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Postby brian_singapore » Sat, 02 Aug 2014 10:16 am

Wd40 wrote:
Since the job bank is veiwable by anyone. Anyone can go in and check how many jobs are open out there for a specific skillset. So if you are savvy career oriented person, you can do some data mining and keep track of the companies that hire in your skills area and you also get a true picture of the job market.


This is an interesting side effect that hadn't occurred to em.

I work for neither of the banks mentioned banks in the full post and just sat through the HR orientation on the FCF implementation in our organization. Net impact is every position up to a certain grade MUST be posted as per the FCF regardless of whether it exceeds the 12k/month salary threshold. We are now required to interview ANY Singaporean whose CV scores 75% or better in Taleo and confirm as part of the workflow why we're not going with the candidate.

Incidently, the FCF itself is very similar to the requirements in my home country when you want to hire a foreigner and very common in a number of countries. Nothing new or novel.

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Postby JR8 » Sat, 02 Aug 2014 10:42 am

brian_singapore wrote:This is an interesting side effect that hadn't occurred to em.

I work for neither of the banks mentioned banks in the full post and just sat through the HR orientation on the FCF implementation in our organization. Net impact is every position up to a certain grade MUST be posted as per the FCF regardless of whether it exceeds the 12k/month salary threshold. We are now required to interview ANY Singaporean whose CV scores 75% or better in Taleo and confirm as part of the workflow why we're not going with the candidate.

Incidently, the FCF itself is very similar to the requirements in my home country when you want to hire a foreigner and very common in a number of countries. Nothing new or novel.


I expect that some interesting statistics - that they'd probably prefer you weren't able to derive - will come out of it.

What other countries have such a 'locals first' hiring policy? My wife made a similar point this morning, but I'm unaware of any other country that practices it. (side-thought: Wouldn't such a practice (re: trans-EU hiring), be illegal within the EU?)

- They could of course enforce it via the work-pass quota system. Or is the latter the stick to beat the employer with, and this FCF, an additional 'soft little twig'?

- Scoring 75% on Taleo is one thing, but how would it measure less tangible things like cultural fit, willingness to do an occasional 12 hour day when required, and ability to speak intelligible English? There's going to be heck of a lot of fruitless interviewing going on. Oh and who is going to be auditing all of this ? And do companies that don't have Taleo (or equiv.) now have to buy it?

- What's the maxim re: the 'Law of unintended consequences'? ...
Last edited by JR8 on Sat, 02 Aug 2014 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby brian_singapore » Sat, 02 Aug 2014 11:11 am

JR8 wrote:
brian_singapore wrote:I work for neither of the banks mentioned banks in the full post and just sat through the HR orientation on the FCF implementation in our organization. Net impact is every position up to a certain grade MUST be posted as per the FCF regardless of whether it exceeds the 12k/month salary threshold. We are now required to interview ANY Singaporean whose CV scores 75% or better in Taleo and confirm as part of the workflow why we're not going with the candidate.

Incidently, the FCF itself is very similar to the requirements in my home country when you want to hire a foreigner and very common in a number of countries. Nothing new or novel.


What other countries have such a 'locals first' hiring policy? My wife made a similar point this morning, but I'm unaware of any other country that practices it. (side-thought: Wouldn't such a practice (re: trans-EU hiring), be illegal within the EU?)

- Scoring 75% on Taleo is one thing, but how would it measure less tangible things like cultural fit, willingness to do an occasional 12 hour day when required, and ability to speak intelligible English? There's going to be heck of a lot of fruitless interviewing going on. Oh and who is going to be auditing all of this ? And do companies that don't have Taleo (or equiv.) now have to buy it?


First, understanding that 'local' means anyone who has the right to live and work in the country. So Citizen, PR etc.

Both Canada and the US employ similar systems. In Canada it is almost an identical system where positions must be posted in the HRDC database (Human Resources Development Canada) and provide the identifiers. Depending on the position grade and industry, it is also recommended that you provide copies of postings and or photocopies from other recruitment vehicles (monster, newspapers etc.). In some cases you also have to For HRDC, postings are a minimum of 4 weeks, unlike the 2 weeks here.

I've worked in Europe, but was never involved directly in the logistics of recruiting a foreigner (HR in that company was the best I've ever worked with and hiring was a black box with very little administrivia for the hiring manager)

Taleo: You may have miss-understood slightly, we are required to interview anyone who scores 75% and is covered by the FCF and than provide a reason why we are not hiring them. We are not required to hire them, So the evaluations about suitability, fit, work ethic etc. are the same as anyone else - interview them and hope you read the person right. The reasons for rejection can be all of the usual ones why you wouldn't hire them. You didn't like them. No Chemistry. Lied on their CV. Did not present well. Showed up in a muscle shirt covered with tattoos for a sales position and spoke about his work experience as an inmate in Changi Prison....

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Postby Wd40 » Sat, 02 Aug 2014 11:27 am

JR8 wrote:
Oh and who is going to be auditing all of this ? And do companies that don't have Taleo (or equiv.) now have to buy it?



I believe everything that Brian mentioned is their internal implementation, which is more stricter than required. FCF doesn't care about Taleo, it requires jobs to be posted on the jobs bank and if you skip it and no matter how well you treat candidates on the taleo, you will still not be given EP.

Also no one will audit this. Its works on a complaint based system just like everything else in Singapore. For example nobody checks if you are illegally subletting your HDB, but if someone complains, you are screwed.

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Postby movingtospore » Sat, 02 Aug 2014 11:28 am

singapore eagle wrote:I think that some of the earlier posters are a bit too down about Singapore's future prospects.

If you think what got the country where it is today, it's a combination of geography, a highly educated population, strong (and in the field of business at least) fair rule of law, liberal use of cheap foreign labour, and the chinese work ethic. The government is watering down one of these sources of competitive advantage, but the other things still remain.

Singapore might be in for a period of restructuring and slower growth, and this may be painful for specific industries and specific firms, but I don't see that predictions of rampant unemployment are warranted.

(For balance, I also don't see any hope in the near future of Singapore raising its game to match the Londons, New Yorks and Sydneys of this world. The things that I mention above only take you so far, and the folks here lack the initiative and invention that will take them to the next level.)


I tend to agree. The one thing Singapore has going for it is that it follows the rule of law...can't say that for anywhere else in the region. That said, the days of companies setting up operations that employ large numbers of locals are long gone. So will see where all this ends up.

I think it's perfectly reasonable for any country to put measures in place to protect the local labour market. What's difficult though, is a lot of this seems to be based on smoke and mirrors. We have had open positions in Singapore for months and months and months. The jobs will be moved elsewhere.

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Postby brian_singapore » Sat, 02 Aug 2014 11:35 am

Wd40 wrote:
JR8 wrote:
Oh and who is going to be auditing all of this ? And do companies that don't have Taleo (or equiv.) now have to buy it?



I believe everything that Brian mentioned is their internal implementation, which is more stricter than required. FCF doesn't care about Taleo, it requires jobs to be posted on the jobs bank and if you skip it and no matter how well you treat candidates on the taleo, you will still not be given EP.

Also no one will audit this. Its works on a complaint based system just like everything else in Singapore. For example nobody checks if you are illegally subletting your HDB, but if someone complains, you are screwed.


This is how the bank I work for has chosen to implememt. As I work for a bank, I am confident someone in one our myriad internal audit groups will audit this.... or just prevent me from hiring my preferred candidate if all the boxes haven't been checked.

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Postby JR8 » Sat, 02 Aug 2014 11:48 am

brian_singapore wrote:This is how the bank I work for has chosen to implememt. As I work for a bank, I am confident someone in one our myriad internal audit groups will audit this.... or just prevent me from hiring my preferred candidate if all the boxes haven't been checked.


Would this mean that if you'd say positively identified a candidate as an external hire, maybe they'd already given you the green-light on being hired too, that you have to still post/advertise the job AND interview any locals who apply that have the on-paper skillset?

p.s. Interesting re: US/Canada, I'm still pondering that. Might it be a case of their policies being re: 'inclusivity' re: minorities; whereas here it could be argued that it's the reverse? Hmmm ... :) :???:

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Postby GSM8 » Sat, 02 Aug 2014 1:13 pm

JR8 wrote:p.s. Interesting re: US/Canada, I'm still pondering that. Might it be a case of their policies being re: 'inclusivity' re: minorities; whereas here it could be argued that it's the reverse? Hmmm ... :) :???:

Expanding on Brian's post, US has had such policies in place for a while, for reasons similar to FCF, i.e. to ensure a foreigner is not hired on a work visa (typically H1B) when there are qualified citizens or green card holders available, and H1B workers are limited to 6 consecutive years. There are also limits on the total number of H1B's that can be issued in a year, and certain large corporations have fallen afoul of CIS (used to be INS) for hiring too many H1B's. In fact there are two levels of advertising/search that has to be done, a shorter 2 week process for work visas and a far more stringent one extending into months, when an existing work visa employee is applying for a green card. For green card there are national origin quotas as well, meaning someone from Africa or eastern Europe may have a lesser wait than say Mexico, Canada, China, India, Philippines, UK etc, which are considered over-represented, although the approval criteria themselves are uniform

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Postby myprhui » Sat, 02 Aug 2014 2:01 pm

I will expect some companies especially banks to overreact to the FCF requirements. Banks are always wary of unnecessary attention from the authorities and if I still remember correctly some of the banks in Singapore were actually warned by MAS or MOM to rectify their HR practices.

In my company, we will advise our hiring managers to always interview the Singaporean/PR candidates first. We also encourage them to consider hiring a local candidate who may not fully meet all the job requirements but they have good attitudes. The concept is to first bring these local folks in and then train/mentor them on areas where they are weak in. There are a lot of reasons why Singaporeans are not being hire and its not always because they are not qualified or we didn't give them a chance. In my experience, a lot of times its due to the salary negotiation. We have candidates who strongly insist on a 30-40% (or even 50%) increment and it just not possible for the hiring manager to always justify such an increment especially if it is the same role.

Actually this FCD thing was created because Singaporeans complained to MOM that a system which only relies on whistle blowers is not enough. So MOM create this FCD to proactively identify "bad" employers. In my opinion and with my understanding of Singaporeans, I believe the complaint system will work just fine.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 02 Aug 2014 2:57 pm

myprhui wrote:In my opinion and with my understanding of Singaporeans, I believe the complaint system will work just fine.


Stomp proves that. IN spades.

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Postby AndrewV » Sun, 03 Aug 2014 12:18 pm

myprhui wrote:I will expect some companies especially banks to overreact to the FCF requirements. Banks are always wary of unnecessary attention from the authorities and if I still remember correctly some of the banks in Singapore were actually warned by MAS or MOM to rectify their HR practices.

In my company, we will advise our hiring managers to always interview the Singaporean/PR candidates first. We also encourage them to consider hiring a local candidate who may not fully meet all the job requirements but they have good attitudes. The concept is to first bring these local folks in and then train/mentor them on areas where they are weak in. There are a lot of reasons why Singaporeans are not being hire and its not always because they are not qualified or we didn't give them a chance. In my experience, a lot of times its due to the salary negotiation. We have candidates who strongly insist on a 30-40% (or even 50%) increment and it just not possible for the hiring manager to always justify such an increment especially if it is the same role.

Actually this FCD thing was created because Singaporeans complained to MOM that a system which only relies on whistle blowers is not enough. So MOM create this FCD to proactively identify "bad" employers. In my opinion and with my understanding of Singaporeans, I believe the complaint system will work just fine.


I think this is what the FCF is aiming to achieve, just nudge the hiring decisions in the correct direction and not disadvantage singaporeans/PR's even though there is a 17% overhead (CPF) in hiring them

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Postby Mi Amigo » Sun, 03 Aug 2014 2:10 pm

AndrewV wrote:I think this is what the FCF is aiming to achieve, just nudge the hiring decisions in the correct direction and not disadvantage singaporeans/PR's even though there is a 17% overhead (CPF) in hiring them

The 'correct direction' always being to hire a Singaporean, even if there are better candidates from elsewhere? Is that what you are implying?

If a Singaporean is the best-placed candidate, why would they be disadvantaged (except in the case of employers who try to only employ 'their own kind', which I think we all agree is not on)? They can be employed straight away, without having to jump through all the (increasingly constricted) Employment Pass hoops.

If all the Singaporean candidates for a given position are less favourable than other candidates, are you saying that an employer should still have to hire one of them anyway? That kind of attitude this strikes me as being similar to the ridiculous positive discrimination in favour of the majority Bumis in Malaysia.

I'm all in favour of employing Singaporeans whenever possible (and that is what I have always done in the past), but you seem to be implying that coercion should be applied to make decisions go (in your words) 'in the correct direction'. Such a behaviour would (IMO) further encourage employers to relocate elsewhere.
Be careful what you wish for

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 03 Aug 2014 2:40 pm

Maybe they are falling into the same trap as the US did with Affirmative Action which is now a minefield of reverse discrimination.

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Postby AndrewV » Sun, 03 Aug 2014 4:22 pm

Mi Amigo wrote:
AndrewV wrote:I think this is what the FCF is aiming to achieve, just nudge the hiring decisions in the correct direction and not disadvantage singaporeans/PR's even though there is a 17% overhead (CPF) in hiring them

The 'correct direction' always being to hire a Singaporean, even if there are better candidates from elsewhere? Is that what you are implying?

If a Singaporean is the best-placed candidate, why would they be disadvantaged (except in the case of employers who try to only employ 'their own kind', which I think we all agree is not on)? They can be employed straight away, without having to jump through all the (increasingly constricted) Employment Pass hoops.

If all the Singaporean candidates for a given position are less favourable than other candidates, are you saying that an employer should still have to hire one of them anyway? That kind of attitude this strikes me as being similar to the ridiculous positive discrimination in favour of the majority Bumis in Malaysia.

I'm all in favour of employing Singaporeans whenever possible (and that is what I have always done in the past), but you seem to be implying that coercion should be applied to make decisions go (in your words) 'in the correct direction'. Such a behaviour would (IMO) further encourage employers to relocate elsewhere.

I'm not implying that at all and I don't think the FCF is meant for this purpose.
given two equally qualified potential hires, the preference should always go to the singaporean/PR. Currently this is not the case because of the 17% overhead in the salary due to CPF contribution (there may be some factors negating this)and mandatory reservist nudging the hiring decision(albeit slightly) the other way. The FCF nudges companies to swing the pendulum more towards equilibrium.

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Postby Wd40 » Sun, 03 Aug 2014 5:48 pm

AndrewV wrote:I'm not implying that at all and I don't think the FCF is meant for this purpose.
given two equally qualified potential hires, the preference should always go to the singaporean/PR. Currently this is not the case because of the 17% overhead in the salary due to CPF contribution (there may be some factors negating this)and mandatory reservist nudging the hiring decision(albeit slightly) the other way. The FCF nudges companies to swing the pendulum more towards equilibrium.


You view is over simplistic, regarding the 17% CPF contribution for SCs/PRs. Salaries are never same for 2 people doing the same role. Lots of factors involved, main factor being their previous salary.

Also locals, stay in their own houses so their salary expectations are usually lower than foreigners and they are cheaper to hire. I remember some threads here, where foreigners asked whether 8k is enough in Singapore, got quoted in other local forums and the locals discussing were shocked to know how most foreigners think 8k is a low salary which for them is a dream come true. Please note 8k is just a hypothetical figure, it can be anything, but relatively a local will be satisfied with a much lower salary than a foreigner, mainly due to the rental and other costs that foreigners need to factor in before coming to Singapore.

Also most foreigners coming from emerging markets, for the PMET categories, these days have better living standards in their own countries than Singapore and unless they can save significantly higher, they wont come here.


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