When hiring a helper in Singapore it’s important to get it right. That’s why many expats turn to a maid agency for assistance. We Are Caring is an employment agency that specialises in matching families with the best helper to suit their needs. In fact, according to CEO and co-founder DAVID BENSADON, We Are Caring is the first entirely online helper employment agency in Singapore to also have an ethical hiring model.
Four reasons why We are Caring is more than just a maid agency
#1 Ethical hiring model for hiring a helper in Singapore
Hiring a helper in Singapore through a traditional employment agency can be time consuming as the pool of applicants is limited, interviews at the agency premises are short, and it can feel a little awkward interviewing in front of a third party. The process can also be costly, as agencies usually charge employers high service fees. Helpers must also pay the equivalent of four to six months salary (if still abroad) or one to two months salary (if already in Singapore). And because most helpers have no savings, employers often end up paying maid agency placement fees on their behalf, recovered later by not paying any salary for several months.
The result? Helpers are adjusting to new homes while also worrying about being unable to send money home to loved ones. It’s little wonder that they feel disincentivised to work.
After completing his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at NUS Business school, David (a French citizen) thought that charging helpers placement fees was not fair and that a better solution was possible. So he co-founded We Are Caring with Jinky Amador (a Filipino citizen) in 2016. The aim? To promote an ethical hiring model, eliminate placement fees and leverage new technologies to provide a better service for both employers and helpers.
The We Are Caring platform is based on the belief that, “migrant workers from all sectors shouldn’t be forced into debt to find a job,” says David. Everything is transparent, he adds. His team handles the hiring process without salary deduction or maid agency placement fees for the helper. “We’re the first ethical employment agency in Singapore. Our mission to make ethical hiring a norm all over the world,” says David. And he’s excited that it’s starting here in Southeast Asia.
The four key pillars of the ethical hiring model are:
- zero placement fees – which alleviates additional financial burden for both employers and helpers and promotes a smoother adjustment period;
- excellent customer support – with hiring documentation handled seamlessly via e-signatures, and ongoing support to promote better employer-employee communication;
- direct communication – with employers directly engaging in conversations with candidates, to help them quickly find the right helper; and
- empowering helpers – by improving helpers’ legal awareness and general knowledge with online training, and ensuring that employers provide a weekly day of leave.
The system works well. According to the Ministry of Manpower’s EA directory, 76% of helpers hired via We Are Caring keep working for the same employer after six months (versus 63% in average for the industry). These stats are encouraging. I know from personal experience it’s incredibly frustrating when a helper leaves after a few months. You’re then forced to start the hiring process again. It’s not just ethical; it’s smart business.
#2 Other services offered by this employment agency
In addition to enabling employers to hire the right helper, We are Caring offers a range of related services.These include:
- transfer hiring – handling the hiring process of your transfer helper in a 100% digital way, including assisting your helper to find a new employer if you wish to transfer;
- relocation from abroad – helping to relocate your helper to Singapore regardless of location, and if both you and your helper are abroad, ensuring that you arrive together in Singapore;
- home leave – taking care of the paperwork so your helper can take a home leave to her home country and safely return to Singapore;
- Employers’ Orientation Programme (EOP) – We Are Caring is the only employment agency accredited as a training provider by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to provide the online EOP, a mandatory course for all new employers in Singapore.
#3 First fully digital agency for helpers in Singapore
One thing’s for sure. David is a man who isn’t afraid to dream big and work tirelessly to realise his vision. As if creating the social enterprise wasn’t enough, it’s officially the first fully digital agency for helpers in Singapore. With the support of the DBS Foundation and a tech savvy team behind him, David developed and recently released the We Are Caring App, available to download on the App Store.
Plenty of time and investment has gone into developing the app. The result is intuitive, user-friendly and practical for helpers and employers alike.
How to use the app to find and hire your helper
- Download the We Are Caring mobile app for free. Discover the profiles, presentation videos and references of hundreds of screened candidates available on the platform. The videos give a good sense of the helper’s language skills and personality.
- Get your Premium pass (S$49.98). You can then post an ad with your job requirements, receive applications from helpers and contact any candidate for 30 days.
- Interview helpers at your convenience, online or in person. Helpers can come to your house and meet your family, so they understand the job properly (size of house, pets, number of children) before they accept. This way, everyone feels comfortable and at ease from the outset.
- Once you’ve found your match, We Are Caring will handle all the paperwork remotely. This saves you a trip to the maid agency. It’s comprehensive, 100% online and 100% compliant.
- At any time during the recruitment and period of employment, the customer service team is available for support. (This includes for mediation, management tips, home leave, medical costs coverage and termination of employment).
#4 Support and accreditation
Clearly We Are Caring is doing something right. It’s recognised and accredited by the Ministry of Manpower, the Embassy of the Philippines and the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia. It’s also proud to be the 2021 DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Grant Awardee. These funds enabled We Are Caring to help thousands of helpers and employers in Singapore. (To date, over 4,000 helpers have been placed and over S$2 million in placement fees saved.) The agency will continue to enhance its recruitment model, while with the help of the DBS Foundation a subsidiary will open in Hong Kong early 2023.
In November 2022, after two years of assessments, We Are Caring became the first company worldwide handling the recruitment of migrant workers to receive the label of ‘ethical recruiter’ from the International Organization for Migration (IOM, United Nations). With this recognition, David hopes they’ll contribute to bring ethical hiring to other categories of migrant workers (caregivers, hospitality, construction) in Southeast Asia and beyond.
#02-06 Lucky Plaza, 304 Orchard Road
3163 4636 | wearecaring.com
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