Looking for a domestic help who can lend you a helping hand in your household chores? Well, it could be a tedious task for sure. You obviously want a dedicated, honest, trustworthy, hardworking domestic help. Nothing short of these qualities would do. However, the question is how to judge these qualities before hiring? How can you be sure to some extent that the domestic helper you are hiring is good in his or her job? Well, this is when recommendation letter come into picture.
Most of the employers tend to ask for a reference letter by previous employer before making that final decision of hiring. Understandably, reference letter seems to be a full proof security blanket when hiring a help. Reference letters from previous employers can work as a stamp on a helper’s working credentials. The best way for reference check will be to contact the previous employer.
However, the point is that if reference letters can be 100 percent proof of a helper’s credibility, then why do they not work in many cases? How come, so many good domestic helpers are recruited without any reference letters or any reference check?
Well, the coin has its two sides and you need to look at both before making a decision. May be the helper may not be able to produce a reference letter or any recommendation. There could be many reasons for this. May be the employer has left the county and the helper is not having his or her new address. In some situations, the previous employer may be a difficult one and hence the helper does not want to reveal that he or she is looking for a new job.
However, this does not mean that the domestic helper is not suitable enough for the job. Either way, the important aspect to consider is that you are actually looking for a domestic helper who is perfect for your domestic scenario. You are looking for someone who knows his or her job well. Thus, there are other ways to judge a helper’s credentials as well if the references are missing.
You can ask for recommendations of their friend who is also working as a helper in Hong Kong. This way, you can talk to them and confirm that the helper is telling the truth about their previous employer. Moreover, you can also ask to see any certificates if any. These certificates could be for cooking skills, first aid, etc. Through these certificates, you can get the guarantee about the skills the helper talks of possessing.
If these things are also absent, you can also ask for a copy of previous employment contract. This contract can be a legal proof that the helper holds the experience of working for particular years as a domestic help. Moreover, you can also ask the helper to work on a trial period of few hours before you hire them finally. This way you can judge the helper’s working abilities and working style as well.
Remember, though reference letters are imperative for judging a domestic help’s qualities, but they need not be the only credentials. You should also take into consideration aspects such as working attitude, experience, and motivation to work. The reference letter may hold all praises but the helper may be short tempered or not willing to work for long hours. Then, you may not like the helper after hiring. Moreover, if the recommendation letter has only good things to say about the help but he or she holds only 1 or 2 years of experience in the job, then also it may be a bad situation.
Thus, in addition to reference letters, it is advisable that you consider other points before hiring as well.
Pros of Recommendation Letter
Like we mentioned earlier, every coin has two faces, recommendation letters also have their pros and cons.
Here is a detailed look at the positive aspects of getting recommendation letters for your domestic helpers.
- You get a detailed idea about what to expect from your domestic helper with the recommendation letter. A recommendation letter may contain detailed information about the duties of the domestic helper in her previous household. Moreover, you may also get to read about the various working abilities of the helper such as cooking, washing, skills for children care etc. This could give you a fair idea about his or her working style as well.
- Recommendation letters may also give you a fair idea about the qualities which are not so good in the domestic helper. You can consider these bad qualities and then decide whether to hire a person or not.
- Recommendation letters can also be taken as the happiness quotient of the previous employer. If the recommendation letter is good, it means that the previous employer was very happy with the domestic helper. However, if the recommendation letter is not that good, then may be the previous employer was not that happy. However, a neutral recommendation letter can be the most fair. After all, we all possess some good and bad qualities and helpers are no mismatch to this rule.
Cons of Recommendation Letter
Now, we come to the negative aspect of getting recommendation letters for your domestic helper candidates.
- The previous employer may not be totally honest when talking about the helper. In some cases, maybe the employer is a difficult person to please and this may reflect in the recommendation letter. However, this does not mean that the domestic help is not good.
- Moreover, the previous employer may not be very happy with the domestic help leaving his or her job. Thus, he may try to sabotage the future working endeavors for the domestic help.
- Recommendations could also be a result of personal choices and tastes. Thus, may be a thing which you like may not go very well with the previous employer. Thus, you may also get to read a negative recommendation from the ex employer.
- Nowadays, it may be difficult to judge whether the recommendation letter is coming from the original employer or not. Social media has made it easier for people to forge these recommendation letters or their employment details.
Before to make your decision, get a recommendation is a plus but don’t forget that your feeling, the attitude and the working experience of the candidates are the most important. To get more chance to find the right helper, you can choose to use a domestic helper agency or a matching platform like HelperPlace.