Dear bosses, this is why you should hire locals!

Let’s face it – Singapore is becoming increasingly cosmopolitan. You probably can’t take a leisurely 5-minute stroll down Orchard Road without bumping into people from all races and nationalities!

But with the changing cultural, workplace and education landscape,  it’s all the more important to be mindful that we need to maintain the Singapore identity. It is only by strengthening the Singapore core where locals are adequately represented in the workforce and have the chance to aspire to greater heights can the economy continue to prosper and be self-sustainable.

Bosses everywhere – here’s why we think you should #golocal


1) We have our roots in Singapore… and honestly, there’s nowhere to escape if we mess up

For the most part, our family is in Singapore, our friends are in Singapore, ah kong and ah ma also in Singapore. So we’re in it for the long haul and we try very hard not to mess up because Singapore is way too small to hide from big mistakes! Since Singapore is our home, we’ll also be more invested in the success of whatever we engage in.

2) Background checks are so much easier ;P

Singapore is really small and a quick check on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google could probably pull up mutual friends and some background info about your potential hire. Doing likewise for overseas hires might be trickier and if their references are overseas as well, it makes calling to find out more about them a little more inconvenient. By drawing on the local talent pool, you can whittle down the six degrees of separation and make more informed hiring decisions.


3) Better understanding of the ground

Locals will always have the upper hand in understanding the ground simply by growing up in and being part of the system. Because Singapore is so multi-cultural, it helps to have someone who gets the different cultural sensitivities.

And come on… you gotta love a local who knows his/her TPE from AYE, drinks kopi-O-kosong-gau-bing like a champ and knows that the different intonations of “leh” convey different meanings. This means you’ll have a kaki to break out into song with when National Day swings round and “Home” starts playing on the national airwaves.


4) Successful business practise hiring local

North American group president at Procter & Gamble, Melanie Healey believes in hiring local and giving them the resources to succeed

“It’s important to identify local talent early on, and then provide the mentoring, training, and support to keep those employees happy.”

Moving Ahead

So there, we’ve listed a couple of reasons (there are a lot more but let’s save that for another time) why we think bosses should hire locals. Thankfully, the Labour Movement of Singapore (or NTUC) is also looking to help in this area. Let’s hope more bosses will #golocal in the coming years!

“NTUC is committed to work with the companies to give our workers that very chance to be groomed… not just deep in their professional competencies, but to prepare them with the cross-sectoral competencies, so that they have the best shot to rise up the hierarchy and reach the C-suite positions.”

Secretary-General Chan Chun Sing 




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