The age old debate of whether or not companies and organisations in Singapore should hire foreign talents is one that can get very heated, very fast. Singapore has been known for its wide range of diversity, when it comes to foreign talent.
Furthermore, as a manpower outsourcing agency, we believe that both Singaporean employees and foreign talents should have equal opportunities during the job search. However, the recent COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession have brought a new turn of events. For now, companies should focus solely on hiring Singaporean employees due to the multiple benefits provided. Find out more in the article below!
The Benefits of Hiring Singaporean Employees
In an era where Singaporean job seekers are finding it hard to source and land a job, it just makes more sense for local companies to hire Singaporean employees. However, there are also real and tangible benefits to hiring Singaporean employees. The benefits include:
More affordable: Compared to expatriates, Singaporean employees do not come with a hefty price tag. As an employer, you won’t have to worry about the visa processing costs. In addition, companies looking to up skill their Singaporean employees often qualify for discounts through different government programs available.
In an anonymous article by Vulcan Post, a Singaporean employer claimed to be much more interested in hiring Singaporeans thanks to various government subsidies. According to the article, schemes such as the ‘Career Support Programme’ provides companies with wage support in exchange for hiring mid-career PMETs.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic should’ve been eye-opening enough for local employers. During the early days of the pandemic, the Singapore government made it abundantly easier for companies hiring Singaporean employees. Learn more about this in the previous BGC Group article titled, “6 Budgeting Tips Employers Should Follow During Singapore’s Circuit Breaker Period”.
Long term employment: It would be unfair for us to say that expats in Singapore are not looking for any form of long-term employment. Especially when there are countless foreign talents in Singapore looking for decent, hard work. However, Singaporean employees are able to provide both their companies and employers long term stability. There are no unexpected visa and immigration issues to deter the workflow.
Better local sentiment: During stressful times like this, people often look and observe the steps taken by organisations around them. It’s a no brainer that companies who prioritise the hiring of local, Singaporean talents often fare better with the Singaporean community.
Of course there are a number of other tangible benefits that come with hiring Singaporean employees. According to an article by HR Exchange Network, some benefits to hiring local employees include:
Knowledge of local business practices and culture: Unlike foreign talents, local Singaporean employees are aware of the many customs and understand the culture they live in. This means that they’re able to navigate potential cultural clashes with other clients, colleagues, and organisations flawlessly.
Tap into local resources: Have you heard of the saying, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do?” Well, we believe that this sentiment should extend to your organization’s hiring policy as well. Hiring a local employee comes with its fair share of perks. One major perk is the ability to tap into local resources. Singaporean employees who’ve gained expertise in specific industries will be able to source for cheaper products and services.
Networking is easier: Employing local employees is akin to a free referral program. People want to work with their friends. It might be harder to network when your new hire is from a different country.
Easier to let go: As HR executives, there comes a point in our career where candidates will be hired on a trial period. The reasons for this are three-fold. Sometimes, the more the company grows, the harder it is to find the right candidate fit. There comes a point when the trial period ends and you might have to make the hard move to let someone go. This can be significantly tougher if you’ve hired a foreigner.
A foreign talent employee who moved countries only to find out that they don’t feel comfortable working in the company. It’s a tough spot to be in since it’ll be harder for a foreign employee to make the decision to leave a job that isn’t the right fit. Instead, they might choose to grit their teeth and work for a company that they don’t agree with. Unless of course, a better job offer comes along.
Pro-Tip: One way to navigate the problem of finding the right candidate fit is to work with a reputable manpower outsourcing agency. Not only will your organization save time through outsourcing. A good recruitment outsourcing agency in Singapore will be able to source for the best applicants in various industries across the company.
So Should Companies in Singapore Overlook Hiring Foreign Talents?
Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, companies in Singapore looking to cut costs should overlook hiring foreign talent for now. Whether or not your company should continue the search for foreign talent relies on a variety of different factors.
Some things organisations in Singapore might want to consider include:
Budget: Do you have the budget needed to cover the costs of your foreign employee? Visa and off days aside, your managers and supervisors will have to factor in the training and educational costs it takes to up skill your employees further.
Candidate skills availability: Before you choose to outsource a certain job role to a candidate outside of Singapore. Consider doing a deep investigation within the company to source for employees with transferable skills. Ask yourselves, what roles and responsibilities is the company looking out for that cannot be completed by local talents?
Figuring out a well-planned training plan is better for your company in the long run. Instead of taking the short-cut way out. Hiring foreign talents can be beneficial for your company as well (e.g. will the company continue to grow into other countries?).
Company goals: Of course, there are a number of different reasons why companies would want to search for foreign talent. For example, companies in Singapore often look overseas for talents within the IT, Tech and Cybersecurity field. Then your organization might not have a choice when it comes to choosing to hire foreign talent.
As a Singapore-based company ourselves, we often believe in the importance of hiring talented Singaporean job candidates. What other benefits do you believe Singaporean candidates and job seekers can bring to the table? Share them with us in the comments section below!