In India, it is not too difficult to find a domestic worker, especially since there are more than 20 million domestic workers. The real challenge employers face is how to manage the staff and ensure they can retain the staff once hired. They can easily find more helpers through online portals like Helper4U.in, agencies or referrals but most often, having a long-term and satisfying relationships is the challenge for the home owners as well as the helper. One would think that hiring and managing a domestic helper is a simple job, yet most of us find it a challenge to maintain a healthy Job Seeker – Job Giver relationship. There are 4 things Helper4U staff advocates seriously to our employers. Listing them here to help you have better relationships with your helpers in 2019.
List the Job role with candidate requirements to choose well
Create a job role, and write against each what kind of person can do it. For example, do you have a very active child: you need someone young who can keep up with their energy levels.
Or do you need someone who can put a child to sleep and feed her, with patience? Then, you may need a slightly older person, as well as someone who looks clean and hygienic. Else, you will soon be frustrated and want her to leave.
(Need more tips about hiring a nanny? Check here.)
Need a spic and span house? You may need an active, healthy and clean person to do cleaning. After all someone who is not clean will not understand the value of cleanliness.
Need someone to stay at home in your absence and take care of everything? You definitely do not need an 18-year-old. Someone with experience and whose credentials you have checked is what you should look out for. If you hire a younger person, most probably you will not be able to retain her.
The takeaway: Match the candidate with your requirements, irrespective of the source you get her from. It is a small activity, but one that pays when you need to hire a Maid, Nanny, Cook etc for home. Hiring an incapable Helper will lead to frustrations for both sides. You don’t want to spend time training someone who is incapable of fulfilling your most important requirements, and the Helper does not want to waste time, and lose out on salary while finding a new job again.
Lay down the rules
There are things you MUST educate your house help about right at the start. Setting rules for domestic workers is as important as setting them for office workers for a positive environment. Set out these rules at the start, spend some time explaining them, and the reason for them.
One of the employers once told us that their maid was posting her selfies from their home on FB and Instagram. This is something you have to lay down as a rule for your help at joining time: No posting images of your home on any social media.
Similarly, you would want to make it clear for her that she cannot talk about you, your home, and happenings in your home to any neighbour or stranger. You may also want to set out a rule for the timelines within which work should be done, as well as the order in which work has to be completed: clean utensils first, and then the kitchen and so on.
Hygiene is another thing which must be enforced from day Wash your hands as soon as you enter the house, wear an apron while holding the child, keep the hair tied when cooking or in the house, not wear jewellery if she plays with the child and so on.
Takeaway: Discuss teh rules and expectations at the start of employment. If you try to add them after a few days, the Helper is not going to understand why suddenly you want her to change. This will frustrate you both. So, educate her about your expectations at the start so that she can service them properly.
Get a Written Contract in place
Anything written is more likely to stay in one’s mind. And, it becomes more enforceable. Document everything that you and the Helper expects from the job.
Add all details about job role, timings, salary, leaves rules, annual vacation, alternate contact number, Helper’s address and document details etc. Also add, what support you will provide them, like time off during the day, bonus, meals, tea, snacks etc.
Even if you hire through an agency, have your own personalized contract with the Helper. Now a days everyone has at least one phone with WhatsApp in the house. Sign a copy of agreement, get the Helper to sign it, and send them on WhatsApp, in addition to handing over one copy to them.
50% of the times the Helper leaves an employment because one of the sides expected something which they realise they are not getting. You may want timeliness, and they may want reimbursement of travel or a cup of tea every day. These issues can be easily sorted before they arise if you have a contract in place. Having a written contract will reduce future conflicts to nearly zero. Need a FREE contract template? Click here.
So, three points to help you retain better:
- Detail your needs and ideal candidate profile before interviewing
- Set ground rules about everything at the start of employment
- Get a written contract in place with expectations and responsibilities of both sides