Domestic help has always been a vital need in homes especially in these days of people running short of time it has gained more importance. However before employing domestic help checking their credibility and background is a essential which usually is a hassle.
To make it easy for people to get domestic help, accessible H&O Services has been set up in Lahore which is a home services specialist company from whom we can hire help for house and office related chores.
H&O is specifically working for upward social mobility, economic empowerment, and rights protection of domestic workers through technology and training.
It is an entrepreneurial project of Mudassar Sharif, a LUMS graduate.
In an exclusive interview, Mudassar told The Nation, “A few years ago Pakistan saw a number of suicide attacks which made me I realise how poverty destroys lives of people when the bread earner becomes a victim. From then onwards I decided to help people get a decent job. I train people in various tasks and then introduce them in the market for clients to hire them for domestic or office work.”
When asked about the process of recruitment Mudassar told The Nation, “We have Rozi agents in slums and areas where people are willing to work as domestic workers. H&O team holds job fairs in slum areas also where people can enroll for a job opening.”
H&O verifies all the helpers and employers to ensure that both parties are safe to work with each other. In case, the worker faces exploitation or abuse at work they’ll be provided with legal support and full protection of their rights.
This is a step forward to positively affect the lives of workers and clients in modern age.
Secondly, the company addresses the gap in norms and culture between employers and employees by imparting soft-skills and orientation to help before job placement, reducing the chance of a culture shock once they join their employer.
The third tier is to address the issue of maintaining a supply of new workers through developing inroads into rural and semi-rural communities in Punjab and KPK to hold Job Fairs for easy access to potential workers.
A Referral Program has also been started to influence social connections within communities, where women unable to leave their homes are encouraged to recommend candidates for training and employment.
Since 2012, H&O has managed to place over 500,000 workers from Punjab and KPK. They have impacted around 3,000 low income households through job placements, training courses, and referral programs.
1,200 households have benefitted through direct employment, while 1,500 have benefitted from soft skills training courses and other capacity building measures.
To a question Mudassar replied, “We’ve never had any issue on the basis of religion. People have hired workers from different religions without any inhibitions. All the workers are paid on time by the clients. The salary ranges from 15k to 25k that’s helping the workers to not only feel satisfied but to also keep their homes running rather than beg and get involved in illegal acts.”
According to H&O the importance of basic professional skills like hygiene, time management, integrity, grooming, self-discipline, etc., cannot be underestimated in terms of employer satisfaction, job security, and improved wages.
A training center has been set up to increase employability and soft skills of domestic workers. Expert trainers are engaged to develop activity based training modules to achieve this goal, with an emphasis on skill retention and mindset change rather than simple classroom learning, where Gauher Aftab an education and training consultant guides the work.
Junaid Saleem CEO CFX Comics and Lahore Students Union is also working as a part of H&O’s advisory team.
H&O aims at targeting other segments of society people like beggars, nomads, homeless, and other neglected communities in the near future to help them understand the importance of earning a living through hard work.
One of the active clients, Zarah Fateh, shared her experience with The Nation that she was very satisfied with the services and H&O’s hiring process. She said that once she had an issue with the helper which the company resolved within hours upon contacting.