Hiring the Best with an Employer of Record in Singapore

Hiring the Best with an Employer of Record in Singapore

Hiring the Best with an Employer of Record in Singapore

April 12, 2023


Picture of INS Global



Picture of INS Global



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Key Takeaways

  1. Singapore has several tax exemptions for foreign businesses and a special visa for foreign entrepreneurs
  2. The highly competitive market in Singapore requires employers to offer more benefits in order to stand out
  3. Partnering with a PEO or EOR can make your expansion smoother and faster by handling HR concerns in Singapore


Strategic location, political stability, and expanding industries make hiring talent in Singapore very popular for companies expanding to Asia. There are may reasons why you should hire in Singapore, and several steps you can take with an Employer of Record in Singapore to remain legally secure in every way.

As the country is one of the largest financial centers in the world, the government offers investment programs and entrepreneur visas for those looking to start a business there.  The local talent pool in Singapore is vast and full of professional skilled workers. However, at the same time, it can be hard to know exactly where and how to start the recruitment process.

Here, we take you through what you need to know about hiring in Singapore.


Hiring in Singapore: What Does Singapore Have to Offer?


If you’re still looking at options for expansion, here are some reasons why Singapore is the perfect choice for any kind of business that wants to gain a strong foothold in the APAC market:


A Large Percentage of English Speakers


Over 48% of the population speaks English as their main language with the rest largely still being able to work in English. This kind of advantage is especially helpful in international business and financial hubs.

Strong English abilities reduces costs and delays associated with translators and interpreters. It also allows global businesses to make connections easily and quickly.


A Business Friendly Environment


In 2022 Singapore was named the best country to do business in for the next five years.

Launched in 2003, the EntrePass visa allows foreign entrepreneurs to launch their companies in Singapore. In addition, tax regimes for international businesses offer lower tax percentages.


A Thriving Trade Industry


As one of the top ten export countries in the world, Singapore is a major player in many import and export fields. Due to it’s central location in APAC, for example, this might be perfect for your business.

Most of its exports are currently in machinery, petroleum oil, circuits, electronics, etc. The country’s top three export partners are Malaysia, China, and the US.


A Leader in Major Domestic Industries


Pharma and the biotechnology industry are 2 of the top industries in Singapore. Additionally, three local universities are among the highest-ranked institutions for biochemistry and molecular biology worldwide.

The engineering hub is also full of talented professionals from all over the world. In general, these sectors make it a prime location for innovation and expansion.


Hiring Effectively in Singapore: Five Simple Steps


Decide What Kind of Worker You Want


The regulations around full-time employees vs part-time workers vs independent contractors are all different, and maintaining compliance with local employment law is essential for operating smoothly in Singapore.

First, you have to know exactly what you’re looking for in a local employee. Of course, having an in-depth knowledge of best benchmarks can be useful here.


Utilize Job Board Sites and Local Networks


Some of the popular job sites used in Singapore include Beamstart, Gumtree, JobStreet, and Indeed. There are also job sites geared towards the Singaporean market. These include local options such as hrtech.sg and GrabJobs.

These may not immediately be visible on popular search engines, so it’s good to seek new products or services.

Social media is also a popular modern way to post job offers and speak to candidates.

Finding offline candidates through local communities and resources is also a good way to make connections with the local industry.

However, it’s important not to forget the benefits of also having offline networks to expand your search. With boots on the ground to attend job fairs and similar events, you can greatly expand your search potential.


Obtain a CPF Submission Number


As an employer, you need to make pension contributions for your employees. Payments to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) are required for all employers in Singapore.

Every month you need to make two contributions to this fund for all your employees. First is the employee’s portion, which is equivalent to 20% of their wages. Then, you also need to add the employer’s contribution, which is 17%.

As it can be a hassle to set this up, it’s advisable to start early. Alternatively, a local partner with the right expertise can do this for you in a fraction of the time for a small monthly fee.


Interview Candidates and Make an Attractive Offer


Once you have a selection of potential candidates, now you need to go through the interview process and select the best one(s) for the role.

Singapore employment law mandates that employers must provide KETs (Key Employment Terms) in writing. Typically, these include but are not limited to compensation amount, types of leave and employee benefits, notice period, etc.


Maintain Insurance and Other HR Services


Workplace injury insurance must be provided for all employees engaged in manual labor or those earning $2,600 a month or less. Importantly, this requirement is for both local employees and foreign workers.

Additionally, depending on your industry there may also be other employee and company insurance requirements. Failure to comply results in high fees and fines. As a result, it is vital that your HR staff are knowledgeable and equipped to handle every detail.

Alternatively, that’s why an Employer of Record in Singapore may be the perfect way to guarantee timely and accurate HR functions for your employees. With the right expertise, this is possible without the need for a local structure.


Dealing with the Potential Drawbacks of Hiring in Singapore


A Competitive Market Requires More Employee Benefits


With the fierce and growing competition in the Singaporean market, employers have to step up and increase their offers in order to stand out from the rest of the competition.

This could mean being prepared to spend to provide higher compensation and incentives, more paid time off, flexible working from home benefits, remote work etc.


The Increased Risk of Misclassification Errors


Managing a global company in Singapore means understanding the local law surrounding resident employees, foreign employees, and remote foreign employees.

You’ll also have to know how to make each type of contract from part time employees to full time employment contracts. Hiring employees with a clear contract is the first step to a positive global employment relationship.

Conversely, making any mistakes could not only result in having to pay expensive fines but will also slow company operations.


Greater Effort Necessary for Talent Retention


With the many career opportunities that Singapore presents both locally and as a global hub for many industries, retaining top talent may require more funds and resources than in your home country.

If an employee worked for you and left due to simple local misunderstandings like work life balances differences, then this will negatively affect your chance of attracting job seekers later.


employer of record singapore hire


Use an Employer of Record (EOR) in Singapore to Hire Quickly, Efficiently, and Securely Today


Having a reliable expansion partner like INS Global can accelerate your expansion process, reduce the chance of risks and liabilities, and ensure legal employment security for all your employees.

INS Global’s Professional Employer Organization (PEO) and Singapore Employer of Record services are available to help you at every step of the way by taking care of all your international HR outsourcing needs, no matter the size of your company. Through a single point of contact, we can handle compliance assurance, payroll taxes, benefits management, and more.

Finally, we specialize in unique solutions and our staff has all the legal knowledge and expertise you need to enter a market quickly and obstacle-free.

So, contact us today to learn more about how you can improve your hiring potential in Singapore.


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