Think good help is hard to come by these days? Well, it won’t get any better.
According to Yin Jianfeng, general manager of a high-end nanny agency called Beijing VeryMaids Inc., expat families face stiff competition from the growing Chinese middle and upper class.
"The usual remuneration for maids working in expatriate families is between 3,000 ($454) to 4,000 yuan a month, which many of our Chinese clients can well afford. In fact, some baby-sitters working for Chinese families can make up to 6,000 yuan a month," he said.
One client, the head of an orthopedic hospital, spends about RMB 5,000 a month on a nanny from Beijing VeryMaids. Another client, who lives in a villa in a Beijing suburb, hired separate ayis to clean the house and take care of his newborn baby.
Foreign families now make up about 10 percent of the agency’s client list, a drop of about five percent from last year.
“It’s no longer like three or five years ago when working for a foreign family gave the ayis a sense of superiority. The newly wealthy Chinese families have changed that,” said Yin.
Expat and Chinese families also differ in their expectations: foreign clients care more about professional skills, while Chinese clients are more concerned with an ayi‘s personality. It’s not that foreigners don’t care about personality, said Yin, but language and culture barriers can get in the way of knowing the ayi on a more personal level.
Expat families also rarely let the ayi live with them, but that’s common practice among Chinese families. While foreigners prefer to stick to the contract, Chinese families might pay more but dole out extra tasks or responsibilities.
Although many ayis who work for expat families still find new clients through word of mouth, Yin insisted that this is not a good system. He said that China does not lack for domestic helpers, but that they tend to be improperly trained due to “a lack of efficient management and a proper supply chain.”
Have you been feeling the pinch over ayis lately? Let us know what you think.
Sourced from China Daily