ways and you will have to work out a compromise between your style and her style.

    I'm not sure what it's like about using an agency to hire a helper directly but as far as I remember from my queries before, it is more expensive than hiring a terminated or broken contract helper that is already based here.

    If you are looking to hire a terminated or broken contract Filipina helper, you have to go through an agency to process the employment contract. We used Helper In and paid $1,880 for it and our helper could wait out in Macau for the visa to be processed. She could have gone back to wait it out in the Philippines but the processing fee would increase to at least $5.5K. If the Filipina helper has finished her contract or being released by her employer as they are moving out of HK, then you don't need to go through an agency to process her visa. The helper and you can do it yourself and it is a fairly painless process from what friends tell me.

    If you're hiring experienced Indonesian helpers who are here in HK, then regardless of their contract situation, you must go through an agency to process their visa.

    When interviewing helpers, once you have short-listed a few, try to arrange your second interview to include an trial session at your house. Arrange to pay them the market rate of $60/hour for their time and book them to come in for 3 - 5 hours to your house. This way you can assess how they react to your children or pets, their cleaning skills and cooking skills. I usually ask them to cook their best Western dishes if they are familiar with Western food or if they are comfortable with Asian food, then we ask for their best Asian dish. This helps me understand what their palate is like and know how much training I need to invest in getting them to cook for our palates. We had one helper who took 5 mins to mop our house in her interview when it usually takes me 20 - 25 minutes. Needless to say she wasn't hired as it was pretty obvious she and I had different concepts of what "clean" is.

    Check out GeoExpat for their domestic helper listings. That's where we found ours and she's been a real asset in our family. It took us a weekend and 8 helper interviews to find her and she was in our home within 6 weeks.

  5. #5
    Chipon's Avatar
    Chipon is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    13
    Thank you all for your reply.
    To Sharon Liaw - hkd 10,000 for the agency fee is more than what we expect to pay. In that case i think we would probably go with the helper that is already based in Hong Kong.
    To ilgattonero - thanks for your detail explaination. We have no preference for Indonesian or Filipina helpers. The most important thing to me is she has to be able to take good care of my baby. So someone experienced with newborn babies would be prefered.
    When your helper was waiting for the visa in Macau, did you pay for her accomodation and food there? How long did she stay before the visa is granted? And may i ask how much did you pay your helper for monthly salary? I heard i would also need to pay for her flight tickets to their home country. Is that only when the contract is finish (after 2 years)? Or is it once a year? What are other expenses i need to prepare other than the agent fee, monthly salary, and flight tickets? Thanks!

  6. #6
    OldtimerMum is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    55
    $10K is a bit too much if you were to ask me. $4-5K would be average I think.

    We found our helper by placing a helper wanted ad on GeoExpat.Com. You'll start getting SMS messages within 10-15 minutes of placing the ad, specially if you place your ad on Friday or Saturday as helpers are keen to get interviews lined up on Sunday.

    Some tips ... keep a set of questions that are important to you ready when you call the helper. Important things like "can you cook", "have you any experience with babies", "why is your current employer not renewing" etc. Also, if you're Asian like we are, make sure you let them know - a lot of them do not want to work for Asian families and many of them do not want to work in smaller flats etc ( we interviewed two or three from Bamboo Grove and they turned up their noses at our "unimpressive 1500 sq ft apartment).

    Line them up for interviews if you can 1) understand them and communicate with them over the phone 2) believe their initial facts presented.

    Ideally, at the interview, ask them to make you a sandwich or cook something... also make sure you inspect their passports to make sure their timeline in HK matches what you've been told and make a best attempt to speak to their employer - we heard all sorts of stories including "I can cook very well" from helpers and often the truth did not match. Standard bullshit included "mam I can make spagetti and salad but I will learn quickly", "my ex employer asked me for sexy massage", "If you baby falls sick I will pray for them", "mam, I need to go jogging every day at 6PM".

    At the end of the day, you'll have to go with your gut feeling... but hiring locally will give you the chance to meet the helper face to face and talk to them and get an idea if you want them in your household or not.

    About Indonesian v/s Philipina helpers - MAKE SURE YOU CAN COMMUNICATE WITH THEM. I cannot emphasize this enough. If you're going back to work, your primary line of communication with the helper will be over the phone.

  7. #7
    Sharon Liaw is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hong Kong, Hong Kong
    Posts
    8
    Last year I got my fresh philippine helper only around hkd3500. However, d Philippine law has changed that we have to bear all d fees including d helper side of their agency fees. That's why d new agency fees is now over hkd10,000. If you have known someone from Philippine n so, she doesnt have to pay her own agency fees. It would be cheaper for you.
    I'm sure you can have more info from d agent. My agent is quite gd n d office is at Wanchai. Let me know if you need^^

  8. #8
    ilgattonero is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    hong kong
    Posts
    8
    yes we paid for helper's accommodation in Macau. The agency, Helper-In has a boarding house in Macau. I think it's about $30 - $50 per day for lodging and food.

    Our helper's salary is $4,000 per month plus monthly allowances of $50 for phone and $100 for transport. All her food is taken care by us (daily meals, snacks, drinks etc). Some employers choose to give the food allowance to their helpers - I think the amount is about $900 (+/-).

    Her flight tickets are to be paid for at the end of each contract which is 2 years.

    You can find all the information you need here - http://www.labour.gov.hk/eng/public/wcp/FDHguide.pdf

    Other expenses include insurance ($600 - $900 per year); setting up her room - furniture, bedlinen, towels; TV/portable DVD/computer etc for her entertainment. We ended up getting a 2nd hand netbook for $1,800 where she can watch her Filipino movies and TV shows after she finishes work.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. New helper I need contract advice
    By nltempany in forum Helper Forums
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-19-2012, 07:09 AM
  2. Need advice on terminating helper
    By 1510 in forum Helper Forums
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 01-26-2010, 08:03 AM
  3. finding a helper - advice
    By babynumber1 in forum Helper Forums
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 10-21-2009, 10:44 PM
  4. Need advice- 1st week with helper
    By 1stimemum in forum Helper Forums
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 10-03-2009, 12:13 AM
  5. Domestic helper advice
    By zeek in forum Helper Forums
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-23-2005, 05:32 PM
Scroll to top