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  • Common Mistakes to Avoid While Hiring Employees in Singapore

    by HR & Management Blogs

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    ​With so many international companies and entities looking to set up shop in Singapore, you might want to take careful precautions when it comes to the hiring process here. There could be certain rules and regulations that are different when it comes to Singapore’s hiring landscape. 

    As an HR outsourcing agency in Singapore, we are aware of the various guidelines and fair hiring practices that companies should adhere to. Organizations such as the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) and the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Framework (TAFEP) have set stringent regulations when it comes to hiring practices in Singapore. These organizations play an important role when it comes to equal and fair hiring practices. 

    But enough about them! Below we list some common mistakes that companies make when hiring employees in Singapore: 

    1. Not Understanding the Employment Laws and Guidelines 

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    Singapore is a multi-racial country ― with individuals of many different races coexisting peacefully together. In addition, the country protects its citizens from unfair hiring practices. 

    As such, extra care should be taken to avoid upsetting this peace, as it can bring dire consequences for your organization. Especially during the hiring process. 

    Some cautionary measures that your company should be hypervigilant with include: 

    • Avoid racial bias in job ads: Unless you want the organization to be seen as being discriminatory to people of other races. It would be best to avoid any mentions of preferred races and nationalities in your job ads.

    • Avoid mentioning these limiting factors: Organizations should avoid including limiting factors such as age, gender, religion, and race in their job advertisements. If there is a certain task that you believe would be a limiting factor to some (e.g. Mandarin copywriting). You should mention the task as a limiting factor instead of just, “Chinese employees preferred”. Other limiting factors that should not be mentioned in any recruiting advertisements include family and marital status.

    The consequences of not adhering to specific hiring guidelines are dire. Last year, up to 90 employers and organizations in Singapore had their work pass privileges suspended due to discriminatory hiring practices.

    There are a number of articles available to help international organizations understand the different employment laws and guidelines. Some recommended articles to look out for include: 


    2. Employing the Wrong Hires 

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    Minding the fair employment guidelines and regulations is one thing. But many foreign companies in Singapore might struggle to attract the right talent to their company. This could be an even more difficult task when it comes to finding the right hire in industries such as Tech and Cybersecurity. Or when hiring for roles that require top performers or employees with great potential. 

    According to an article by Sleek, employers in Singapore also find it difficult to retain talent. Not providing employees with adequate benefits and training is one of the many reasons why companies might find it hard to retain talent. Hence foreign companies looking to “set up shop” in Singapore will need to understand that: 

    • Research the different benefits that high quality talent want in a job

    • Providing training and a clear pathway up the career ladder 

    • Not providing paid time off or other mandatory benefits that your employees might want 


    Another problem that bad hires can bring to your international company is wrongful termination. Unless the international company is versed with the termination laws and practices that Singapore has. This can bring about potential trouble. Learn more about the different termination issues that a foreign country might run into in Singapore here

    Some articles that could be useful for foreign companies looking to hire in Singapore include:


    3. Limited Awareness of the Guidelines and Legislation for Foreign Companies  

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    Foreign companies looking to “set up shop” in Singapore will have to understand the different guidelines and legislations set in place. Subcontracting your hiring woes to a trusted HR outsourcing agency will help you navigate incorporating your company here, a whole lot easier. 

    Other issues that foreign companies might have trouble with include payroll processing, tax payments, and missed funding opportunities. Singapore has a number of benefits, funding and incentives, even for overseas companies. In addition, there are also tax incentives that an international organization might be able to benefit from. An example of this include the ‘Not Ordinarily Resident Scheme (NOR)’ scheme— which a foreign entrepreneur can benefit from if they are always on the go. You wouldn’t want to miss out on such an opportunity. More information on the NOR tax scheme available here

    Outsourcing is the Ultimate Solution 

    We understand that setting up a business in a new country can be an exciting endeavour. However, this can be a tricky and difficult process for some. Outsourcing your hiring needs to a recruitment agency in Singapore would be an easier way to incorporate your international company here. Learn more about what BGC Singapore can do for recruitment outsourcing here

    What are some concerns international companies have about the Singapore hiring market? Share them with us in the comments section below!Don’t forget to bookmark this article and check back for more updates and information!

    Read More: Understanding the Singapore Work Culture: Tips for Foreign Businesses

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