Tips for Selecting the Right Helper
If you are clear about what you want in the beginning of the hiring process, you’ll have a much better chance of success. Use our step-by-step guide to determine what characteristics you are looking for in a future domestic helper.
Read more: Interview Tips for Employers
Step 1: Determine your needs
Before you hire a domestic helper, you need to determine and prioritise one or two skills or characteristics that are most important to you and your family. It’s unlikely that any domestic helper will be an expert at everything!
- Will the domestic helper be taking care of children? If so, how old are they? Will they be taking care of pets?
- Are you planning on having or adopting a child in the near future?
- What is the most important task for you? For example: childcare, housework, cooking, pet care, gardening, laundry & ironing, etc.
On helperfamily.com, you can filter and search by helpers’ key capabilities. Within the helper profile, you can also see a helper’s preferred duties ranking. Understand your needs and match them with a right helper can make your hiring successful in first step.
Identify the Essential Soft Skills and Qualities
Soft skills are non-tangible skills that an individual possesses. Some soft skills and qualities are more or less useful depending on what the main responsibilities of your helper-to-be will be. Ideally, if she will be in charge of taking care of your kids, you are looking for someone who:
- is naturally patient and doesn’t mind taking time to repeat and explain things several times;
- keeps calm in all circumstances;
- knows how to communicate with kids – through stories, examples, and crafts;
- is enthusiastic about spending time with children and acknowledges it can be challenging but yet rewarding;
- is safety-conscious;
- is caring and sensitive.
If you are looking for a domestic worker to care for an elderly parent, she should:
- be responsible e.g. complies with regular medication times;
- possess both good communication and listening skills;
- be caring;
- be respectful of the opinions and privacy of the individuals she cares for;
- be patient;
- be supportive at all times.
Take time to reflect on those qualities and personality traits that are important to you. Identify what you value the most – is it honesty, trustworthiness, the ability to work with minimal supervision, introversion or on the contrary extroversion, and communicate them in your job description.
Step 2: Understand your management style
Everyone has different expectations for their relationship with a domestic helper.
Some will want a purely professional relationship, others will prefer a domestic helper who becomes ‘part of the family’. This really depends on your preference. Just make sure you communicate what you want during the interview.
Remember, even if you do want a domestic helper who will become ‘part of the family’ they will first and foremost be your employee, and you are their employer.
Step 3: Determine personality and fit
We strongly recommend that you: “hire for attitude, train for skills.” Attitude is the most important thing to look for when hiring. You should look for adaptability and a willingness to learn. Also, consider how the applicant will fit into your home.
Most household chores can be learned, even if the applicant doesn’t currently know how to do it. Personality, on the other hand, is often what determines how well suited a domestic helper may be for your family.
Throughout the interview, ask yourself (not the applicant):
- Does she seem to have initiative and a willingness to learn?
- Does she have a positive and friendly attitude?
- Is it easy to communicate with her?
- Does she seem open to instruction and guidance?
- Does she seem like she would get along well with your children?
Step 4: Communicate your needs
Once you have determined your needs, management style, ideal personality and fit, use this to structure your interview. And communicate what you are looking for with domestic helpers you interview to see if they really are a good fit for your family.
Read more: Interview Tips for Employers