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Strategies for finding my wife a job in high-tech marketing?

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NativeTexan
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Strategies for finding my wife a job in high-tech marketing?

Postby NativeTexan » Fri, 07 Mar 2008 1:23 am

Greetings all,

My employer (a quickly-growing software company) has offered to send me to Singapore to establish and manage our first Asia-Pacific office (sales, customer service, and tech support focused). I very much enjoyed my ~1 week visit there, and my wife is thrilled at the prospect of living abroad for a year or two. Additionally, while they haven't shared specific details with me yet, my employer is going to be very generous when it comes to housing, transportation, tax equalization, paying to have my taxes done by a Big4 audit firm, etc... so that's all great.

However, my wife also has a career in high-tech, working as a product marketing manager for a large multi-national computer hardware vendor, and we'd hate to abandon her career there for the move. Needless to say, she is working angles internally at her company to see about opportunities to stay at the company and work in Singapore. This is potentially promising since she has weekly interactions with colleagues with her company in Singapore.

However, in the event that they aren't keen on her relocating, we may move quickly to a "PLAN B" which would involve her leaving her job here in the states and trying to find one in Singapore.

A few questions:

1. Is this even possible? -- for her to move to Singapore with me without a job, and find one once on the ground there?

2. Are there reputable headhunters? -- who specialize in high-tech? She'd like to target high-tech companies with APAC HQ or at least regional marketing operations in Singapore.

3. Where can I find concise lists of high-tech companies with regional HQ's in Singapore? -- I have contacts at the EDB, but don't want to use them just yet as that could get back to other people here at my company who don't yet know I've been offered the opportunity to head to Singapore.

I know that Dell, Alcatel-Lucent, VMWare, and Red Hat have significant APAC operations in Singapore, but am wondering how to go about helping her work on a Plan B.

My intuition is that people may be interetsed in a "local hire" type of arrangement which would be fine for us as my employer will be toting the note for the bulk of the expenses related to this adventure.

I've been reading these forums for a few days now but haven't found this particular horse to be beaten yet in these forums. Any thoughts or advice?

Many thanks,

A Native Texan

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Re: Strategies for finding my wife a job in high-tech market

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 07 Mar 2008 10:21 pm

NativeTexan wrote:However, in the event that they aren't keen on her relocating, we may move quickly to a "PLAN B" which would involve her leaving her job here in the states and trying to find one in Singapore.

A few questions:

1. Is this even possible? -- for her to move to Singapore with me without a job, and find one once on the ground there?

2. Are there reputable headhunters? -- who specialize in high-tech? She'd like to target high-tech companies with APAC HQ or at least regional marketing operations in Singapore.

3. Where can I find concise lists of high-tech companies with regional HQ's in Singapore? -- I have contacts at the EDB, but don't want to use them just yet as that could get back to other people here at my company who don't yet know I've been offered the opportunity to head to Singapore.

I know that Dell, Alcatel-Lucent, VMWare, and Red Hat have significant APAC operations in Singapore, but am wondering how to go about helping her work on a Plan B.

My intuition is that people may be interetsed in a "local hire" type of arrangement which would be fine for us as my employer will be toting the note for the bulk of the expenses related to this adventure.


I spend a few years on the other side of the Sabine River several decades ago. Hope things go well with the possible move here.

Anyway, let's take it by the numbers:

1. Yes. You will have to get her a dependents pass. From there a lot is possible including a local hire. However, a modified Expat hire is also a good possiility as well. Additionally, while I would assume she already has suitable qualifications to qualify for an EP in her own right, if she doesn't, all is not lost either.

She will also have the ability to have an potential employer file for a "Letter of consent" while would allow her to work without the "EP" but her Working Permit would be tied to your Employment Pass expiry date. It is also renewable as yours would be. It may even be easier to find a job on the ground if she is a highflyer and doesn't need all the other perks because of your company picking up the nickel.

2. As far a headhunters go, most are a gamble at best, even the multi's who have located here are not as professional as you would find at home. It's a crapshoot in any case. What I would suggest is using good agencies there who have either contacts or offices here (but work through your home consultants if at all possible).

3. As my headhunting background is not in the High-Tech Industries, I cannot lay my hand on anything better than the EDB but maybe someone like Strong Eagle might happen by and give you a hand as he is another Texan (well, transplanted one anyway) who has his on IT company here and may well be the person to talk to.

I will send him a PM asking him to have a look see here and maybe you two can go from there......

sms

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Postby NativeTexan » Sat, 08 Mar 2008 7:08 am

Thanks for your response -- quite helpful.

On topic 1, it sounds like Singapore isn't like the US at all in the restrictiveness of immigration, which is a good thing. I just wanted to ensure that there's a reasonable way to get her employment once we're there, if she isn't arriving with a job in tow. I'm not worried about any reasonableness standard for "suitable qualifications" for the EP either. In fact, I'm amazed that they have a self-assessment tool (http://sat.mom.gov.sg/) that estimates your chances... is that thing reasonably accurate? because with her info it basically says no problem. And I'm presuming from all that I've read that you can apply for the pass without a job already lined up?

Finally on this, if it's possible to get an EP without physically being in Singapore or having a job offer in hand already, it seems like it would be advisable to have her get the EP right away, and ensure that she mentions that she has one when entering any discussions with prospective employers or headhunters? Or do people just view it as a formality if you're qualified enough? (i.e. a US-based marketing exec with fancy pants degrees/credentials and ~10 years experience, earning >USD$100K already)

On topics 2 and 3, I think I may have some leads into reputable folks coming so that's good.

Every day that goes by it seems more and more likely that we'll be coming to Singapore, too. I had better load up on Tex-Mex and BBQ beforehand as the options that way seemed limited at best. Luckily I'm also a fiend for Thai, Malaysian, Chinese, and Indian food!

NativeTexan

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 08 Mar 2008 11:47 am

The employment pass has to be applied for by the prospective employer. You cannot apply for and get one on your own. The online assessment tool is just there to self assess your chances if a company were to want to hire you. In all cases you will arrive in Singapore on a standard Tourist Visa. Once the EP is granted then the Depenent's Pass for your wife,can be obtained and/or her own EP/It is still not a guarantee of success. Your employer must justify the need to hire a foreigner rather than a local if there are qualified local available. Sometimes those things call for creative writing on the application by the employer! :wink:

Should be too much of a problem though....

Oh, I sent a PM last night to Strong Eagle so he may be in contact or not.

sms

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Postby sierra2469alpha » Sat, 08 Mar 2008 3:58 pm

Hi Native - sounds pretty similar to our situation - wife came in on EP (same concept as your firm) and I am awaiting a DP (could have done EP or EntrePass but until I work out a few logistics such as closing down my former business etc. then I stuck with a DP).

SMS's advice is always sound here, as are most people, so continue your investigations, including searching this forum, and post back if you need some help.

Cheers, P & C

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Postby NativeTexan » Sat, 08 Mar 2008 6:25 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:The employment pass has to be applied for by the prospective employer. You cannot apply for and get one on your own. The online assessment tool is just there to self assess your chances if a company were to want to hire you. In all cases you will arrive in Singapore on a standard Tourist Visa. Once the EP is granted then the Depenent's Pass for your wife,can be obtained and/or her own EP/It is still not a guarantee of success. Your employer must justify the need to hire a foreigner rather than a local if there are qualified local available. Sometimes those things call for creative writing on the application by the employer! :wink:

Should be too much of a problem though....

Oh, I sent a PM last night to Strong Eagle so he may be in contact or not.

sms
The EP for me I am not worried about as I'm opening a new company office there and establishing our presence in Asia. That will be a slam dunk if there ever was one since we're establishing a new office there, and advisors from two Big4 accounting/audit/tax firms, the EDB officials I've met with, etc. have all dismissed it as a formality.

It sounds like, presuming I get the EP for myself, then my wife can get the DP, yet for her own EP it requires HER perspective employer to do the creative writing and get her one? That last part -- whether prospective employer support is required for her to get her own EP once I've already got mine and she's here as a dependent -- is still ambiguous to me given your last two sentences there... is the "YOUR employer..." part referring to HER prospective employer (meaning she needs support to get an EP) or MY prospective employer (whereas my EP should be a slam dunk).

Thanks for your help and input -- I just want to ensure that if there's anything we can do to make finding her employment easier and smoother that we do it up front given the short timetable we are targeting.

NativeTexan

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 08 Mar 2008 11:23 pm

Yep, looking back it is a bit ambiguous.

Being on a Dependents Pass will not stop a prospective employer from trying to obtain an employment pass rather than a letter of consent. She could go either way depending on the employers requirements (sometimes it's headcount, quotas, SOP, any number of things)

Employment Pass = Employed on her own EP which is independent from yours

Letter of Consent = Employed with a letter of consent but is only good as long as your Employment pass is valid.

What I meant by "Your" employer in that case was as generic your, meaning anybody applying for an employment pass will need the employer to justify the reason for wanting to do so. Yes, in most cases it is just a formality. But in all fairness, I just try to give the straight skinny because while lots of our reader are from the US, UK, Aus, NZ we also get a lot from India, Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, and so forth and often it's trickier then.

The difference between the employment pass and the "letter of Consent" is if you lose your EP she also loses her right to work if she is on a letter of consent. However, if she gets her own EP, then it's not tied to yours at all. Good news if your company goes belly up. Not that that's going to happen, it's just a way of pointing out the difference between the two.

Obviously, both being on independent EP's is the way to go.

sms


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