A letter of recommendation; the advantages and disadvantages. | HelperFirst
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A letter of recommendation; the advantages and disadvantages.

Date Posted: 27/08/2021

A letter of recommendation, how it can help.

What can a letter of recommendatin do for you?

Are you looking for a domestic helper to help you with house chores? Well, it can certainly be a tedious task. You want a dedicated, honest, trustworthy, and hardworking domestic helper. Anything less than these qualities would suffice. However, the big question is how to judge these qualities before hiring a domestic helper. How can you be sure that the employee you hire is good at the job? Well, then the letter of recommendation kicks in. Most employers tend to ask for a letter of reference from the previous employer before making the final hiring decision. Of course, the reference letter seems like a sure-fire blanket when hiring a domestic helper. Reference letters from former employers can serve as a seal on a domestic helper's job. The best way to check references is to contact their former employer. However, the question is, if a recommendation letter can be 100% proof of the domestic worker's credibility, why doesn't it work in many cases? How is it possible that so many good domestic workers will get hired without reference letters and checks?

Missing references

There are always two sides to every coin, and you should look at them both before deciding. The domestic helper may not be able to produce a reference letter or recommendation letter. There could be several reasons for this.

The employer may have left the county, and the domestic helper may not have their new address. In some situations, the former employer can be demanding, and therefore, the domestic helper does not want to reveal that they are on the lookout for a new job. However, that doesn't mean the domestic helper isn't fit enough for the job. Either way, the vital thing to consider is that you are looking for the perfect domestic helper for your family. The essential thing is finding someone who knows their job well. Therefore, there are other ways to judge a domestic helper's ability if a recommendation letter is missing.

You can also ask for recommendations from her friends who also work as domestic helpers in Hong Kong. This way, you can talk to them and confirm that the domestic helper is telling the truth about their former employer. In addition, you can request to see all certificates, if any. These certificates can be for cooking, first aid, etc. With these certificates, you can be sure of the skills that the domestic helper claims to have. If these items are also missing, you can also request a copy of the old employment contract.

This contract can be legal proof that the domestic helper has the experience of working during specific years as a domestic helper. In addition, you can ask the domestic helper to work for a probationary period of a few hours before hiring her permanently. This way, you can also assess the skills and working style of the domestic helper.

Remember that while recommendation letters are essential in assessing the qualities of a domestic worker, they don't necessarily have to be the only references. It would be best to consider aspects such as attitude at work, experience, and motivation to work. The reference letter may contain all the compliments, but the helper may be hot-tempered or not want to work long hours. Therefore, you might not like the domestic helper after hiring. Also, it could be a red flag if the recommendation letter only has positive things to say about the helper, but they only have 1 or 2 years of work experience. So, in addition to reference letters, you may want to consider other points before hiring.

A recommendation can let you know that the how important the helper has been to her employers.

The importance of a recommendation letter for a domestic worker

One of the most frequently asked questions from employers who hire direct is: how do I know the quality of applicants when there is no recruiting agency to select applicants for me?

Employers wishing to hire domestic workers with proven experience can rely on reference letters from former employers. A recommendation can let you know that the helper's job has been appreciated and can tell you a lot about their strengths and weaknesses.

The merit of recommendations

During the hiring process, a reference letter gives an idea of ​​what to expect from the domestic helper. In the letter, a former employer can share the primary duties of the domestic helper, and if you are lucky, you can read/hear about a helper's cooking skills or how good she is with children.

You have a general idea of ​​the satisfaction of the former employer. If the recommendation is not good, you can factor it into your overall decision.

Contacting previous employers

Some employers prefer to talk to the candidate's current or former employer to understand the domestic helper's past performance better. But before you seek advice, you need to decide what skills the ideal domestic helper should have.

When calling the employer, be specific in your questions to learn more about the domestic worker: Some of these questions include:

  • Does she cook with recipes, or does the employer allow her to choose what to cook?
  • How did the domestic helper play with and discipline the children?
  • What household chores need to be improved on?
  • What is her normal working day?

However, it is not always easy to contact former or current employers. Some employers may not want the domestic helper to reveal their contact details, or the domestic helper may be concerned about what the employer will say. If a domestic worker decides to leave her employer because of abuse, that employer may be upset and give her a bad recommendation.


Some employers have found completely different references to reality and wonder why the previous employer wrote such an enthusiastic recommendation. Remember, a recommendation letter is a two-way street - what works for a family may not work for you.

The recommendation should work in your favour; in the end, it's up to you to decide what you're comfortable with. Trust your instincts; a domestic helper's skills, work experience, and attitude should be the most important. If you find a recommendation essential, insist on having one. If you think this isn't essential, don't let it get in your way because others say so.

Drafting a recommendation letter for the domestic helper

You know how difficult it is to find a good domestic helper because you hired one, so if you think your recommendation would be appropriate for a new family, we recommend that you write one for the domestic helper. This letter can play a key role in helping the domestic helper easily find a new job.

In your letter of recommendation, it is crucial to emphasize the qualities of your employee and how they perform certain specific tasks. A reference letter can contain detailed information about your domestic helper's duties so that her prospective future employers can learn more about the various professional domestic helper skills, such as cooking, laundry, babysitting, etc.

At HelperFirst, domestic helpers can register online for free to find a new employer and can directly request a recommendation letter from their past work experience so that any employer seeking help can see what skills they value.

The advantages of the letter of recommendation

As mentioned earlier, every coin has two sides; even letters of recommendation have pros and cons. Here is a detailed description of the positive aspects of giving and recommendation letters for your domestic worker. 

  • Have a view of ​​what to expect from your employee with the letter of recommendation. A letter of recommendation can contain detailed information about the duties of the employee in her previous employment. Moreover, you get to read about the helper skills, such as cooking, laundry, babysitting, etc. It can also give you a clear idea of ​​her working style.
  • Letters of recommendation can also be the happiness quotient of the previous employer. If the letter of recommendation is good, the previous employer was satisfied with the employee. However, if the letter of recommendation isn't that good, the previous employer might not have been that happy. However, a neutral letter of recommendation may be appropriate. After all, we all have good and bad qualities, and a domestic helper is not inconsistent with this rule.
  • Letters of recommendation can also give a clear idea of ​​what negative qualities to expect from your domestic helper. You can consider these bad qualities and decide whether or not to hire a person.

Disadvantages of a recommendation letter

Let's look at some of the disadvantages of receiving letters of recommendation for a potential employee.

  • Recommendations can also be the result of personal choice and taste. So, something you love may not go well with their former employer. Therefore, you may get a negative recommendation from your former employer.
  • The former employer may also not be thrilled with the employee's departure. Therefore, they can try to sabotage her employment.
  • The former employer may not be completely honest about the employee. In some cases, the employer may be difficult to satisfy, which may reflect in the letter of recommendation. However, that does not mean that helper is not good.
  • Today, it can be difficult to judge whether the recommendation is from the original employer or not. The internet has made it pretty easy for people to forge these letters of recommendation or their job details.

Bottom Line

Before you decide on letting a recommendation be the decider between employing the helper or not, remember that your feelings, attitude, and the working experience of the applicants are the most important factor to consider. You can use a domestic helper agency or a suitable platform such as HelperFirst for more opportunities to find the right helper. Contact us today for the perfect domestic helper for your home.