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Hiring a Transfer Helper or an Overseas Worker in Singapore: Making the Informed Decision

If you are looking to hire a domestic helper in Singapore, the decision between a transfer helper or an overseas helper can be challenging. Each option comes with its own set of advantages and considerations. This article aims to guide you through the process of selecting the most suitable option for your family.

Understanding Transfer Helpers and New/Overseas Helpers:

Before making a decision, it is essential to understand the distinctions between transfer helpers and overseas helpers. A transfer helper refers to a domestic worker who is already in Singapore and seeking employment with a new employer, while an overseas helper refers to a worker who is not in Singapore. This would include helpers that have:

  • Previously worked in Singapore (Ex-Singapore worker)
  • Worked in other countries (Middle East/HK/Malaysia, etc.) before, but not Singapore (Ex-Abroad worker)
  • Never worked overseas as a domestic worker (New/Fresh worker)

Understanding their backgrounds and circumstances can help you determine which option aligns better with your requirements.

Advantages of Hiring a Transfer Helper:

Hiring a transfer helper offers several advantages. Firstly, the hiring process tends to be faster and more affordable as they are already in Singapore, eliminating the need for overseas recruitment procedures. Additionally, transfer helpers have local experience and familiarity with Singaporean culture and practices. They may require less training and can quickly adapt to their new work environment. And since they are already in Singapore, a face-to-face interview would be possible.

Considerations for Hiring a Transfer Helper:

While hiring a transfer helper can be convenient, there are other factors to consider. Transfer helpers may have pre-existing work habits or routines that may need adjustment to align with your household’s preferences. Generally, job benefit (salary / off-days / public holidays) expectations are higher than for overseas hires. They tend to be more selective with the role and the employer’s family dynamics. It is crucial to assess their skills, work history, and reasons for seeking a new employer to ensure a higher probability of successful employment.

Benefits of Hiring an Overseas Helper:

Opting for an overseas helper also has its merits. With a new helper, you have the opportunity to select from a wider pool of candidates based on your specific requirements. They may bring fresh perspectives and different skill sets to your household. Furthermore, the employer has the chance to mould and train the worker according to their preferences right from the start. For Ex-Singapore and Ex-Abroad workers, they have experience with working overseas, so adapting to a change in culture and work environment is not an issue. And lastly, the worker is usually not as particular about the job responsibilities and job benefits.

Considerations for Hiring an Overseas Worker:

Hiring an overseas worker requires careful consideration as well. The recruitment process for an overseas helper involves a longer lead time due to overseas procedures and paperwork. Additionally, new/fresh helpers may require more extensive training and guidance as they acclimate to Singaporean culture, household routines, and job responsibilities.

Assessing Your Needs and Preferences:

To determine whether a transfer helper or an overseas helper is the right choice for your household, assess your specific needs, preferences, and circumstances. Consider factors such as urgency, desired skill sets, adaptability, cultural compatibility, and job benefits offered. Understanding your priorities will guide you towards making an informed decision.

Seeking Professional Assistance:

Engaging the services of a reputable maid agency or employment agency like ours can be highly beneficial when making your decision. We have years of experience in matching employers with suitable transfer helpers or overseas workers based on your requirements. We can provide guidance, facilitate the hiring process, and ensure compliance with relevant regulations.


Deciding between a transfer helper and an overseas helper in Singapore requires a thoughtful assessment of your household’s needs and priorities. By understanding the advantages and considerations of each option, seeking professional assistance, and making an informed decision, you can find a reliable and suitable domestic helper to support your family’s needs.