Innovation That Matters

Referral community for domestic help

Property & Construction

Last month, we featured an online bidding system for domestic outsourcing, allowing busy families to find and bid for domestic help. A related service has been spotted in San Francisco: LaborFair is an online referral community of reliable, quality workers for on-demand household labour. Workers post profiles, photos and a minimum of two references on, and indicate when they’re available. Potential employers search the website to find someone who is available when they need them, and contact them directly to discuss the job. LaborFair’s workers specialize in household maintenance and family care, providing services like housecleaning, gardening, small repairs, yard or garbage cleanup, moving, interior/exterior painting, childcare and eldercare. Since good workers can land more jobs by building their online reputation, LaborFair encourages customers to post fair and honest reviews, including answers to questions like: did the worker show up on time, did he or she have the necessary equipment, were you able to communicate with the worker, and would you hire him or her again. (For more on review-based transparency, check out’s transparency tyranny.) Cutting out agencies, who often take a large chunk of a domestic worker’s wage, means workers are more fairly rewarded for their labour. On the buyer’s side, consumers get real-time access to hundreds of reputable local workers. LaborFair, which describes itself as a socially-oriented business, charges workers USD 14.99 per month to list their profile. The fledgling venture is busy connecting with worker centres, collectives, worker coops, microfinance institutions and faith-based organizations to create a network that will provide workers with additional training and support, as well as helping them find better paying and more consistent employment opportunities. LaborFair is currently only active in California’s Bay Area. One to start up locally? Spotted by: Kare Anderson


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