There are different ways of hiring foreign domestic workers (FDW) in Singapore. The safest and most convenient option is to engage with an accredited maid agency that can serve as an intermediary between you and suitable candidates for the job. It’s also an option to hire maids directly. You can do this by employing transfer maids, getting referrals from your personal contacts, or using online platforms.
Regardless of how you want to hire a housekeeper, you need to be aware of potential red flags. By recognising and avoiding the following warning signs, you’ll not only have an easier time finding a maid you can trust; you can also safeguard the well-being of your household and family.
Incomplete or Inconsistent Documentation
One of the most important steps in hiring a maid is verifying the authenticity of their documents. Keep an eye out for incomplete or missing identification, inconsistent or mismatched information across various forms and papers, as well as any signs of falsified or forged documents. Take your time to thoroughly study the documentation provided by the maid agency or the candidate housekeeper to spot irregular details.
It’s also good practice to cross-check the legality and validity of the files with relevant authorities. The Ministry of Manpower or MOM, for example, has an online database that you can use to check a housekeeper’s employment history and details.
Unclear Employment History and References
An ideal candidate should have a stable employment history with reasonable job tenure. By checking a maid’s employment history and references, you can gain valuable insights into their reliability and work ethic. Take note of frequent job changes without a valid reason and if the maid has difficulty in providing reliable references. All of these can be signs that there were problems with the candidate’s previous employment.
In some cases, it may be an option to get in touch with the maid’s previous employers and ask them questions about their experience. Positive feedback is usually indicative of the housekeeper’s reliability and professionalism. Be mindful of negative or ambiguous feedback from previous employers, but do remember that these answers can also be subjective.
Lack of Training or Experience
Assessing a maid’s training and experience in domestic work is vital to ensure that they possess the necessary skills for the job. While you still need to orient and train a successful candidate to your specific way of running your household, it’s still best to choose someone who has at least some basic knowledge in cleaning, cooking, or childcare.
Steer clear of applicants with limited or no previous experience in relevant household tasks, as well as those with inconsistent or contradictory claims about their training or skills. Instead, choose a candidate with a proven track record and expertise in the required tasks. If you’re looking for help in caring for the younger or older members of your family, for instance, then it’s best to choose maids with a background in childcare or caregiving. This way, you can be sure that they have a good idea of how to carry out their tasks and that they are unlikely to make mistakes that complete novices usually make.
Poor Communication and Language Skills
You and your maid need to be able to communicate in order to have a harmonious working relationship. Indeed, it can be difficult to run a household if you and the person who is supposed to help you in this task do not understand each other. That’s why you need to make it a point to look for a housekeeper with strong language and communication skills. Screen out candidates who are unable to understand or speak your language, have difficulty in following instructions or expressing themselves clearly, and are unable to comprehend safety instructions or emergency procedures.
Negative Behavioural and Attitude Indicators
Observing the maid’s behaviour and attitude during the hiring process can be helpful in assessing their suitability. Take note of aggressive or confrontational behaviour, as well as signs of substance abuse or addiction. A lack of enthusiasm, motivation, or interest in the job can also be indicative of how well a candidate can perform their tasks in your home.
Meanwhile, a domestic worker who displays a positive attitude, professionalism, and enthusiasm towards the job is likely to contribute positively to your household environment. Look for someone who takes pride in their work, shows dedication, and is willing to go the extra mile to meet your expectations.
Using the services of a maid agency in Singapore is a good way to screen candidates. That said, as an employer, it is also your responsibility to conduct thorough due diligence during the maid hiring process. Watching out for the red flags mentioned above can help you mitigate potential risks and ensure a successful employment relationship.
At the same time, it’s also important to know what you want from an ideal candidate. By having a clear understanding of your needs and the role a potential maid will play in your home, you’ll have an easier time screening candidates and finding the best match for your household.