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Chan Chun Sing comment in Singapore Parliament

Our CEO Mr. Joshua Yim shared his views in response to Minister Chan Chun Sing’s remarks in Singapore Parliament on the first week of January, 2020.

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Mr Chan is absolutely right in citing that it is not a competition between Singaporeans versus PRs versus foreign talents in job placements, but Team Singapore is competing against other economies for foreign investments and in-turn stronger economic growth and better jobs for Singaporeans.

The example quoted is reflective of exactly what is happening currently in the commercial world.

Companies, MNCs and conglomerates alike are interested in the availability of talents, competent individuals who are able to take on roles and responsibilities to achieve their business objectives.

Only if the country or region has the availability of these human resources and talents will these corporates consider investing in that location besides other factors such as friendly governmental policies, cost advantages and IP protection.

However, the HR recruitment practices of these companies are where the rubber really meets the road.

Achieve Group being a homegrown Singapore recruitment agency serving foreign companies of different origins, Singapore-based organisations across multiple industries and business sectors in the past 30 years, and we sure have a good grasp of varied hiring practices amongst these firms.

Some companies just indiscriminately hire people of certain ethnic foreign races because the departmental head feels comfortable working with their own kind with comparatively lesser consideration of the incumbent’s competencies.

Some under the notion of job rotation within their regional offices would post individuals to Singapore who are less than capable compared to our Singaporean counterparts to take on roles that could be filled easily by locals.

These practices had invoked many negative sentiments among local Singaporean PMETs particularly, questioning why are some of the positions filled with foreigners and not them.

Case in point, HR, finance, legal and tax positions could and should be filled with all possibly a local Singaporean Professional.   Our local PMEs have the skillsets and competencies more than capable of excelling in these roles.

These high-level business positions should not go the foreign talents unlike the Data Scientist, Bioscience Analyst or Cyber Security Expert, which talents and skillsets are indeed a rare breed.

I implore the Ministries involved to look into the employment pass approval process to be more job-nature driven with a more substantial consideration on talent availability on the ground than the usual prerequisites of Nationality, Qualifications, and Salary band as benchmarks.

I believe we Singaporeans by and large are rational and level-headed beings. We would appreciate Minister Chan’s analysis and vision about our country’s economic future and our individual betterment of living standards by having foreign specialists and experts for the greater good for all.

Yet, it is some of these implementation details that need to be fine-tuned to address internal equity of fair consideration in recruiting our Singaporean talents.