HR Administration in Singapore: Retaining Expatriate Employees

December 20, 2021

Singapore, a highly globalised and international economy with an ageing population, is dependent on the influx and contribution of foreign talent. Their specialised skills and knowledge help fill the gaps in our economy or take on job positions that are experiencing labour shortages.

After investing considerable amounts of time and effort, the last thing an employer would look forward to is the premature departure of their foreign talents. Attraction and retention of foreign skills in companies are important for businesses to scale and improve their operations and for Singapore to maintain its global competitiveness.

Several factors may impede the retention of expatriate workers, but they can be easily addressed with the proper Human Resource (HR) management.

HR Work Pass Administration

To work in Singapore, foreigners would need to apply for Work Passes (formerly known as Work Visas) before they can commence with their employment in Singapore. The application process can be a long and tedious endeavour. Pair that with the recruitment and hiring process, a lot of time and energy is being diverted away from the company operations.

An experienced HR service provider such as Liberte can help apply and track work pass applications for your foreign employees, saving you time. Not only that, but employers can also depend on the HR consultancy’s specialised recruitment knowledge to yield higher-quality candidates for their companies.

How to Retain Foreign Employees

1. Help To Foster Social Relations

The social environment plays a significant role in acclimatising a foreign employee to their new workplace. It is a daunting and exciting experience to move to a different country for a job. HR management should make assimilation into local culture and the new workforce as smooth as possible. Some points of consideration for social assimilation are:

  • Allowing for the partners/families of the expatriate workers to relocate with them. In Singapore, a Dependant’s Pass is needed for them to make that move. Part of Liberte’s recruitment services is to help relieve organisations of the process for application and management of these administrative requirements.
  • Design an onboarding and orientation plan that covers the first few months of work. This plan should include training and integration of the new foreign employee into the company to prevent information overload.
  • Develop proper programmes to integrate the new employee – and their family – into local culture. These programmes should cover the introduction of local culture and setting up open channels of communication with other local team members. Opportunities should be provided for social relations to form organically.
  • Allowing for the partners/families of the expatriate workers to relocate with them. In Singapore, a Dependant’s Pass is needed for them to make that move. Part of Liberte’s recruitment services is to help relieve organisations of the process for application and management of these administrative requirements.
  • Design an onboarding and orientation plan that covers the first few months of work. This plan should include training and integration of the new foreign employee into the company to prevent information overload.
  • Develop proper programmes to integrate the new employee – and their family – into local culture. These programmes should cover the introduction of local culture and setting up open channels of communication with other local team members. Opportunities should be provided for social relations to form organically.
2. Provide Compensation And Benefits

Setting up a competitive and sustainable compensation and benefits system to adequately reward and motivate employees is vital to attracting foreign talent and even more essential for retaining them.

A reasonable compensation and benefits strategy to attract and retain foreign talent should be considering the following:

  • Salary
  • Overtime pay
  • Bonuses and commissions
  • Vacation
  • Profit-sharing
  • Relocation bonuses
  • Housing, school, and meal reimbursement
  • Healthcare benefits
3. Establishing A Total Rewards System

A reward system should be internally fair and externally competitive. Liberte’s Total Reward System is designed to attract, motivate and keep the right talent at the company. It balances the needs of the business and its employees to build a healthy culture and impressive reputation. The Total Reward System is more than the base salary; it includes everything of value (monetary, beneficial and developmental) that the company provides and is a vital strategy for the business to remain dynamic and competitive.

Outsource your HR Administration to Liberte

It is important to remember that successful hiring and retention of an expatriate employee strongly depends on the quality of their integration, both at work and in their social environment.

Liberte provides people strategies that can set a business apart from others. Liberte is open for enquiries via email or phone.