How should I begin the hiring process of a domestic helper?

If an employer is clear about what they want at the beginning of the hiring process, they’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.

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! Ask yourself:

  • Will the domestic helper be taking care of children? If so, how old are they?
  • Will the domestic helper be taking care of pets?
  • Will you need a domestic helper who can travel with you?

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. Read more about management style here.

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 the applicant seem to have initiative and a willingness to learn?
  • Do they have a positive and friendly attitude?
  • Is it easy to communicate with them?
  • Do they seem open to instruction and guidance?
  • Doe they seem like tehy 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. It is important that you communicate what you are looking for to the domestic helpers you interview in order to see if they really are a good fit for your family. Read this article on setting, communicating and managing expectations.

Last updated on July 4th, 2023

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