Our Story

We got started because we saw a better way of hiring domestic helpers. By removing worker placement fees, we’ve reinvented the domestic helper agency so that it is fair to workers, and fair to employers.

Debt Bondage

For too long, employment agencies have been making money from doing a bad job. Employers are charged for bad customer service, while agencies secretly charge domestic helpers too. This illegal practice leaves domestic helpers in debt and it fails employers.

When agencies charge domestic helpers, they are incentivised to place those who are willing to pay, rather than those who are right for the job. When a helper is fired or quits, the agency makes more money by charging replacement workers. Meanwhile the domestic helper gets further into debt as she borrows more money for a new job.

We saw this broken system and knew we could do better.

The Problem

Our Solution

We launched Fair Employment Agency as a better way of hiring domestic helpers. Because we never charge fees to domestic helpers, our agency works for the interests of everyone.

Domestic helpers benefit because they start their jobs free from recruitment debt. Employers benefit because we only place helpers who are a good match for their family. And Hong Kong benefits because we are setting a new standard of professionalism for all employment agencies.

The Solution

How we got started

  1. A solvable problem
    A solvable problem - Aug 2012

    Whilst on an internship in Hong Kong, Scott Stiles gets thinking about the problems with the domestic worker recruitment system and arrives at “we can solve this”. He begins writing up a plan to beat exploitative employment agencies at their own game with a new kind of agency. One that is fair to workers and fair to employers. 

  2. The Founders
    The Founders - Sep 2012

    Soon afterwards, Tammy Baltz joins the team. Tammy has been volunteering with indebted domestic workers for 10 years and is also trying to fix the worker placement fees problem.

  3. The business plan
    The business plan - Oct 2012

    Scott finishes up his internship in Hong Kong and goes back to university in the US. He writes up a business plan for the ‘Domestic Worker Project’. Meanwhile Tammy continues building support for the idea in Hong Kong.

  4. Start-up funds
    Start-up funds - Oct 2013

    Some philanthropists see Scott’s business plan and promise start-up funds if he moves out to Hong Kong to do it.  They’re a little surprised when he actually turns up in Hong Kong to do it! But thankfully still give start-up funds anyway.

  5. We hit the streets
    We hit the streets - May 2014

    With no money for advertising, Scott, Tammy, and a small army of students hit the streets telling people about our new ethical employment agency.

  6. We’re official!
    We’re official! - Aug 2014

    We receive accreditation from the Philippines Consulate (and get our first logo).

  7. Hello Wan Chai
    Hello Wan Chai - Aug 2014

    We move into Fair’s first HQ in Wan Chai.

  8. First placement
    First placement - Sep 2014

    Our new employment agency officially opens its doors. We are featured in SCMP’s Post Magazine and the phone starts ringing! We match our first worker with our first employer, and the worker doesn’t pay a thing.

  9. More leadership
    More leadership - Jan 2015

    Jennifer Meehan hears what we’re doing and offers her help. The former Asia Regional CEO of Grameen Foundation volunteers full time for two years as our Director of Strategic Development. She builds out our impact evaluation model and helps our young team grow into leadership roles.

  10. Wonderful people
    Wonderful people - Mar 2015

    As demand grows for our services, we have to expand the team quite quickly. We’re grateful to find wonderful, talented people who want to join our team.

  11. Hello space
    Hello space - Jul 2015

    As demand grows, we need to expand again to fit more wonderful people in. We rent another office (upstairs from Fair HQ).

  12. Promo vid
    Promo vid - Oct 2016

    Our friends at Thomson Reuters help us produce a promotional video which is played to 60,000 people at Hong Kong’s biggest music festival.

  13. Clockenflap
    Clockenflap - Nov 2016

    Fair Employment Agency volunteers greet thousands of festival goers at Clockenflap and spread the word on our work.

  14. 1000th placement
    1000th placement - Dec 2016

    We place 1000 domestic workers, saving those workers an estimated US$1.5million in recruitment debt.

  15. TVB Pearl Report
    TVB Pearl Report - Apr 2017

    TVB Pearl feature our work in a feature length piece on exploitation in the domestic worker recruitment process. Fair Employment Agency is presented as a new type of domestic helper agency and we have a boost in new clients after the show airs.

  16. A new look
    A new look - Oct 2017

    Thanks to a kind donor, we strengthen all of our technology platforms, build a new website and update our look.

  17. Goodbye Wanchai, hello Sheung Wan!
    Goodbye Wanchai, hello Sheung Wan! - Aug 2018

    Coming up to our fourth year, our team was quickly outgrowing our first office in Wanchai. We moved to a bigger space in Sheung Wan that would fit our 20+ team comfortably. We were fortunate to have Spatial Concept who helped us design the space to be functional and even painted our walls with the FEA colours.

  18. 3000th placement
    3000th placement - Dec 2018

    We place our 3000th domestic worker, helping those workers avoid an estimated US$4.5million in recruitment debt.

  19. 4000th placement
    4000th placement - Jan 2020

    We place our 4000th domestic worker, helping those workers avoid an estimated US$6million in recruitment debt.

  20. We open our Tsuen Wan Branch!
    We open our Tsuen Wan Branch! - Mar 2020

    We open our second office in Tsuen Wan, so we can better serve Hong Kong families and domestic helpers.

  21. We pass our 5000th placement milestone!
    We pass our 5000th placement milestone! - Jan 2021

    After a challenging 2020, we begin 2021 by passing our 5000th placement milestone.

  22. We are accredited with the Royal Thai Consulate
    We are accredited with the Royal Thai Consulate - Jan 2021

    We are accredited with at the Royal Thai Consulate!

Our Team

Catherine Wu
Catherine Wu
Administrative Assistant
Elaine Chau
Elaine Chau
Recruitment Team Manager
Grace Cheng
Grace Cheng
General Manager
Jasmine Lam
Jasmine Lam
Branch Manager
Jessie Cheung
Jessie Cheung
Assistant Processing Team Manager
Kasey Tai
Kasey Tai
Recruitment Team Assistant Manager
Kathleen Largo
Kathleen Largo
Operations and Projects Manager
Phoenix Ho
Phoenix Ho
Administrative Assistant
Rachel Kan
Rachel Kan
Case Consultant
Ruby Cheng
Ruby Cheng
Accounting & Office Manager
Trinette Wong
Trinette Wong
Recruitment Consultant

Our Board and Founders

Tammy Baltz
Tammy Baltz
Co-founder & Board Director
Mathew Gollop
Mathew Gollop
Board Director
Sam Lau
Sam Lau
Board Director
Lidia Garcia
Lidia Garcia
Board Advisor
Scott Stiles
Scott Stiles
Co-founder, Former CEO

With thanks to our supporters

Peery Foundation
Peery Foundation
technology & scaling up
employer engagement
Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs Gives
start-up funds