5 hiring incentives for Singapore’s local workforce

Singapore has long been a magnet for global talent and expats who are hungry to make a breakthrough in the Asian market. As a regional hub for innovation, finance and technology, it is no doubt that Singapore remains attractive as it ranks fifth most competitive economy globally in the latest Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Ranking 2021.

Facing a severe talent shortage across all verticals such as fintech, financial risk management, devops, cloud technology and more in the region, Singapore still relies heavily on foreign talent to bridge the tech talent gap. Currently, Singaporeans make up just over a third of the estimated 25,000 tech workers in the local financial sector.


Singapore’s push to build on local talent

To build a strong local tech talent pipeline, there is a need for a collective effort involving individuals, financial institutions, and the government. Singapore’s government has pledged to support companies that hire new local workers under various programmes aimed at boosting the domestic workforce during the pandemic. Its plan includes a disbursement of S$1 billion to encourage companies to “bring forward their hiring plans,” stated by the Ministry of Manpower.

We’ve collated 5 hiring incentives for companies today to encourage local hires, along with tips for hiring in Singapore such as using free job portals like Jobs Bank Singapore below:


  1. Singapore’s Enhanced Hiring Incentive

The Hiring Incentive was first introduced to provide salary support for employers who hire local mid-career workers aged 40 and above through eligible reskilling programmes. This is an additional provision for employers who hire and train mature workers through reskilling programmes. Reskilling programmes enable and support mature workers to remain competitive and enter jobs or sectors that have good prospects even as the economy and employers transform. Employers will also benefit from acquiring a skilled worker that has undergone proper training and has a wealth of working experience.

The jobs must pay a gross monthly wage of at least S$1,400, and a company’s incentive will be reduced if existing employees leave.

Find out more here

  1. Jobs Growth Incentive

The Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) supports employers to expand their local hiring from September 2020 to September 2021 (inclusive), to create good and long-term jobs for locals. The JGI will provide up to 12 months of salary support for each non-mature local hire and 18 months of salary support for each mature hire, person with disability or ex-offender hired by employers that managed to increase their local workforce within the qualifying window.

Find out more here


  1. SGUnited Traineeships and Skills Programmes

The SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package will support close to 100,000 jobseekers. The package aims to expand jobs, traineeship, and skills training opportunities to support Singaporeans affected by the economic impact of COVID-19. These will help Singaporeans to acquire job-related skills and capabilities, and access expanded employment opportunities.

Find out more here


  1. SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme

The SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways programme was introduced to support mid-career individuals to widen their professional networks and gain new, in-demand skills while preparing for more permanent jobs in the future.

Host organisations can take on mid-career individuals who bring with them a wealth of work experience on attachments. Upon completion of the attachment, host organisations may consider hiring well-performing individuals as permanent employees when business conditions improve and when they have greater confidence to hire. To support organisations who are tight on budget to train new staff, companies will only need to co-fund up to 20% of the training allowance for age below 40, and 10% for age above 40 for the duration of the attachment.

Check out Workforce Singapore requirements here


  1. Cost savings from new Employment Passes regulation

Minister for manpower Josephine Teo confirmed on October 1st 2020, that salary thresholds relevant to both 'Employment Passes' and 'S Passes' are to be increased. Employment Pass (EP) minimum qualifying salary threshold is to be raised from S$3,600 to S$3,900 per month, while the salary threshold will be extended further for older and more experienced EP candidates.

Find out more about the new regulations here


Tips for hiring managers to source for locals

  • Prioritise skills when shortlisting candidates

Meritocracy have always been a value that Singapore upholds when it comes to hiring. The government will be launching ‘Skills Path initiative’ as a new programme designed to promote skills-based employment among companies in partnership with LinkedIn. This encourages hiring managers to also focus on intangible aspects such as soft skills which has become a priority to have especially during and post pandemic.

  • Prioritise cultivating an inclusive working environment

Apart from looking at soft skills, to make it to the list of ‘best employers’ in this age, Statista's lead analyst, Mr Niklas Tamm shared that “you need to cover all bases of employee satisfaction - starting with general circumstances like working conditions and workplace equipment over salary and image, to the working atmosphere and giving your employees opportunities to live up to their own potential."


  • Start listing your jobs on free local job boards to find local talent

Below are some talent connect sites you can check out to list your latest jobs:


Huxley can help

We also have a Hiring Guide hosted on our website where you can get top advice from our specialist consultants. If you’d like to speak with one of our experienced recruiters, you can also choose to leave your details in the contact form below.

Get in touch

Whether you’re a professional looking for a job or a business seeking highly skilled talent, the team at Huxley are here for you.


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