Foreigners hired for reasons other than cost

Foreigners hired for reasons other than cost

Cost is not the main factor employers consider when hiring non-Singaporeans, a survey by JobStreet has revealed.

Rather, local companies expressed that foreign hires were attractive as turnover rates for non-Singaporean workers were lower. Many also felt that foreigners had fewer demands at work and were more willing to put in longer hours at work.

The JobStreet survey also reported that employers and employees did not share the same views regarding foreign hires.

While 66 per cent of local employees felt that low cost of labour was the main reason their companies hired non-Singaporeans, only 16 per cent of employers said that lower costs were a pull factor in hiring foreigners.

Contrastingly, 40 per cent of employers who responded said that non-Singaporeans were more willing to take up jobs which local employees would not.

47 per cent of the employers surveyed cited lower employee turnover rate as the key benefit.

Most employee respondents held the opinion that wages and career advancement opportunities were threatened by the presence of foreign hires.

Anthony Ung, Country Manager of JobStreet.com Singapore said that many employers who place recruitment notices on the website adopt a "Singaporean-First policy" when hiring.

"It will be beneficial for local employees to focus on putting their best effort forward rather than speculating about the threats of a co-worker. Very often, these speculations are not reflective of what their employers may think," he said.

Only 27 per cent of local employees surveyed said that they saw value in working with non-Singaporeans.

Amongst the reasons cited, non-Singaporeans were thought to be less demanding at work and better skilled in their area of work compared to Singaporeans.

1,400 Singaporean job-seekers and 200 employers participated in the survey.

About 93 per cent of job-seekers and employers who responded to the survey indicated that their companies hired non-Singaporeans.

On average, the number of foreign workers was between 30 to 50 per cent of the workforce in each firm.

ljessica@sph.com.sg

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