Singapore Employers Prefer Overseas Returnees

Singapore Employers Prefer Overseas Returnees

According to a survey by recruitment firm Hays, 8 in 10 employers are looking to hire overseas returnees to enhance cross-cultural awareness in the organisation. 

It was also reported that across Asia, Singapore hired the least percentage of overseas returnees in the past 12 months (39%) while the Asian average is 54%.  

Benefits of hiring overseas returnees

  1. Cross-cultural awareness 
  2. Language and communication skills
  3. Commercial experience 

Issues with overseas returnee work pool

  1. A mismatch in expectations of offer packages
  2. Lack of local work experience

However, the employers were willing to pay returnees with suitable experience a premium salary. 54% of employers were ready with a salary package higher than that of their local peers and 28% were willing to increase the pay 10% more.

Why do the returnees return? 

  1. Being closer to their families 
  2. Opportunity to develop their careers
  3. Culture or lifestyle in Singapore

Challenges faced by the returnees

  1. Unsuitable job opportunities (53%)
  2. Unsuitable remuneration (45%)
  3. Unfamiliarity with local job market conditions (39%)

How are the overseas returnees faring in Singapore? 

With regards to their satisfaction rates of overseas returnee staff, 39% of employers in Singapore were “satisfied” and 9% were “very satisfied”, while only 2% were “unsatisfied” or “very unsatisfied”. Further, 9 in 10 employers are willing to recommend employing an overseas returnee to their peers.

How the returnees apply for jobs in Singapore? 

Majority applications occur via:

  1. Recruitment agencies (62 %) 
  2. Search engines such as Google or Yahoo (32%)


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