9 Important Qualities to Look for in a Domestic Helper

9 Important Qualities to Look for in a Domestic Helper

Hiring a domestic helper has long been a common practice for larger Singaporean households. But with the increasing cost of labour and wider availability of modern appliances, the practice has dropped a bit in popularity over the decades. However, it’s not likely to go away any time soon, given the increasingly longer hours many Singapore professionals spend at work. With professionals spending an average of 44 hours a week at work, it’s not surprising that many find it difficult to keep up with their sleep, other personal needs, and family time.

Given all this, domestic helpers are often considered to be valuable investments for busy professionals as these employers can recover the time that they would otherwise need to spend on cleaning, cooking, and childcare. However, as the saying goes, good help is hard to find. But if you know what “good help” actually looks like, finding a maid that’s a good match for your household should be much easier. In this article, we’ll look at nine essential qualities to consider when hiring someone to help run your household.


A domestic helper will spend hundreds of hours a month in your home, which means that anyone you hire for the job must be trustworthy. You have to be sure that you can trust them with your belongings and, more importantly, your family's safety. For this reason, it’s essential to do thorough background checks before hiring a domestic helper.

If you’re hiring through a legitimate maid agency, the agency should do most of the work of ensuring their employees have no criminal record or previous history of theft or violence. However, if you’re hiring directly you’ll want to do the checks yourself. 

Unfortunately, not every employer bothers to run a thorough background check on their helpers. While the vast majority of people are honest, you don’t want to be playing the odds when your family’s safety is at stake. For worry-free hiring, look for the most trusted Myanmar maid agency Singapore has to offer.


For many, the whole point of hiring a domestic helper is to save time. If a helper is unreliable for whatever reason, this sidesteps the rationale of having a helper in the first place. If the maid appears to have difficulty communicating in your desired language, appears to be unmotivated or lacks initiative, or if they say outright that they wouldn’t be doing certain tasks, then you’re probably better off finding someone else.

Communication Skills 

All good relationships rest on a foundation of good communication. Building this foundation is not always so straightforward if the people in the relationship don’t speak the same language. Notably, the vast majority of domestic helpers in Singapore come from nearby foreign countries like Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines which means not all of them will necessarily be proficient in the language your family uses at home. 

If you hire through traditional referrals, you can’t always guarantee your helper will be proficient in the languages you use. If you want to make sure your helper can speak your preferred language, it’s best to hire one through an accredited agency.


Patience is a vital quality in a domestic helper, particularly if they have to deal with children, elderly family members, family members with special needs, or even pets. They must also be patient when facing challenging or unexpected situations, as can often happen in households with larger families.


If the domestic helper has to be unsupervised for long periods, they must be proactive and show initiative. Ideally, they should be able to anticipate household needs and take steps to meet them before being asked. If you have young children or elderly family members who require constant care, this is a very valuable quality, as your helper may have to manage things in your stead while you’re away.


Of course, hygiene is crucial when hiring a domestic helper, as they will be in contact with your food and will generally be in proximity to you and your close family members much of the time. Domestic helpers should not only have good personal hygiene but they should also be knowledgeable about proper sanitation procedures.

Physical Stamina

Being a domestic helper can be a physically demanding job, especially if they have to take care of children or assist household members with special needs. In addition, they will be standing for long periods and they will be doing repetitive tasks. If they are in charge of the groceries, they may need to do a fair amount of walking and lifting as well. That said, whoever you hire must have the physical stamina to handle whatever tasks your household needs done.


Domestic helpers should be compassionate and display empathy towards their employers and family members. Compassion is particularly essential for families with young children, elderly members, differently abled individuals, and pets. 

While it’s hard to tell if someone is compassionate from your initial experience working with them, you can look at each candidate’s prior experience by running a background check or asking their agency about it. Their previous work and the feedback they’ve received should give you some idea of how well they apply their empathy in various situations.

Work Ethic

Lastly, a domestic helper must have a strong work ethic. Being an effective domestic helper requires diligence and pride, as these qualities ensure that the household tasks are completed as you require them.

Hiring a domestic helper can be a big decision for any household. By considering the qualities mentioned above and sourcing your candidates from agencies and other reputable sources, you’ll raise the odds of finding a trustworthy domestic helper who can dependably provide the kind of support that your household needs.

27 May 2023
SG Expats