Reference checking is a vital part of any recruitment process. Whether an agency is doing this, or you are directly interviewing and selecting a new housekeeper to work for your household. A CV, interview and trial will only give you so much information.
Actually speaking to previous employers can give an invaluable insight into the housekeeper’s level of experience, skills and personality. Make sure you obtain a proper reference check using our top tips.
What kind of references to expect, and request
A housekeeper might provide written references from former employers already which gives you a good start. The fact that former employers have made the effort to write and provide references is normally a good sign. It doesn’t, however, give you full security just yet.
All written references should be verified. When hiring a new housekeeper it is important to be diligent and thorough, and not just assume these references are all truthful. Unfortunately there are people out there pretending to be something they’re not, and you, your family or your principal could be the victim of this if written references are not verified. Therefore ask for email addresses and phone numbers of the referees, so you can verify the reference is indeed truthful.
Just contact details
When not having written references, a candidate might just provide a phone number or an email address from a previous employer. This is not a problem, but try to have a list of questions ready (see below) when you speak to the referee, just so that you can get all the information you were after.
Do ask the candidate to provide both email addresses and telephone numbers. Although people can be busy, find a right time to speak to a referee as it will probably give you much more information, and a general feel of how the candidate was when they were working for the referee. If email is the only option, then make sure you list several questions (as a little bit further below in this article) so you can still get a fairly good idea of the person.
Character references are references written/provided by a personal connection of the candidate. This could be a friend, family member, or former colleague – a character reference is never from a former employer.
Many agencies will not accept character references, or will only use it to accompany at least 2 professional references. Character references can be a good indicator of personality, but be mindful of them because they don’t necessarily give an unbiased opinion of the candidate.
Temp, long term and recent references
Finally, be critical of the quality of the reference. There is a big difference between a reference from a temp role, where the housekeeper possibly worked as cover for a week, or a long term full time role with a family.
Although references for short term and temp roles could be useful, make sure the candidate does give you the contact details of the most recent, and long term employments. Are there no recent jobs, or has every role been short term? If so, be sure to ask why. There might be a very plausible explanation for this (perhaps the candidate was studying, or having other responsibilities at the time) but it is important to get clarity on this.
House Keeping Verification
Global Staffing Industry has estimated India as the one of largest markets and also says that the country has the potential to become the largest staffing industry in the world given the support from Indian govt. in ratifying certain labour laws or regulations and with the demographic edge that the country has over China in the long run. Global experience in the staffing industry emphasizes on flexi staffing which provides flexible solutions and is advantageous to both employee and the employer.
The following were some of the other key aspects to note down from the study.
India is among the top five nations in flexi staffing industry.
The global staffing market projects India to be among the largest staffing countries along with China, Brazil and South Africa.
In developing countries the staffing industry is in a critical stage where more than 90% of the workforce is involved in unorganized sector where there is almost no social security.
The Indian job market has shown a modest growth rate in 2013 with the public sector large-scale hiring.