Human Resources



Overseas Singaporeans Hays report

Better pay likely to lure overseas Singaporeans back home

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Singaporeans staying overseas say they miss the local culture and family ties, but almost half also admit that they would return to the country only if offered a better salary than what they are currently earning.

More than half (53%) of the potential returners that Hays spoke to said they miss the culture and lifestyle of Singapore. Another 44% said they were motivated to return in order to live closer to their family.

However, this emotional lure may not be adequate to bring them back home, as almost half (49%) admitted they would come back to Singapore only if offered a better salary. Another 29% said they want a salary equivalent to their current earnings.

“Returning Singaporeans offer employers the opportunity to recruit local talent with highly valued international experience, but they come with a price tag,” noted Christine Wright, managing director of Hays in Asia.

Almost one in every three respondents, comprising Singaporean residents either studying or working overseas, also said they expect to have a faster career path in Singapore (30%) and that the country has more job opportunities for them (29%).

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Most respondents viewed their time overseas as an asset for future job assignments, as 45% said cross-cultural communication skills were their number one advantage over local candidates, while another one-third pointed to their overseas work experience.

“For both local and Western businesses they are an alternative to Western expatriates,” explained Wright.

The majority of respondents (43%) expect it will take one to three months to find a job if they were to return to Singapore. Another 23% think it will take more than six months, while more than half (52%) think it’s easier to get a job where they are currently living overseas.

If they do make the decision to return, two-thirds of them want to work for a foreign-owned enterprise. In terms of industries, financial services was most popular (26%), while IT/telecommunications, engineering, and professional services also featured in their wishlist.

“Many returning Singaporeans understand their worth in the global marketplace. They are aware that employers in Singapore – both home-grown and multinational – value their Westernised way of thinking and business experience, mixed with their local knowledge and cultural understanding.

“As a result, many want to realise that value in the reward structures that they receive upon returning.”

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