The abundant, cheap and hard-working female workforce is a great advantage for the domestic home cleaning service development. Nevertheless, low quality of housemaids has become one of the invisible burdens that make home cleaning service unable to thrive and gain the trust among the majority of users. With a huge potential market and manpower, what is the right path for home cleaning service industry in Vietnam?
1. Countless stories of lazy and clumsy housemaids
With some simple searches on forums sharing family and parental experience, you can see various half laughing half crying stories when hiring a housemaid. It is not uncommon for a maid to be lazy, to oppose and even pass their jobs to the house owner.
On a forum, T.L once shared her unforgettable memories with her housemaid: “My housemaid is like my grandmother and even more than that! She left my baby crying all alone and continued sleeping with a cranky face. She wakes up at 7 in the morning and takes an afternoon nap at 10. Then, whenever we want to tell her something, she disputes right away. My husband even has to cook our meals again, since her cooking skill is really bad”.
Having the similar situation, but N.T.G’s housemaid actually knows her ways to avoid works: “Once she sees me arriving at home, she takes my children out for a walk leaving the house chores for me. After dinner, she again comes to my children and let me wash the dishes. The house is full of dirt and we have to clean it on weekends. She sleeps from 1 to 2 every afternoon. While I do all the chores and have little time to play with my kids before going to work”.
Eventually, some owners have to terminate their housemaids, some have to be bear with the situations because “firing them and then where can I find another housemaid?“. Any owner seems to experience this problem at least once. Besides, housemaids being lazy and unqualified become a common illness in the home-cleaning service industry. Therefore, although works keep piling up, many families do not want to hire a maid because it is good-for-nothing.
2. Why has it become like this?
In 2012, the Labor Law has recognized housemaid as a legitimate occupation. However, it does not get enough attention including job introduction and training process. According to the statistics of the Center of Gender, Family and Community Development (GFCD), over 96% of the cleaning service labor in Vietnam has low academic level and not even been fully trained. This results in poor service quality within the country which then is unable to compete with foreign housemaids.
Having the same job as a housemaid, but many labors from the Philippines and Malaysia are welcomed by house owners with wages ranging from $500-1,000 USD per month. They are very favorable because of being well-trained and professional in caring for babies and cleaning the house. They even carry medical certificate, driving license and hospitality degree. Hence, house owners do not have to worry about their home and children anymore.
Shortage of training classes and outdated training process together exacerbate the quality of home cleaning service sector. Usually, those who have good health and sufficient personal identification will be immediately accepted by the home cleaning companies without job probation and identity verification. Since housemaids are not carefully chosen at the beginning, so it is easy to understand that their working attitudes and skills are inappropriate with customer’s expectations. Besides, while the nature of the work is a full-time job which is also not under house owner’s supervision, the situation of housemaids being lazy is really a common thing.
3. What are some of the solutions to improve the quality of housemaids in Vietnam?
Nowadays, adapting technology into the recruitment, training process as well as eliminating unqualified workers seems to be the right direction. In the past three years, companies started allowing customers to post their tasks on apps, such as bTaskee, Jupviec, etc. And these companies all have a rigorous recruiting process. Here, housemaids will directly accept the tasks on the app and then go to the customer’s house. Thus, these platforms prefer to recruit women aged 18 to 50 knowing to use smartphones and having their own motorbikes. These requirements are to ensure the convenience when training and going to work. This group of labor tend to interact with the internet and use social networks every day, so they are more open-minded and easier to be trained.
After being trained and accepted, housemaids will be in a 1-month probation under customer’s supervision. Once they complete the tasks, customers can rate for their service by number of stars on the app. The star rates have a huge influence on their workload and income. Those who have low rates will be eliminated from the system, so they have to work hard to meet the needs of house owners. Using the technology in the operation makes the quality improvement and management process become easier. With some simple steps, customers can easily see previous customers’ feedback on a particular housemaid. Accordingly, users do not have to worry about the quality of service when using it.
It can be said that technology has been solving a lot of problems in the industry for many years. It not only helps managing, evaluating the housemaids, but also brings both parties the absolute initiative in finding a maid as well as a favorable job. This is something that traditional home cleaning service can never fully resolve. Using an app to find a housemaid continues receiving positive responses from customers and is considered to be the right direction for home cleaning service in Vietnam.
Translated from Thư Lê’s “Sử dụng công nghệ vào ngành giúp việc: chìa khóa để nâng cao chất lượng”