Daily NewsView All News
Headhunters in Singapore have spotted a new trend – the rise of the opportunistic expat according to the London Daily Telegraph. The term refers to a foreigner who arrives without a job or a relocation package in the hope of finding work in a booming economy. While there are no hard or fast figures available, recruitment firms across the city have seen a marked increase in opportunistic ex-pats.
Mark Hall, vice-president of recruiter Kelly Services in Singapore, said: "People want to be in Singapore. They recognise that in a competitive job market, being on the ground will demonstrate their commitment. At the same time, hiring managers are becoming increasingly reluctant to consider candidates who are based outside of Singapore when a diverse and qualified talent pool already exists here."
Stella Tang, director at Robert Half Singapore, said: “Singapore’s financial sector is still healthy so many expatriates from the UK and elsewhere are looking for employment here. We are seeing more banking and finance professionals arriving as visitors and exploring job opportunities while they are here."
While European and US banks have been scaling back their headcounts in the region, Asian banks have been more proactive in the recruitment drives. As a result, there are opportunities for banking professionals willing to change location and job position outside their comfort zones.
Sonia Fuller, director at headhunter KS Consulting, said: “There are also plenty of opportunities in risk-based roles such as regulation and compliance, but it helps if you already have some Asian experience."
Singapore is diversifying into biotechnology, water technology, environmental and energy science. As the government continues to provide incentives for growth in these sectors, there is likely to be demand for foreign talent with this expertise.
However, while opportunistic ex-pats are on the rise, many find that it is not as easy as they thought to get a job in Singapore. Traditional expat packages are being scaled back while the government is tightening its foreign labour rules.
Indeed, following the announcement in Parliament in February that the dependency ratio ceiling - the maximum ratio of foreign staff in a firm's total workforce - will be cut to 40 per cent from 45 per cent. One employer has come up with an interesting solution to hire ex-convicts. To read the full story click here.