HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Over 4 in 5 employers willing to hire overseas returnees: report

Recruiters place high value on cross-cultural awareness.

More than four out of five (82%) Singaporean employers expressed eagerness to hire an overseas returnee in the coming year, according to Hays.

Cross-cultural awareness was cited by 79% of respondents as their top reason for choosing to hire a local returnee followed by "different perspectives on business" (71%) and "overseas commercial experience” (62%).

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Two out of five of Singapore employers (49%) expressed satisfaction with overseas returnee employees with 9% saying that they are very satisfied. Only 2% said that they were unsatisfied or very unsatisfied. "Many employers report to have had good experiences with their overseas returnee staff and would, in fact, play advocate for the hiring of skilled candidates who have worked or studied abroad,” the report read.

In Asia, nine in ten would recommend their peers to hire local returnees, with Hong Kong being the most willing (94%) and Japan being the least likely to recommend (84%). Similarly, Hong Kong employers were also the most keen on employing overseas returnees at 87%, whilst Japan was the least eager at 67%. The overall average including Hong Kong and Malaysia hit 82%.

On a regional basis, two in five Asian recruiters expressed satisfaction with overseas returnee employees across the five markets, and 13% admitted to be very satisfied. Three percent were unsatisfied and one percent very unsatisfied.

The Mainland Chinese were the most satisfied, with 53% satisfied and 11% very satisfied respondents, with respondents citing cross-cultural awareness, language and communication skills and different business perspectives. In contrast, 7% of Japanese employers said they were very unsatisfied.

The returnees’ "language and communication skills” was the top-cited reason for employers from Hong Kong, China, and Japan; whilst Malaysian employers noted the returnee’s "different perspectives on business." 

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