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Whats the story with Singapore Recruiters!!!???

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BoroBoy
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Whats the story with Singapore Recruiters!!!???

Postby BoroBoy » Fri, 13 Dec 2013 1:41 am

...I have heard that they are bad but I think they are just lazy or incompetent.

I am currently looking for a job in HK or SG, and I have been sending my CV off to apply for different roles from job boards on the internet. My CV is pretty decent, I have good experience with good companies. I am applying for relevant jobs where I am pretty much the target candidate based on the job description.

From the jobs I have applied for I have had a call from pretty much everyone of the recruiters in HK, even if the role had gone they realised I was a good candidate so they wanted to speak to me to get me on the hook.

In singapore I haven't had a single response, not one! There was one role I really liked so I called the company switch board and asked the receptionist for the person who posted the job ad, she said she didnt know who posted it and it was impossible for her to find out and they would phone me if they were interested. No call, but my CV is a perfect match! Another one, they listed an email address on the job description so I emailed them just to get an 'out of office' reply until 17th Dec, they suggested I emailed their colleague so I did, again an 'out of office' but they suggested I emailed their other colleague, and again another 'out of office' (seriously!). They suggested a fourth colleague who I emailed but still no response after 3 days!

So I dont really know what to do. My CV is getting a lot of bites in HK and the roles in both countries are the same! Do the employers know how bad the SG recruiters are? How do they hire people!

</rant>

:???:

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Fri, 13 Dec 2013 8:45 am

I had a similar experience here many years ago. I think one aspect is, that the employer is paying their fees, and so they feel answerable to them alone. And there is no immediate value to them in as much as a courtesy-call. :???: I remember finding the wall of silence perplexing ...

p.s. I used a dual approach of agent, and direct. Both seemed to yield an equal lack of response.

Oh, and the other thing I know used to happen (London), was agents posting 'dummy' job ads for more generic positions, just to garner a bunch of CVs to keep on file.

And another 'trick' was the agent calling someone in ostensibly to discuss a position. Whereas in fact the aim was to get an overview of a whole corporate department and who all the key players were (to potentially target in future).

It's a pretty dirty game it seems, and here perhaps with even less courtesy.

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Postby the lynx » Fri, 13 Dec 2013 8:50 am

If you're not a PR/Singaporean, probably it is their way of saying, "No, we don't want your CV at all, no matter how good it is."

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 13 Dec 2013 8:53 am

the lynx wrote:If you're not a PR/Singaporean, probably it is their way of saying, "No, we don't want your CV at all, no matter how good it is."


I those those jobs/ads tended to be clearly marked 'SGns/PRs only' ... ?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 13 Dec 2013 9:43 am

Here in Singapore, where is it technically illegal to bill the job seeker for a placement fee. The "clients" are the Companies & Businesses. They are required to pay the search fees for the position being filled. Here is where the problem arises. The local company HR departments use a number of agencies when they have a position available. They might regularly use half a dozen agencies and they shotgun their requirements to all their current agencies (this will often change within the HR department when a particular HR lead changes). Also, due to past cases taken to court/arbitration, should a client company receive the same CV from two different agencies, the first past the post, e.g., whichever recruitment company that managed to get it there first is the successful recruiter. Another problem that occasionally crops up is the client company receives the CV direct from the candidate as well. Therefore, to protect themselves, the company will normally timestamp the CV with the receipt date unless it was received by email (the email is already time stamped).

Therefore, for a recruiter, your CV has shelf life of around 3 months (with 6 months being the normal maximum). This only changes when you have a headhunter as opposed to a recruiter. I keep good CVs for a long, long time as I will poach whenever, wherever I can. Most recruiters do not have that luxury called time. Time is of the essence as the tendency is for job seekers to also shotgun their CVs out to hundreds of agencies. Add to that, the agencies use the same procedure with the HR departments, hoping that maybe one might be sufficiently qualified to cause an inquiry by the client to the recruitment consultant. Only then does the consultant bother to call the job seeker! :-( Sadly, they often only have a few hours to get this done because of the shotgun methods used and the general poor quality of vetting that they do in the first place. The higher end positions and the Int'l Recruitment firms here are a little better, but their clients generally are adverse to giving retainers to Agencies as well due to the availability of instant CVs and the chance that the job seeker will also hit a local agency as well where the fees are considerably lower. The whole industry sucks in general and it's why I got out of it. I had an excellent rep though, but I was selective in as much as I only recruited in industries that I knew very well as I worked in them for 20 years myself. I also didn't place lower level positions either as the effort wasn't worth the reward.

Agencies constantly run JDs for common positions here in order to keep a continuous supply of fresh fruit for their shelves. Most of the JDs are stock and really don't exist. Another ruse that Client companies use is broadcasting their JD to the agencies for positions that don't exist as well, but because they are tendering a job they have to fill out an Org chart complete with personnel to submit with the tender. Or they are just looking at potential future needs. But they don't tell the agencies this as the recruiters are going to waste their time on something that isn't going to produce a placement in short order.

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Postby Beeroclock » Fri, 13 Dec 2013 9:51 am

JR8: "It's a pretty dirty game it seems, and here perhaps with even less courtesy."

I get frequent calls from headhunters (I assume that's the same as what you mean by recruitment firm) who deceive their way past the secretary by saying they're a mate from Uni or whatever. After saying "not interested" they then start to probe for info about the company etc for their database/market reports and to try help them get more mandates by giving clients the perception they know everyone in the industry. It's very tiresome, and if they are not sensitive enough to find a more discreet approach (e.g linkedin) rather than call at my work desk, then it's an immediate red flag. I'm miffed that so many firms use headhunters instead of direct recruitment. There must be quite a few people like me who basically don't engage with headhunters at all.

I've also had a few cases where cold callers pretend to be a colleague from an Overseas office, and use this angle to probe inside info about the company, who's doing what etc. I'm most certain these are headhunters and they're generally westerners not locals.

Really bizarre the waste time on these shenanigans instead of pursuing valid opportunities to make a placement such as the OP!

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Postby AngMoG » Fri, 13 Dec 2013 10:05 am

JR8 wrote:
the lynx wrote:If you're not a PR/Singaporean, probably it is their way of saying, "No, we don't want your CV at all, no matter how good it is."


I those those jobs/ads tended to be clearly marked 'SGns/PRs only' ... ?


To the OP: where are you currently located? In HK, or somewhere else? If you are not in SG, then you can pretty much forget about hearing from any recruiter in SG.

Well, first of all they are not allowed to say 'SCs/PRs only'. They can only say 'SCs only/preferred' now.

From experience, I have to say that recruiters in SG will mostly only entertain two types of people:
1) SCs/PRs
2) High-salary earners (i.e., above S$10K or so)
They may call you back if you are an excellent fit and if they cannot find SCs/PRs or residents (in that order!) to fill the role, but the likelihood of that is low because many are just plain incompetent and don't know what a good fit is for the role to begin with. I think they will often take the easiest route and just pick a couple of half-competent SCs/PRs and take them to interview.
There are the occasional competent ones - I once got a call that strove to understand more about my career - but in general, the above holds true. Additionally, a number of recruiters I have dealt with are just plain clueless, and I have had the case once or twice where I was referred for a role I knew I did not have a chance of getting.

If you want to find a job in SG from abroad, I would suggest going only for ads that are posted by the company directly, with some focus on MNCs, who have better hiring practices. The HR is often still not very competent, but in my experience still head and shoulders above most recruiters.

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Postby BoroBoy » Fri, 13 Dec 2013 1:26 pm

For these roles the salary will be north of $10k and the majority of people I know in the industry at this level are foreigners so I dont think its a salary or PR/SGner only.

Maybe JR8 is right and they are fake jobs, I guess this is the wrong time of year to be looking as most companies are winding down for the year.

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Postby Fortan » Fri, 13 Dec 2013 1:41 pm

I have had some pretty good experiences with the recruiters here, I have to say. When I was based in Europe I contacted a whole long list of recruiters directly via LinkedIn and was very and I mean VERY, specific on what I was looking for. What level, what salary, even down to what industries and where in Singapore I would prefer to work. I would guess that about 75% of them replied to me. Either to say they didn't currently have any jobs available or that they did. I got the job I have now through a recruiter.

That said - I had worked in Singapore 4 years before that and have lived in several other Asian countries. I am not sure if that had any influence on it - it might be.

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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 13 Dec 2013 1:41 pm

I have been in the market for last year looking for a job change in Singapore. My experience has been, when I apply through the company's internal jobs portal(Taleo based) I never get a response. Banks like SCB, ANZ mostly do it through internal jobs site and advertise them directly on LI, Efinancial careers etc.

Barclays used to use external recruiters almost always and the likes of Robert Walters, Ashton Carter etc and these recruiters are good. I almost always got a call and was treated properly.

My guess is, there are 3 things at play here.
1) There are just too many people submitting resumes in Singapore. Most resumes are "doctored" by the applicants to match the skills listed in the jobs ad. So recruiters are faced with piles of resumes and most of the resumes are all the same. If you have submitted a genuine resume but if dont have just 1 of the 10 skills specified in the jobs ad, you wont get a call. The recruiters randomly shortlist a bunch of idiots who know nothing for the next round and finally they either dont hire anyone or hire someone substandard.

2)Companies are really pussy footing these days and even though a position is advertised. Suddenly there is a decision from the top to freeze and the position gets cancelled at the last moment.

3)Some companies because they are large organizations, they need to go through the motion of posting an ad, even though the hiring manager has already selected the person from another team to join. Most roles nowadays are filled by internal mobility. Yet, they need to post the ad and go through the motions.

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Postby BoroBoy » Fri, 13 Dec 2013 4:47 pm

Is the market in SG any different to HK though? I am applying to banks/hedge funds too and I understand that there are some issues with companies slowing down hiring etc, but the recruiters in HK are so responsive and I already have a two interviews lined up. I wonder why Singapore is so different because they are effectively fighting for the same talent.

I would prefer to move to Singapore over HK but they way its looking at the moment I think HK might win unless things pick up in the NY in SG..

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Postby Sergei82 » Fri, 13 Dec 2013 4:58 pm

HK market in your industry is by far larger than in SG.

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Postby BoroBoy » Fri, 13 Dec 2013 5:15 pm

Sergei82 wrote:HK market in your industry is by far larger than in SG.


That is true but there is still a significant number of jobs in advertised in Singapore.

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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 13 Dec 2013 5:48 pm

Although HK and SG market may be similar, the banks in them are different and depending on the bank, the hiring trends can be completely divergent.

European banks are doing much worse compared to American banks for example. Swiss and EU regulations are much more tougher and last quarter and current quarter's results are not good. So dont expect much of hiring from the likes of UBS, Credit Suisse, Barclays, Deutsche bank etc

JP Morgan though is hiring big time in Singapore.

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Postby Sergei82 » Sat, 14 Dec 2013 12:32 am

A lot of uncertainty in SG. Every month the government is imposing new restrictions on foreigners. That's why many companies are either on hold or moving out, for example out to HK.


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