Singapore no longer welcoming experienced expat professionals

Singapore no longer welcoming experienced expat professionals

Singapore no longer welcoming experienced expat professionals

Singapore’s recent tightening of expat hiring requirements is causing companies difficulties as regards employing the right talents for the job.

Local businesses needing expertise and experience in various positions from managerial upwards are now finding it far harder to get the right candidates for the jobs. Long-term expats have another way of describing the new regulations, saying that droves of expats are being forced out of Singapore due to multiple rejections of applications for citizenship or permanent residency. The refusals are even given to expatriate professionals who’ve been working in the city-state and contributing to its development for many years.

Companies who attempt to express their displeasure are being fobbed off by means of impractical suggestions such as downsizing their workforces, prioritising local candidates or increasing expat salaries to a much higher level. The standard company reply to local hiring is predictable – the local talent pool in Singapore isn’t up to the requirements. The suggestion to increase salaries is being described as outrageous by CEOs, with the threshold already too high for comfort and preventing businesses from hiring to suit their needs.

One major concern over local hiring is that most Singapore companies think globally to suit the reality of their trading patterns and need expat professionals with global experience for jobs above a certain level. This is especially true in the oil and gas trade, where qualifications unless backed by practical experience aren’t much use. Another advantage of hiring experienced expatriates is that Singaporean local talent can learn from them, whatever the sector they’re working in.

One expat turned citizen points out that, 20 years ago, Singapore’s oil and gas industry was competitive, incomparable and staffed by a good mix of experienced expats and locals. Nowadays, he adds, the tightening of expat employment laws is hurting the country and further damaging its international reputation as a high-level trading hub..

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