Singapore Expats Forum

Difficulty with recruitment agencies

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

steeveendee
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed, 04 Apr 2012

Difficulty with recruitment agencies

Postby steeveendee » Wed, 13 Jun 2012 9:47 pm

Hi Guys,

Firstly, thanks again for a great forum. I have been reading a lot about nightmare stories trying to get in touch with recruitment agencies and HR departments whilst overseas.

I'm hoping someone here has some magical insight into the following questions, now that I have received in-principal approval for a PEP (and time is ticking unfortunately)

1. Is it safe to assume that recruitment agencies/HR departments are inundated with foreign applications that never amount to anything, and therefore they place very little value on even responding?

2. My current plan is to travel to Singapore again for 5 working days in order to be able to say to these people "Hi, I'm here and available right now" instead of "Oh, I'm coming in 2 weeks" - does anyone have knowledge on whether this would realistically make a difference?

3. I'll chance a final question. Would 5 working days be long enough to secure an interview, or at least solidify a ongoing interaction?

Industry is IT, looking for Software/Development management or Project Management positions.

Thanks in advance!

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35168
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Re: Difficulty with recruitment agencies

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 13 Jun 2012 10:16 pm

steeveendee wrote:Hi Guys,

Firstly, thanks again for a great forum. I have been reading a lot about nightmare stories trying to get in touch with recruitment agencies and HR departments whilst overseas.

I'm hoping someone here has some magical insight into the following questions, now that I have received in-principal approval for a PEP (and time is ticking unfortunately)

1. Is it safe to assume that recruitment agencies/HR departments are inundated with foreign applications that never amount to anything, and therefore they place very little value on even responding?

Yes and no. Lots of applications and lots of good ones as well. They place great value on them. But that's where it stops.

You have to understand one very important thing about agencies in Singapore. The Clients pay the fees, not the job seekers (it's against the law here to charge fees to the job seekers). Therefore, there is little benefit in spending sums of money to flesh out CV's before they actually have a JD in their hands. Time is money and speed is of the essence. The other problem is the Companies (Clients) rarely engage a single agency on a retainer except in a few instances. Therefore, it becomes a game of who gets the JD and matches a candidate in their database. The shelf life of a candidate's CV is about 3~4 months before it's "old" and the candidate is probably no longer available. Should a Client send a agency a JD and they have a match or what they think might be a match, then and usually only then will they contact you. Additionally, there is another problem here as most job seekers have send their CV's to every damned agency in Singapore that they can find. So then it becomes a matter of speed as most here practice "first past the post". e.g., the Client is almost forced to accept the candidate from the agency that managed to get the CV to the Client first. This makes for an interesting situation occasionally when the client ALSO has the candidate's CV in their possession but for whatever reason scheduled the interview between HR & an agency instead of HR contacting the candidate directly (the contacts would be on the CV that was a direct send.


2. My current plan is to travel to Singapore again for 5 working days in order to be able to say to these people "Hi, I'm here and available right now" instead of "Oh, I'm coming in 2 weeks" - does anyone have knowledge on whether this would realistically make a difference?

Five days? not enough time. We just had someone here that really surprised us in as much as he just found a job (IT as well) in a relatively short period of 9 weeks (6 weeks after receiving his PEP). You can check out his tale [url]http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/ftopic82375.html]here[/url].

3. I'll chance a final question. Would 5 working days be long enough to secure an interview, or at least solidify a ongoing interaction?

No. In fact, a lot of interviews are for position that are only on the drawing boards and not even solidified yet. Clients tends to start looking for suitable bodies while in the discussion or tender stages but unfortunately, usually neglect to tell the recruiters that little bit of vital information.

Industry is IT, looking for Software/Development management or Project Management positions.

Thanks in advance!


sms

NB: maybe Strong Eagle can give you some further insights once he sees this.

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11110
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Re: Difficulty with recruitment agencies

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 13 Jun 2012 10:28 pm

steeveendee wrote:Hi Guys,

Firstly, thanks again for a great forum. I have been reading a lot about nightmare stories trying to get in touch with recruitment agencies and HR departments whilst overseas.

I'm hoping someone here has some magical insight into the following questions, now that I have received in-principal approval for a PEP (and time is ticking unfortunately)

1. Is it safe to assume that recruitment agencies/HR departments are inundated with foreign applications that never amount to anything, and therefore they place very little value on even responding?


No. It is safe to assume that the vast majority of HR departments are unable to match the skill sets in a CV to the job listings that have been handed over to them. This is especially true if a CV contains more rarefied skills that make no sense to the average HR "analyst".

It is also safe to assume that any given recruitment agency doesn't actually have a job for you... they are hoping to get a CV to present to a client in the hopes of winning a contract... but again... the recruitment agencies are also bloody worthless in matching talent to jobs. There are a few... but not many... most use commissioned cold callers.


2. My current plan is to travel to Singapore again for 5 working days in order to be able to say to these people "Hi, I'm here and available right now" instead of "Oh, I'm coming in 2 weeks" - does anyone have knowledge on whether this would realistically make a difference?

3. I'll chance a final question. Would 5 working days be long enough to secure an interview, or at least solidify a ongoing interaction?


I doubt five days is enough. It will make a difference, though. And recognize that in any given industry, the circle is small... you have to find the contact that introduces you to the circle you want to be in.

Five days? Let me put it this way. I know a Pakistani guy who was living in Canada that applied for a PEP and got it straight away. He found a banking job in less than two weeks. Contrast this to posters on this board who have been looking for jobs for months. It all depends on what you know, who you know, and how well you present.

Industry is IT, looking for Software/Development management or Project Management positions.

Thanks in advance!


There are about 25 million Indians, Vietnamese, and others all looking for these positions. What differentiates you? I hire infrastructure project managers... at least 6 to 8 years experience in large scale (6000+ seats, for example) projects... is this you? If not, you can only be competitive in the local market... about S$1000 for every year of experience. A good technical PM will earn in the S$8K range.

rosy83uk
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed, 06 Jun 2012
Location: LONDON, UK

Postby rosy83uk » Thu, 14 Jun 2012 11:38 pm

I too have wondered about the value of just turning up

Should I just take 2 weeks of work in the UK and spend 2 weeks meeting and nagging agents face to face

But it seems a lot to spend to still get the same blah blah blah

Does this method really work?

I too am a Project Manager (Financial Services) and Business Analyst (7yrs experience)
Off to pastures anew...or continue to enjoy Brit taxes and Brit rain?!!!!

steeveendee
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed, 04 Apr 2012

Postby steeveendee » Fri, 15 Jun 2012 5:50 pm

Thanks for the replies and extra info guys.

Looks like the bloke in the other thread managed to also turn around a job interview and offer in a week. And I've since had a recruiter at Michael Page tell me that they, and I quote: "fill most positions in a week"

So mixed experiences all round - arguably it would seem it'll take between 1 and 9 weeks to finalise a position :D Or a classic combination of in-demand skills/experience and very good timing.

MoM also posted today on a softening job market

Good luck to all! Thanks again.

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6842
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Fri, 15 Jun 2012 8:57 pm

steeveendee wrote:Looks like the bloke in the other thread managed to also turn around a job interview and offer in a week.


Read the whole thread. He is exceptionally well qualified and put months into his job hunt.

steeveendee
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed, 04 Apr 2012

Postby steeveendee » Fri, 15 Jun 2012 9:23 pm

Read the whole thread


I did, thank you.

As he didn't stipulate when he applied for that particular position there is nothing to implicate that his months of hard work or qualifications had anything to do with the quick turnaround.

Nor the opposite.

Moot point, but thanks for the reply.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35168
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 15 Jun 2012 10:02 pm

Therein lies the problem. Had he not been here, he may not have gotten the position either. And for every one like him, there are a dozen who go months without success or never find anything. And as noted, there is also a softening of the market. It will test your mettle to say the least.

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11110
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 15 Jun 2012 10:40 pm

What is your desired rate of pay?

steeveendee
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed, 04 Apr 2012

Postby steeveendee » Fri, 15 Jun 2012 11:23 pm

I'm initially applying for positions advertised/purported to be at $8k+

However given my skills/experience and what I can bring to the table, I believe I'm more valuable than that. Please don't mistake that for arrogance :D

Why do you ask?

olivia242
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon, 19 Sep 2011

Re: Difficulty with recruitment agencies

Postby olivia242 » Tue, 10 Jul 2012 10:57 pm

To answer your points from my own perspective.

Agencies are inundated with CVs from everyone. Remember that today's world is about sending CVs electronically and most of them will be filtered by some word recognition software so it is hard to get their attention. Don't send out 10 CVs and expect to receive 10 phone calls. Be happy if you receive 1.

2. Unless you are a super hot shot, don't even count on getting an interview with these people. If you turn up and say "Here I am.", though they will be polite, they will be saying in their heads, "So what... I want locals or PRs because then my client doesn't have to bother with applying for employment passes". If you are a super hot shot, what are you bothering with agencies for in the first place.

3. 5 days is not long enough for anything. If you are lucky, you would probably look at a month from first hearing about the job to receiving an offer.

For the person who got something in 5 days, it's only relevant to make that statement if they are in identical position. This is the exception and not the norm.

Any agency that tells you that they fill most positions in a week, you have to ask yourself what kind of positions they are offering. Do you think that for a PM position that an employer will be able to interview all of their available candidates twice in one week and make an offer and apply for the relevant employment pass. I don't think so.

It took me 10 months to find a position here and I am in the same line of work as you and very experienced. It took 1 month from being offered to actually starting. Things can move very slowly here because recruiting is rarely on the top of a manager's to-do list. I know because I've had to recruit people myself and it's something that you do when you have nothing else pressing to do.

Things are very tight out there so a 5 day expectation of employment, well, you're setting yourself up for a disappointment. If you're here for 5 days, you'd be better spending that time sight seeing and relaxing because it will be more rewarding.

olivia242
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon, 19 Sep 2011

Postby olivia242 » Tue, 10 Jul 2012 11:00 pm

Also... $8k... you'll be lucky. It's not impossible but that's above average at the moment. You may think that you are worth more but that's not what drives a salary, it's about the budget that the employer has and it doesn't matter how good you are... they will only pay what they can afford. Again, if you are a super hot shot, you're not looking at $8k salaries anyway and you're not turning up in Singapore for 5 days.

My advice... be more realistic with your expectations.

steeveendee wrote:I'm initially applying for positions advertised/purported to be at $8k+

However given my skills/experience and what I can bring to the table, I believe I'm more valuable than that. Please don't mistake that for arrogance :D

Why do you ask?

User avatar
BillyB
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1807
Joined: Fri, 23 Jul 2010
Location: My laptop

Postby BillyB » Wed, 11 Jul 2012 11:12 am

If you both work in the financial services and have front and middle office experience, feel free to drop me your details via a PM and we can talk further.

Disclaimer: I'm NOT a headhunter or recruiter!

skkamandy
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed, 12 Jan 2011

Postby skkamandy » Wed, 18 Jul 2012 10:53 pm

Hi steeveendee,

I have been looking for IT Development manager or technical business analyst position in SG since early 2011. Honestly I feel it is very difficult now. I wonder if traveling to Singapore can help .

Unfortunately, I miss a chance around 7-8 years ago to relocate to SG because of salary cut. The parent company of which I worked for can provide lodging until I get the SPR. Stupid!

Wish you good luck.

PS: I am a Chinese and speak Cantonese and Mandarin and have been working in the IT industry for over 16+ in HK. I have PMP certified and CFA pending Charter with a few technical certificates.
Kam

steeveendee
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed, 04 Apr 2012

Postby steeveendee » Thu, 19 Jul 2012 7:38 pm

Hi skkamandy,

Nice to hear some useful feedback instead of bitter opinions that do not warrant a response :D

I've simply decided to move to Singapore and use the 6months that the PEP allows to find employment - it'll be expensive, but as there do seem to be positions out there, the fact I am not "local" right now is obviously counting against me significantly.

Plus it seems to take several weeks for HR depts/recruiters to respond to applications. When I reflect on my own recruiting practices, this is typical. It's been a long time since I was on the other side :D

Thanks for the wishes

BillyB, unfortunately I'm not in finance, but I'll get in touch regardless (if I'm able to PM) there may be some synergy.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Careers & Jobs in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests