The recruitment of foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong has never been easier – thanks to HelperChoice
Completely eradicating intermediaries in the recruitment of foreign domestic workers!
One year after launching its new website, HelperChoice, the 1st digital platform to search, interview and hire foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong is now the first online service accredited by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). This event marks a big step in HelperChoice’s mission to improve foreign domestic workers living and working conditions in Hong Kong through digitalisation.
Simultaneously, the platform is revamping its offers and launching new exciting partnerships with NGOs, training centers and insurance companies in Hong Kong. Providing full support to employers and foreign domestic workers in the city.
HelperChoice.com was founded in 2012 with the realisation that 70% of domestic workers’ recruitment agencies in Hong Kong were, and are still, being charged high placement fees.
While legally agencies can only charge 10% of the helpers’ first month salary, most of them actually charge amounts up to US$2,000. Forcing domestic workers to take loans, mostly to loan sharks, with interest rates as high as 60%. A situation that often results in debt bondage, and not being able to walk away from a job when the working conditions are bad.
HelperChoice.com is a platform connecting the foreign domestic workers with employers, directly online and with no intermediary. Its aim is to enable migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong to have access to the job market for free, therefore avoiding debt bondage and modern slavery.
Since its creation, the startup has facilitated more than 50,000 recruitments and prevented the levying of more than 60 million euros in illegal fees. The service has also been recognised by the International Labour Organisation for promoting fair recruitment practices: ” The online recruitment agency HelperChoice launched an innovative awareness programme to influence domestic employer behaviours in favour of fair recruitment services in Hong Kong .”
Why does the POEA accreditation matter?
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) accreditation is the key to being able to process foreign domestic workers’ visas. Up until now HelperChoice was a matching platform for domestic workers and employers to connect and conduct interviews. Now, HelperChoice is taking care of the visa process, completely eliminating the need of third party agencies. Making them the first online platform able to process foreign domestic workers’ visas!
Domestic helpers are now highly connected
There are currently 400,000 foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong, 98% of them having a smartphone to communicate with their family and friends back home or in the city. In the past year, HelperChoice has noticed a clear acceleration of the digitalisation, pushed by the political unrest and Covid-19 that forced most domestic workers to limit trips in the city or even, to stay home.
HelperChoice is taking advantage of this easy access to the internet to provide its service, using technology to make domestic workers aware of their rights and preventing social isolation in order to improve their working conditions.
Within the past years, HelperChoice has become the leading platform connecting foreign domestic workers and families in Hong Kong and its impact was recognised by many organisations.
One step further to a fully digitalised service for domestic workers and employers
HelperChoice is revamping its offers! The platform will now offer 3 monthly subscriptions throughout the whole employment process and contract. Mahee Leclerc, managing director of HelperChoice in Hong Kong explains: “The packages will include the access to the platform to search, interview and hire a helper, as it did before. But we are going further in offering a fully online, more accessible and fairer experience for all our users, domestic workers and employers. Our new offers are improved with exciting features and partnerships such as: the visa process, training certifications and a one year insurance for the worker”.
To learn more about HelperChoice check thier website: www.helperchoice.com