Following reports that Singapore workers were getting peeved by unfair job opportunities in the country, the nation's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has identified 38 firms for not doing enough to hire and groom locals.
Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say stated in a blog post that MOM will be scrutinising the employment pass (EP) applications of these firms more closely.
They will be asked to provide additional details, such as the number of Singaporeans who applied and were interviewed for the posts, and whether their existing Singaporean employees have been considered.
These 38 firms are from the 150 companies the ministry has engaged with over the past year.
Lim explained the purpose of such an initiative is to enhance the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF).
"We believe this will benefit our people with better job and career opportunities. It will also benefit firms here with a more sustainable pool of talent as they restructure for future growth," Lim stated.
"MOM is committed to scrutinise the applications for employment pass (EP) by what I call “double weak” firms: weak in Singaporean Core and weak in commitment to fair consideration in hiring and developing Singaporeans."
The framework was introduced last year to ensure that Singaporeans are considered fairly for job openings before firms apply to employ foreign professionals, managers and executives.
Human Resources spoke with Arthur Lam, director of organisation development for SEA, HK, TW, ANZ and KR at Sanofi to understand his perspectives on the recruitment of Singaporean professionals.
"In Sanofi, most of the employees we hire are professionals. With Singapore being home to our regional headquarters, it makes more sense to hire Singaporeans due to quality of the workforce and the fact that there's no need to consider the cost of relocation," Lam stated.
"It may be different for the hospitality & F&B industry or those companies who require more blue collar workers."
Besides placing the abovementioned 38 firms on their watchlist, Lim explained the ministry also identified about 100 more firms for "further engagement".
These belong to industries such as admin and support, construction, infocomm, finance and insurance, professional services, transport and storage and wholesale trade.
"MOM will also engage these firms to step up their efforts in the training, development and upgrading of local PMEs. In the event that we have a shortage of qualified Singaporeans in some specific areas, we will encourage them to transfer know-how from the foreign PMEs to their Singaporean staff so that over time, more Singaporeans will be qualified to take on these opportunities and challenges."
He expanded that should there be "double weak" firms that are unresponsive or uncooperative, they will have their EP privileges curtailed.
"In terms of developing locals, gone are the days where employees are only developed through workshops and training rooms. Development are often on-the-job and typically follow the 70-20-10 rule of learning," Lam explained.
He added this implies that employees need to understand that they have to take the initiative to learn via various ways and not just wait for a workshop to be considered as being developed.
"More time is needed on developing leaders on coaching and having career conversations so that employees are more aware that there are indeed development at work."