Hiring During The Pandemic – Business Roundup (6 Sep 2020)

Dear business leaders, 

2020 has been an exceptionally difficult year for business owners. Whether you are a self-employed entrepreneur running your own business, or a start-up founder who has hundreds of employees working under you, the challenge of sustaining or even expanding your business during this period is one that many of us do not have experience in. 

Companies that are hiring are also finding it more difficult to onboard new employees during this period. At DollarsAndSense, we have to deliberately plan our timetable on when to onboard new hires because remote work makes it harder. 

Given the current challenge, it comes as no surprise that the Singapore government is doing all it can to encourage companies to hire during this period. Measures have been introduced to support job retention and growth. These include the Job Support Scheme (JSS), which help subsidise the cost of local employees up to $4,600.

Besides the JSS, companies can also tap on the SGUnited Traineeship Programme (for graduates in 2019 and 2020) and the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme (for those who did not graduate in 2019 and 2020). Both programmes are heavily subsidised as 80% of the training allowance for the traineeship/attachment will be paid by the government.

While these support are temporary measures, they do provide the incentive for companies that want to expand to do so in 2020, rather than to take a wait-and-see approach for the economy to recover. 

Personally, for me, LinkedIn has proved to be a great place to not only network, but to also connect with potential talent. Before COVID-19, I was (for some reason) not a regular user of LinkedIn. However, as I found out over the past few months, LinkedIn is an invaluable platform particularly during this period of remote working.

The government has also recently raised the qualifying wage criteria for Employment Pass (EP) to $5,000 for the financial services sector and to $4,500 for all other industries.  The qualifying wage criteria for S Pass has been raised to $2,500 with effect from 1 October 2020. Renewals for EPs and S Passes will also be subject to these changes from 1 May 2021.

While these moves will likely lead to more locals being hired, they will also come at a greater short-term cost to many companies that are hiring foreign employees. Our editor Angela highlighted 4 types of companies that we expect to be most affected by this change.

If you are a business owner and looking to expand your network during this period, we have an open Facebook business community. This is a community that has been set up for people who aspire to start a business or to scale an existing one, and are keen to share their journey with others. We hope to see you there!

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