Finding a Great Domestic Helper: A How-To Guide

Finding a great helper is not easy, but it is crucial you find her. Your home needs someone you can rely on.


Every family has their own preferences and there is no one-size fits all. But there are some steps you can take to ensure you find the helper that best fits your family.

First of all, take matters into your own hands. It’s tempting to outsource the search for a helper, but do you really trust an agency or third person to fully understand your needs? Do you feel at ease when interviewing a helper in an agency office? Based on experience and comments from friends, the best way to find that great helper with whom you can connect is through the internet.

Find a great helper for your home

Step 1: Search online

There are plenty of online resources where you can find helpers. Social media can be a great help, but placing a post on Facebook or responding to a post requires a lot of time and there is no easy way to filter all the messages and helpers. You also have no easy overview of the helper candidates’ previous experience, their skills, visa status etc. Most of all, you can only reach a limited number of candidates.

Using a website like HelperChoice will give you instant access to a lot of great helper profiles. Are you looking for someone in the Philippines? Or do you prefer someone who is working in your country and is finishing her contract? Everything is possible and you can easily search based on your criteria. Done? You are set up for success, but not there yet.

Shortlist Tip

Step 2: Shortlist your helpers

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all those helper profiles. Shortlisting is an easy tool to quickly compare different profiles.

Before you do this, think about the characteristics that you want your helper to have. Do you care about the nationality? Their years of experience? Their cooking skills? Or do you prefer a first-timer (a person who never works abroad)?

Then think about your own profile. Do you want to offer minimum wage or more? Are you hiring a second helper who has to sleep in the same room as the first helper? Do you want to give her Thursday off instead of Sunday?

Make a list based on all of these and voila you have a search profile. Now you can start to go through candidate profiles and select those that fit the profile. On the HelperChoice website, you can use the shortlist function so you can later compare and contrast all the profiles. After you think you have found the right candidates for the job, you can move on to the next step.

Contact the great helpers you selected

Step 3: Contact your selected candidates

This is where things become more complicated. You will have to start contacting helpers. You can do this through online messages or by requesting their phone numbers. Sometimes it may be frustrating because the helper does not reply. It may be the case that she is so busy with her work that she only replies to her messages over the weekend. A quick WhatsApp message will probably be more effective in this case.

Ask your candidate some questions to confirm the details in her profile. When are you available? Can you take care of my 2 children? Can you handle my grandmother? If you are still satisfied, you can decide to interview her via Skype or, and, this is preferred, face-to-face.

Finding a great helper is not easy

Step 4: Set up the face-to-face interview

The interview is perhaps the most important part of the entire process. So don’t take it lightly and definitely don’t outsource this part of the process. You can decide to meet your candidates at your preferred location. This can be at your home or at a coffee shop. You are running the show so make sure you feel comfortable.

However, it is also important to keep in mind that, although you are going to hire, the helper also needs to feel comfortable. The common belief is that helpers prefer a higher salary, but in fact, many prefer to work for someone who first and utmost respects them. Discuss the details of the job and let them know what your expectations are. Make the interview a two-way process and let your candidate ask questions. This way you can limit any nasty surprises after the helper joins your family.

Decide how important the reference is in your search for a great helper

Step 5: Ask the helper for references (optional)

Many employers want their candidates to give them their current or previous employers’ contact numbers. Although they are great to get an idea of the helper’s job performance, they can also be skewed. If the helper, for example, decided to not renew her contract, the previous employer may be upset. She may decide to not give a good recommendation. In addition, the preferences of employer A will be different from employer B. So you will have to decide on the importance of the recommendation. On HelperChoice, you can see past recommendations on helpers’ profiles.

Step 6: Hire that great helper

Congratulations, you’ve made it step 6. Basically, all you have to do now is sign the contract with the great helper you found and get the work visa for her. If you are in Hong Kong or Singapore, you can reach out to our partner ethical agencies for the domestic worker work visa documentation. Get a quotation here if you are located in Hong Kong or here if you are located in Singapore. After a few weeks of visa processing, your newly hired helper is ready to start.