Finding the right household staff in Jakarta. In an ethically correct way

Guest contribution by Vi Hendrik, founder of Kasicare

When we moved to Jakarta, we were incredibly lucky to find our nanny straight away. But for many families, settling in and finding the right fit is not that simple. When I started Kasicare, I saw a broken system that exploited domestic workers and wanted to help families find the best possible match. 

Since then, we built Indonesia’s only ethical recruitment platform with over 4000 + job seekers: nannies, housekeepers, caregivers, drivers, many who have references from former expat families.

Having helped hundreds of expat families in Jakarta, we know luck plays a part in every successful recruitment but there is more to it. Here are our tips to find and retain great staff:

1. Define your needs and compensate adequately

What will be the main duties of the new hire? Are you looking for someone who will be able to work independently from the beginning? Or do you prefer training someone yourself?

Most expats look for experienced workers who need minimum guidance. For them, we recommend candidates who can speak English, have had similar roles with foreign families and can provide reference letters. These workers typically have a strong preference for live-out roles, expect a salary of 4 to 5,5 million per month (depending on their responsibilities) and 1,5 to 2 days off per week.

2. Easy and ethical recruitment with Kasicare

For too long, employment agencies have been making money from doing a bad job: charging employers for very poor customer service and taking advantage of workers. Agents typically charge workers, confiscate their IDs to make sure they keep working, and leave workers powerless over the recruitment process. These practises are not only unethical, they result in bad matches and ultimately high turnover.

Instead of using an agency, reach out to your community and Kasicare. Facebook groups such as the Jakarta Moms Support Group and the Uppercrust newsletter are both great places to start but may provide limited options.

At Kasicare, we’ve made hiring really easy and fair. We go through our network, screen applicants and provide a list of the best matches. Families then select their favorite candidates, interview and hire. Workers are never charged in the process and are able to choose the opportunities that suit them. This means better matches, a win-win for everybody!

3. Sign a written agreement

Once you’ve found someone, it is time to sign a written agreement. Many families skip this step, hoping to keep things “easy” and “informal” but a contract actually benefits everyone.

For you, it’s a great opportunity to be clear about your needs and expectations and ultimately increases the likelihood that your employee will meet your standards. For the worker, a written description of job duties, benefits, and work terms professionalise the relationship, fosters job stability, and builds trust. It gives your worker a full understanding of what you expect from her and what she can expect from you.

A template agreement can be found on our website.

4. Create a respectful relationship, consider training and keep an open mind

Every family has its unique way of doing things, and even the most experienced workers cannot anticipate their employers needs. The best way to help a new employee meet your expectations is through open and respectful communication. A nanny or a housekeeper may not be comfortable letting you know when something is unclear so it is important to create a work environment where she feels questions are welcome.

Another way to make sure a new employee succeeds in their jobs is by providing training but spending time to show how things should be done is not always possible or convenient. This is why we also developed online training for domestic workers which can be watched anytime and anywhere from a smartphone.

For more tips and to learn more about our recruitment or training services, please visit our website  or reach out at via email.

Also read EMC’s tipps on how to make Jakarta your new home away from home.

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