Imagine, you came home after a long hectic day at work, and you get a spotlessly clean house. Your kids’ toys are organized, and a hot, home-cooked meal is ready on the table.
Sounds like a dream? Well, this dream can be true when you have a reliable help.
The stress at work makes it difficult for us to cope with the task of taking care of the kids and managing house chores all at the same time. A helper can be your extra pair of hands to do the household chores.
Maids are becoming a norm to deal with the fast-paced life in Singapore. But, hiring a maid isn’t that easy.
Entrusting your valuables and children’s well-being into a stranger’s hand is challenging. Especially when this fear has been fueled by headlines of tragic maid stories. You need a helper whom you can trust.
This is where the role of a good maid agency come into the picture. Maid agencies are the right place to find a dependable maid.
However, as hundreds of maid agencies are brimming in Singapore, it is difficult to screen one that is good at what they are doing.
So what to look for while selecting a suitable maid? Read on to find out.
Here is the detailed guide to hiring a good maid agency Singapore.
Common Mistakes in Choosing a Maid Agency Singapore
Let’s get started from the point where you may go wrong. Have a glance at the mistakes that often Singaporeans commit while selecting a maid agency.
Mistake 1: Looking for the cheapest agency
“Hire us at the lowest price,” “we offer you service at a super cheap rate.”
These lines sound tempting, right?
Most of the people prefer the cheapest maid agency in Singapore for cutting back expenses.
Well, there is nothing wrong with thinking about saving money.
But hiring a maid agency only on the basis of low price may end up being a huge mistake.
Instead of running behind the cost, look for a reputed maid agency whose price is not overly low or extremely high.
Mistake 2: Finding an agency in a hurry
Another common mistake that can make you regret later is searching for a maid agency in a hurry.
The worst part is that you can end up with a mediocre or unscrupulous maid recruiter.
The risk of hiring an ineffective agency is really high.
When you rush things, it is possible for you to miss out some critical factors.
So, take your time and think of every aspect to lead your way to the ideal helper.
Mistake 3: Not checking online presence
We live in a digital era where any information is just a few clicks away.
You can get to know about everything from its services to customer satisfaction on social media channels.
But often people either forget or neglect to check the online presence of maid agency before hiring.
You should check out their posts and the comments. This can reveal a lot about their services and the experience of their customers.
You will get a clear and better picture of how it operates.
Furthermore, make sure to read the review sections to know the feedback from previous clients.
Visit the agency’s website and analyze the information on the page to check the credibility.
A reliable maid agency Singapore will focus on improving the appearance of their website to justify that they are prudent in serving their clients.
Mistake 4: Believing everything they are told
People don’t realize that everything advertised on the official website of the maid service may not be true.
Also, the agency will try their best to convince you; after all, marketing is the key to any business.
If you believe in every word, you may be setting yourself up for a trap.
Without looking into outside reviews, you shouldn’t rush into any decision.
Don’t believe in their lies and look beyond the services provided by the official website.
Mistake 5: Hiring a company not approved by the Consumer’s Association of Singapore
Fake advertising is something that is not unheard of in Singapore.
In fact, this is an old tactic to entice customers and entrap them before they know what is happening.
Most of the people get trapped by such agencies and left with the options of nothing but to regret.
This is one of the huge mistakes made by people in Singapore.
So, the best practice is to check whether the agency is truly approved by the Consumer’s Association of Singapore.
No matter what their representative or website says, if they are not recognized by Consumer’s Association of Singapore, don’t hire them.
You may even have to deal with some serious consequences, so why take any chance?
Things To Consider While Hiring A Maid Agency Singapore
Why should you care about the license?
If this is what you think, here is the answer. A license of a maid agency will ensure you about two things.
First, their continued operation indicates that they haven’t behaved illegally and flouted government rules in the past. So, they are reliable.
Second, they are aware of what they are doing. This will lessen your worry.
The rate of the total helpers placed who have worked with the same employer for 12 months, or more is basically termed as the FDW retention rate.
While looking for a retention rate of a company, remember, the higher the rate, the better it is considered.
As a huge number of people come and go in Singapore, there is a high turnover of employers.
This affects the retention rate of maid agencies.
Hence, it is difficult to find an agency with high retention rate.
So agency with around 50% retention rate can be concluded as pretty good.
Moreover, do consider placement volume along with retention rate as well.
Hiring an agency with 100% retention rate but has only one employee doesn’t make any sense.
Any maid agency Singapore that falls foul of the Employment Agency Act or any of the associated rules is usually issued with demerit points.
If any agency has demerit points that means they have been up to no good.
Looking for demerit points can help you struck agencies off your short list without wasting a minute.
No matter what reason they have, they got on the wrong side of the government. You should immediately rule out any agencies that have demerit points.
The maid agencies that demonstrate fair trading and transparency with their customer, will earn the CASE accreditation.
You can easily trust CASE-accredited maid agency than those who haven’t received accreditation.
Furthermore, in case you have a conflict with your agency, they’ll be more likely to return your money to save their agency from losing the CASE accreditation.
The transfer rate indicates the percentage of all the maids who have been moved three times or more from one employer to another within the last twelve months.
There can be many reasons for an agency to have a high transfer rate.
Maybe the company is not offering high-quality maids. Or, they are unable to match employer requirements.
Either way, you’re most probably looking for a helper whom you can’t rely on, right?
So, it is better to opt for the maid agency with a low FDW transfer rate which is ideally less than 8%.
Tips For Selecting The Right Maid Agency Singapore
List your expectations
The moment you decide that you need a maid, the very first thing you must be doing is listing out your expectations.
A detailed list of priorities and attributes will be helpful for you while going through the biodatas of the maids.
Also, make sure to show the list to the agency as well as the maid. Decide whether you need a full-time or part-time maid.
Check the background
Once you are done with the detailed list of expectations, the next step will be the detailed research.
Ask around for recommendations and be careful about gross generalizations.
List out some reputable agencies recommended by your trusted friends or family. Then start screening their background.
Check everything from license to transfer rate as mentioned above in this article.
Some maid agencies may have a high turnover while some may have high accident rate. So, getting the statistics do matters.
Any rate in the high zone should set off the alarm bells in your mind unless they are talking about the success rate.
Read the entire agreement
Although it sounds a bit boring, take the effort to read through the entire agreement.
Unless you want to sing the blues after signing it blindly, read it carefully.
There may be some clauses in the agreement that is tricky.
Once you ink the agreement, you are bound and there is nothing you can do about it.
Specifically, look for the clauses that speak about what if the maid runs away or commits an offense.
Look for maid agencies in Singapore that allow post-dated cheque
Suppose there is a dispute between you and your maid agency.
In such scenario, the chances are you will lose the whole loan repayment for the current maid.
Although the fees for the maid agency will be somewhat higher, having the whole loan amount forfeited is disheartening.
If the cheques are post-dated, you are in control. You can cancel the cheque anytime you want.
Never trust an agency who doesn’t allow you to cancel your maid work permit
If the maid has an outstanding loan, the agency will not want you to cancel the permit till the maid settles her loan with the agency.
It will be daunting for them to re-market your maid to any other employer.
If still, you want to cancel her permit, you may have to pay the repatriation cost.
Find out whether they provide free replacement
Always ask if the agency will replace the maid when required.
Some companies will not replace your maid even if she has committed an offense.
So, beware of such conditions and ask them if they will offer free of cost replacement in such scenarios.
Ask for a timeline
Ask your maid agency for a timeline.
It can usually take one month for a new maid to arrive.
In case they are unable to send you a maid in the committed time, you must be entitled to a refund.
Or they must provide you with a suitable maid from their biodatas unless you get the maid in the decided time.
This is something very crucial to keep in mind unless you want to lose all the money and time.
Questions To Ask The Maid Before Hiring
You got a reliable maid agency and confident about your selection.
But the process doesn’t end here.
There is one more important task to be done that is interviewing the maid.
You have won half of the battle by hiring a trustworthy maid agency.
However, for the other half, you must ensure you are giving the household responsibility on the right hand.
For this make sure to ask the following questions while choosing a maid.
- Where do you come from?
- Can you describe your daily work activity?
- Do you have any kid?
- What is your strength?
- Have you gone through any training?
- What is your qualification?
- Do you like children?
Skill gauging questions
- What are the qualities of a good helper?
- Do you know how to handle a crying baby?
- If my baby hurts herself badly, what will you do?
- What dish can you cook?
- What are you best at doing?
Employer and employee relationship questions
- In case you are not happy with us, what would you do?
- How will you deal with too many tasks at the same time?
- According to you, what makes a good employer?
- What do you expect from us?
- Would you like to share any unhappiness or difficulty that you’ve faced so far?
Finding a good maid agency Singapore can be a daunting process.
Since you need to protect your property and family, you must ensure the person who will enter your home is trustworthy.
With the above guideline, you can never go wrong while choosing a maid agency.
Just keep your eye open and do comprehensive research before you sign any agreement.