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Hire Expectations

Our CEO Joshua Yim was quoted in The Business Times’ Views from the Top column on 18th March 2013 on the topic of how the recently announced employment-related Budget proposals and other similar measures may change employers’ hiring processes and strategies.

“With the increase in foreign worker levy and dependency ratio ceiling, companies need to hire more Singaporeans and permanent residents. Now with the Wage Credit Scheme, there is a cane and also a gain if companies hire Singaporeans. As the economy continues to expand, there will be fiercer competition for Singaporeans, which are already a hot commodity.

As the head of an employment services firm, my assessment is that we need to take a macro view of what is happening in the economy and juxtapose it against that of advanced economies. In European countries, for instance, you will find that skilled workers like mechanics, chambermaids, security guards and even waiters are paid very well and these jobs are considered respectable, with a certain degree of professionalism attached to them. This is obviously not the case in Singapore and I would like to see the launch of new initiatives that aim to elevate the standing of such jobs that Singaporeans shun.

As a country, if we are going to move towards having these jobs filled by Singaporeans instead of foreigners, there needs to be structural changes to the system, prompted by a great paradigm shift in our beliefs about these types of jobs. We need to copy the model of other mature economies such as Paris,
London and New York, and have these currently low-paid, unglamorous jobs repackaged and repositioned with a more professional spin, and with higher pay.

With regard to the employment-related Budget proposals, I believe that there is room for debate, and perhaps the details need to be ironed out so that business owners will understand exactly how the new measures will be implemented. There may be a need for some fine-tuning along the way but it is really too premature to determine these as it is early days yet.”

Source: The Business Times, 18 March 2013