A DETAILED ACCOUNT OF HOW ONE NIGERIAN WOMAN HANDLES HIRED HELP
I have had quite a number of people share with me how they go about hiring maids in Nigeria or precautions they take after they hire. But I have never really come across a process that is so detailed like the one you are about to read. Unfortunately, I have never met this particular person before. Someone sent her message to me via Whatsapp, and the person said it was sent to her via a broadcast. Best believe me when I say after reading this, you would go back to your drawing board and put a lot in place. What I love about everything she shared is that, nothing is peculiar to a particular circumstance or situation.
Even though I am an advocate for agents and agencies to bear a bulk of the responsibility of assuring maid employers that they are getting a great person, until that is put in place, we have to do the work by ourselves. The checks and balances she shares with us can be put in place by anybody who has a concern when hiring. Until we start to get educated people interested in housekeeping and embrace excellence and professionalism, all hands have to be on deck.
Lest I start talking too much, please see her message below.
“Let me tell you how I hire help in Nigeria… all that American niceness left me three years ago when I started my own family.
- I do due diligence… I learnt to interview from the Americans. It is not Q and A type interview… it is a conversation. When people feel you are interested in them; they will give you details that will shock you. And someone like me… I remember even the most innocuous details and I wrote them down.
- Every domestic side of mine has a file. Every staff of mine has an eFILE. It is important.
- I never EVER pay salary by hand. I don’t pay anything above N5000 by hand. Important who ever you hire has a bank account number. That’s how to trace them. To own a bank account now in Nigeria you must have done BVN which includes finger prints; another form of identification usually a driver’s license; permanent voters card; Nigerian passport or National identity card. If they are students then a valid school Identity. You cannot open account or hold account with company ID or fake ID…
- Have I said always pay money into an account? No matter how small? Even the ones that look like Virgin Mary will deny you ever paid them when the chips are down. You should have a track of payment. If they do not have accounts please open one for them. Besides, that’s why I like BVN. They collect personal data tire… So it means even your village and LGA is in a database somewhere. Please always pay domestic staff salaries into your account. We only have to train our law enforcement on how to use these data to track criminals…
- If they have family members they are close to; you should get to know them. And get those ones bank account details. How I do this is by saying I want to send money directly for Christmas or Sallah to their parents or their spouse so that it will teach them. They will gladly give you the account details of such a person. Even if it is a one of payment. Save that account detail for the future. Family ties are strong in Nigeria and if you ever need to find them you can track them that way.
- I take lots of pictures which I don’t need for anything. Like when we goof around in the office or at events or at home. I always include the help. I want to have their pictures in case I am asked to produce a likeness.
- Anyone who lives with me as a domestic aide gets registered at Force HQ. Yes you have to pay to do the registration. But it is worth it. This was formerly limited to house helps and nannies. After yesterday I am adding driver to the fold. It also puts the fear of God in them. Look for the nearest divisional HQ and register your helps.
- I also ask for pictures of their family members sometimes. I put in my family album. After all they are part of the family.
- Whatever work related money I give even for medical treatment is signed for. Did I say open a file? Shred the file after every 24/36months if you want. If you run a private company please make company identifications for them. And in the identity form ensure you get every personal detail possible. Also ensure you get valid signatures. Let them sign like 20 times on a blank sheet. But also take them to the National Identity Management Commission and help them get an identity card. You pitch to them that it for their own good. Also make a copy of all the identity slips for your files. It contains all sort of vital information.
- With the excessive rate of kidnapping and armed robbery in Nigeria today our personal safety and security is in our hands. Those closest to you are the most likely to know your weak points and are more likely to be tempted to do you harm.
Nothing like being laid back or lazy when dealing with these folks. Until we get a proper security you have to greatly supplement by being proactive…”
Can we all say…”Thank you”? For those of us who may already have been doing these things, I say Well-done.
Let me know what struck a chord the most for you in her message, or you can share something you have been doing that has worked for you and you think people can learn from in the comments.
Disclaimer : MAIDforME does not hold the sole right to the particular message in quotes in the post. It was received via a public messaging platform.
Picture Credit: Andrey Popov/Shutterstock.com