Behavioural Insights in Employers’ Choice of Recruitment Services for Domestic Work

Domestic work represents the largest share of the 16 million people estimated to be in forced labour in the private economy. Many domestic workers who find work abroad fall prey to intermediaries who charge them high fees for recruitment. Research by ILO has shown that foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong are at risk of being charged excessive fees and of other abusive practices by Private Employment Agencies that contravene the industry Code of Practice. To respond to this, the ILO developed a strategy for engaging employers of domestic workers and increasing their awareness of recruitment-related abuses. In 2020, a behavioural science approach in a bid to influence the market in Hong Kong towards greater demand for fair recruitment practices. A randomised control trial (RCT) was designed to test what message frame can best influence employers of domestic workers in their choice of an agency. This set of behavioural levers then informed the content of a campaign targeting employers of domestic workers. The key milestone of the campaign was the launch of an online gamified website []( that places the viewer in the shoes of an employer of domestic workers in Hong Kong produced in collaboration with Rights Exposure. This report presents the RCT that was used to identify the most effective message frame to trigger a behaviour change.

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