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The following is a compilation of some the most frequently asked questions related to the hiring of a Philippine / Indonesian maid.

Indonesian, Philippines or Thai maid ?

Should I select a Philippine maid, an Indonesian maid, or Thai maid ? Or should I consider helpers from Nepal, Sri Lanka or India ?

It really depends on what you are looking for and the reason for hiring a maid. There are good and bad helpers from each of the countries supplying maids to Hong Kong.

However they do have some distinct characteristics which could be summarized below:

Indonesian maids tend to be hard working and willing to adjust to accommodate the needs of the Employer. Indonesia maids are industrious and more flexible with their weekly rest day arrangements. The feeling that they are willing to accept lesser / inferior working conditions is an outdated concept and they are as aware of their rights as any other helper.

Indonesian maids tend to be younger and most Indonesian maids have high school education.

Many Indonesian maids in Hong Kong have working experience in Singapore and decided to come to Hong Kong for better pay. Some can speak good Cantonese and some are strong in English. Some Indonesian maids are fluent in both English and Cantonese which really depends on their previous working experience.

Philippine maids tend to be better educated. Most have attended college. Some are university graduates and have special training in various medical and professional fields.

The majority of Philippine maids can speak fluent English. Their Cantonese are less proficient in comparison. Philippine maids usually are cheerful, high-spirited and have pleasant and outgoing characters.

Philippine maids are good with young kids and can do some tutoring with their home work. Many Philippine maids have teaching certificates in the Philippines and they are particularly suitable for this application.

Philippines maids are quite open to foreign culture and their living style is relatively modern. They are easily adaptable to the living environment of Hong Kong. Philippine maids are often chosen by Hong Kong employers because of their higher level of education.

Thai helpers tend to be good cooks. They have amazing capability to learn Cantonese and can master the language within a short time. However, they are weaker in English. One of the reasons suggested is that because they can communicate so well in Cantonese, they will be using it most of the time with the employers and thus have fewer chance to practice English. In general Thai maids tend to be older and have primary school education.

Thai maids are particularly strong with elderly care due to their proficiency in cooking and the Cantonese Language. Most of them are Buddhist which fits well with the habits of local elderly persons.

Nepalese maids are usually hard working and loyal. But they tend to stick to their own ways of doing things and thus require a lot of patience. Maids from Sri Lanka and India are said to be very intelligent and quick learners.

Indonesian maids are mostly Moslem and they do not eat pork. However, they can handle and cook pork without any problem. It does not seem to have caused a lot of inconvenience to most households.

Most Indonesian maids do not perform religious rituals at home while others may pray at night. It is important that you work it out with the maid during the interview to avoid conflicts. Some Indonesian maids like to wear their ethnic costumes during the holidays. If you feel uneasy about this, you must talk it out clearly with the Indonesian maid before hiring.

Philippine maids are mostly Catholics or Protestant Christians and they want to go to church on Sunday. It is important to agree on the weekly rest day with them. Thai maids are mostly Buddhist and some are vegetarians.

When selecting a maid, the employer should consider the distinct characteristics of maids from various countries vis-a-vis the individual needs of the family.

Local or Overseas Direct ?

There are quite a few Indonesian and Philippine maids available locally for interview. The maids are physically in Hong Kong and they have just finished or terminated their contract with the previous employers.

Nowadays, many Philippine maids come to Hong Kong as tourists and look for jobs. This is rather uncommon with Indonesian maids.

Thai, Nepalese, Sri Lanka and Indian maids are less readily available in the local job market. Chance of picking a suitable Indonesian or Philippine maid from the local pool is quite good.

When you hire someone who is locally available, the advantage is you can interview with them and have a better feel of the real person, and how they perform their duties. You can also call their previous employers for reference.

On the other hand, you can hire someone directly from overseas.

Employment Agencies usually have a number of Philippine and Indonesian maids on their file for your selection.

You can also do direct hiring of the Philippine and Indonesian maids introduced by your friends' maids. Direct hiring of Philippine maids is relative straight forward but for Indonesian maids, the process could become quite complicated. It is better to use an Employment Agency's service if you plan to do direct hiring of Indonesian maids.

Foreign domestic helpers without previous working experience in Hong Kong require a lot of training and patience. If you can afford the time, you have a better chance of finding someone who will follow your instructions strictly.

An older person without previous overseas working experience will have more difficulty adjusting to the work requirements in Hong Kong. In general, younger people, especially those who have previous overseas working experience can adjust better and quicker.

Many Philippine and Indonesian maids who previously worked in Singapore, Taiwan or the Middle East want to come to Hong Kong.

Maids who have worked in Singapore are considered to be more adaptable to Hong Kong due to cultural similarity of the two cities.

Maids who have Middle East working experience are used to strict rules. However, some worked in very big mansions with a high degree of division of labour, which means they may only perform 1 or 2 chores repeatedly all the time. Otherwise, they are used to hard work as the employers are usually quite strict.

Maids who have working experience in Taiwan are used to hard work and strict rules also. However, many of the maids actually spent more time working in factories and had little experience in house chores.

The advantage is they can speak and understand Mandarin Chinese. Indonesian maids in Taiwan tend to be mostly household worker while quite a few Philippine maids are actually working in factories and at home part time.

You can choose someone who has worked in Hong Kong before. Many of them returned home to get married and later decided to work in Hong Kong again to help out the family. This is particularly common with Philippine maids.

Finish Contract or Break Contract ?

Hiring someone finished contract at least gives the comfortable feeling that the maid has performed satisfactorily for the previous employer.

However, someone who breaks contract does not mean they are bad or incapable. There are many situations where breaking contract by either side becomes inevitable and it is important to find out the circumstances under which the contract was terminated.

It is not uncommon to find employers extremely happy with their new maids who were prematurely terminated by their previous employers.

Local Hourly Amah ?

Hiring a local hourly helper may be a good alternative if you do not have the need for a full time maid. If you do not have infants and toddlers at home to worry about and you enjoy some light cooking and cleaning at the end of the day after work, then hiring a local amah for a few hours a week to help with cleaning may be a good choice. That way, you will have more privacy.

For a working couple already bogged down with office work and does not want to deal with grocery shopping, cooking and other house chores on a daily basis, hiring a maid or household helper may just be the solution. Having a maid can help you to be more productive at work and even in your leisure time.

If you have infants and toddlers at home and are not fortunate enough to have relatives willing to watch them during the day, you might just have no choice.

Should I use an Employment Agency's service?

Employment Agency could help minimize the hassle of looking for a helper. For a modest sum, an Employment Agency will save you a lot of time. Some people have strong feelings against using the service of an Employment Agency while others preferred to let someone else do the leg work for them.

If you decide to use an Employment Agency, one safe way is to ask your friends to recommend the one they have been dealing and happy with.

Most people who decided to do it themselves will go to the church, some do Web Sites searches, and others rely on their friends or their friends' maids to introduce helpers.

For processing of the application documents, most Employment Agencies charge a reasonable amount and can save you a lot of time. If you figure out the actual disbursements and the cost of your time involved, you will probably be surprised to find that it is sometimes cheaper to use an Employment Agency, especially in the case of applying for a maid directly from overseas as direct-hire.

Whether you decide to use an Employment Agency or try to find your own, it is important to remember that you are ultimately responsible to ask all the right questions regarding the quality of the maid and to make an informed decision to find a suitable one for your family.

IP Camera for Home Surveillance ?

If you already have an IP Camera for Home Surveillance or intend to install one soon, it is just fair to let the helper know first before they decide to work for you. Some have very strong feelings against being watched all the time. In any event, it is important that IP Cameras not be installed in the helpers' bedroom as it is extremely inconvenient for them.

Loan Company and Related Issues

Many helpers decide to borrow money from loan companies to meet emergency needs back home. Others may become co-borrowers, guarantors or references for their friends inadvertently.

When an employer is alerted by a loan collector's call, it is extremely annoying. This is a big hassle for the employer. Many are extremely angry after learning about that.

It is important to make it clear to your maid that this shall not be allowed to happen and that they should inform you first before signing any paper.

Even though a loan collector may not do any physical harm to your children, a maid who cannot concentrate on their job because of loan problem could be hazardous to the children under their care.

If possible, it is better to work with the maid to arrange for the repayment as quickly as possible. Should all efforts fail, and the maid decided to leave, it is important to fill up a 'Termination of Employment Form' and have an Hong Kong Immigration Department chop on it. After seeing a copy of that, normally the loan collector will not bother with calling your family again.

Other Things To Consider

Some maids like to wear long hair while others prefer short hair style. While it is one's own personal preference, many employers have strong feelings about it.

Obviously, long hair requires more care. If improperly managed, it could post a health hazard and you may find hair in your soup quite frequently. It is hard to ask a maid to change their hair style simply to take up a job. So it is important that you make it part of your considerations before signing a contract.

Some employers consider married people who have babies of their own more stable and suitable as helpers. Others considered single person a better choice with fewer family problems back home to worry about.

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Terms and Conditions of use:

Open388 maintains a DIY search database of foreign domestic helpers. Applicants include Filipino Maid, Indonesian Maid, Thai Maid, Sri Lankan, Nepalese, Indian, Chinese and local residents. Depending on their qualifications and visa status, they are available to work as amah, household servant, butler, housekeeper, gardener, house-boy, elder live-in caregiver, nursing maid, baby-sitters, chefs / cooks, personal assistant, household managers, nurses, doulas. Some of them possess valid Hong Kong driving licence and can perform chauffeur / driving duties.

All bio-data information and personal details are supplied by the applicants themselves on an "as is" basis without verification. We do not certify the validity of the data and information you receive from our service and are not responsible for the accuracy and usefulness of such. We shall not be held responsible for any errors, omissions, misrepresentations or misleading statements. Please directly verify all information with the Philippine domestic helper, Indonesian domestic helper or any applicant before making any decision. Once you have selected the ideal Indonesian nanny or Filipino nanny, our related Employment Agency can provide further assistance regarding domestic helper Insurance and domestic helper body check up for your Indonesian helper or Philippine nanny.

You are using this service and any information contained herein totally at your own risk and you must first verify all the information yourself. By using the service of this web-site, you have agreed to the above terms and conditions and shall hold this firm, its related business entities, employment agencies and persons harmless under all circumstances.

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