In Singapore, one of the world’s most expensive cities, families typically require two or more incomes to thrive—especially if they have two or more children. With a three-bedroom apartment costing an average of 5,000 to 7,000 SGD (~USD 3,660 to 7,120) in the central business district area and 4,000 SGD (~USD 2,950) around the outskirts of the city, living in this cosmopolitan costs a lot of money—and time.
In short, it’s typical for a Singaporean household to have two working parents. This is the main reason why it’s pretty common to hire maids and nannies in Singapore. However, hiring domestic help has its own set of challenges. For instance, if you’re recruiting from nearby countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines, the process can be tedious with unpredictable results. Case in point, there can be issues with immigration departments, flight delays, and more.
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Fortunately, technological innovations are improving domestic helper employment on various fronts. Below, we discuss how the shift towards a more digital world is reshaping domestic helper employment in the Lion City.
Digital platforms for easy hiring procedures
The days of sifting through piles of resumes and making countless phone calls to potential domestic helpers are over. These days, domestic helpers can apply to different agencies and positions through digital platforms. Not only is this beneficial to helpers, but it also makes things easier for potential employers as they can easily check candidates’ digital resumes. With a more organised list of candidates, the process of elimination has never been easier.
An example of these online platforms is a transfer maid agency Singapore families can turn to when they urgently need new staff. A transfer maid is a domestic worker who’s already in Singapore but wishes to change employers for various reasons. Through this online job seeker’s platform, employers who are looking to hire helpers who can start working immediately can review the resumes of these transfer maids and see if they’re a good fit
Video conferencing for a convenient interview process
In the past, scheduling face-to-face interviews with domestic helper candidates could be a logistical nightmare. However, technology has come to the rescue with the advent of video conferencing tools. Employers in Singapore can now conduct interviews from the comfort of their homes or offices, saving both parties the hassle of commuting. This not only streamlines the hiring process but also allows employers to assess a candidate’s communication skills and suitability for the job, which helps them make more informed decisions.
Online government database for background checks
Safety is the highest priority when inviting a domestic helper into your home, especially if they will be taking care of your children. While agencies can screen the candidates for you, it wouldn’t hurt to do your own digging before letting them into your home. Fortunately, doing a background check is much more straightforward nowadays compared to previous decades.
The Ministry of Manpower provides an employment record of every FDW or foreign domestic worker that you can check online. Another great idea is to screen a candidate’s publicly posted social media activities to see if their personality fits into your household.
Online learning platforms for learning new domestic skills
The digital age has brought a lot of opportunities for personal and professional development, and domestic helpers in Singapore are no exception. Online learning platforms offer a wide range of courses that empower maids to acquire new skills and enhance their capabilities. Whether it’s improving cooking skills or acquiring childcare expertise, these platforms enable domestic helpers to upskill at their own pace and convenience.
Language Learning Apps for Better Communication
Effective communication is the foundation of a harmonious employer-helper relationship. However, in a culturally diverse country like Singapore, language barriers can be a challenge. Thankfully, language learning apps can bridge this gap. These tools offer tutorials, as well as free online dictionaries and translators that could improve the language skills of both sides.
Remote monitoring to enhance your home security
Security is a top concern for many employers when they hire domestic helpers. Because most domestic helpers stay within the employer’s home, it’s important that the employers can trust their new hire. Fortunately, CCTVs have evolved to be convenient, watchful eyes within the home. Even from afar, homeowners can check their homes to make sure everything is in order.
Digital banking for easy disbursement and remittance
For employers, digital banks and e-wallets provide a convenient way to disburse salaries and household expenses. It’s also a secure way for domestic helpers to safeguard their earnings. Moreover, their digital wallet also allows for more convenient direct money transfers to their families in their home countries. This way, they can avoid hefty fees from banks and other financial institutions.
Robotics and automation in new generation appliances to help with chores
In some ways, the job of a domestic helper is made easier with help from a new generation of smart and automated appliances. With automated washing machines and robotic vacuum cleaners, for instance, they no longer have to spend hours of their time on a single chore. Instead, they can focus on more important duties such as making sure the children are properly supervised.
Technology plays a transformative role in a lot of industries and sectors, including domestic work. With advancements such as those mentioned in this list, employers can overcome the challenges of finding the right domestic helper for their family. Likewise, domestic helpers will have a lighter workload and be able to form better relationships with their employers. Instead of focusing on mundane tasks, both can better focus on the most important duty of all: taking care of the family.