The Asia-Pacific region, known in shorthand as APAC, has in the last several years become a beacon of economic growth. While many other markets may have experienced economic slowdowns, plateaus, or shrinkages, APAC has experienced continued growth—and is projected to remain strong throughout 2018. And it’s not just China, the world’s second-largest economy, that’s contributing to this growth; Hong Kong and Singapore both boast continued economic expansion that has contributed mightily to the region’s growth, making APAC a desirable location in which to find bright, qualified talent in a variety of industries.
Talent Acquisition in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions in the People’s Republic of China and has long been considered one of the most economically free regions in the world. Beyond a thriving private sector, it boasts the largest financial hub in Asia. For employers who are looking to hire in Hong Kong, they will find the talent pool to be one that is blooming with exceptional potential hires. Hongkongers are well-educated; 49% over the age of 15 have completed secondary education and roughly a quarter received post-secondary education. This high educational attainment surely contributes to Hong Kong’s 6th place ranking of talent readiness by the IMD in its Talent Ranking Report.
But it isn’t just Hong Kong’s educational achievements that make it a prime pool for talent acquisition in APAC; the shift from a labor-intensive manufacturing economy to a more knowledge-based economy within the last few decades has surely contributed to its labor force participation rate of 61%. Moreover, both Hong Kong’s unemployment and underemployment rates have been remarkably low when compared with not only other countries in the region, but among other advanced economies; its unemployment and underemployment rates in 2018 are 2.9% and 1%, respectively—the lowest point in over two decades.
Talent Acquisition in Singapore
Singapore has earned its reputation as one of the most attractive markets in which to conduct business. The nation of 5.5 million offers both local entrepreneurs and corporations alike a pro-business regulatory environment within a competitive economy. With an average GDP of 7.7% and rates reaching a high of 9.2% within its first 25 years of independence, Singapore has handedly transitioned itself from a low- to high-income economy. Though Singapore has in recent years reeled in the thrust of global economic slowdowns, it has since stabilized; 2016 marked a turning point for the country, ushering in improvements with global trade.
Singapore ranks second in the world for conducting business and offers a premier infrastructure for both international and domestic companies within a diversified economy. Since 2017, the city-state has experienced an upswing in growth that is largely attributed to goods trade. But Singapore is not without its economic concerns; two-thirds of Singapore’s GDP is driven by external market demand. But perhaps more worrisome is the string of inward-facing, anti-globalization policies in the United States and parts of Europe that will have an impact on Singapore’s externally driven economy.
Despite potential economic challenges, Singapore ranks second in the world for its ability to attract, develop, and retain top talent. The city-state’s talent pool is brimming with well-educated, multicultural prospects; its globally respected education system, coupled with the government’s dedication to ensuring that the population is at the forefront of the digital age, has helped create a remarkably educated and adaptable population.
Employment Law in Singapore
Social Security: The Central Provident Fund (CPF) is Singapore’s social security scheme. If the employee is a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident, both the employee and employer must make monthly contributions. Foreign employees who are working in Singapore will only pay into the CPF scheme if they become permanent residents, and full-rate contributions would begin in their third year of residency. However, if the employee and employer reach a mutual agreement, CPF contributions may begin during the employee’s first year.
Paid Leave: During their first year, employees are entitled to seven days of paid vacation once they have been with an employer for a continuous three months. Beyond their first year, employees are entitled to an additional paid day off for each year they are with that employer, with a maximum of 14 paid days off. However, employers may offer additional paid vacation days.
Maternity and Paternity Leave: Female employees who have been with a company for a minimum of three months are entitled to 16 weeks of paid maternity leave if the child is or will become a Singaporean citizen. Employers are prohibited from dismissing the employee while she is on maternity leave. The employer and Singaporean government split the maternity leave payments with employers paying the first eight weeks and the government covering the second eight weeks. If a female employee has been with the company for fewer than three months, she is entitled to 12 weeks maternity leave.
Fathers who are Singaporean citizens and have been married to the child’s mother between conception and birth are entitled to two weeks of Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL) for each birth, so long as the has been with his employer for at least three months prior to his child’s birth.
If you’re considering searching for top talent in APAC, you’re sure to find it in Hong Kong and Singapore. Reach out to Velocity Global today to learn how we can assist with your talent acquisition efforts wherever your global expansion leads you.