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Singapore Job Offers Canceled in the Midst of Recession

  • Job seekers in Singapore are seeing signed work contracts rescinded as companies cut back on recruiting during the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • There has been an increase in cases where businesses cancel work offers in late March and early April, said Rob Bryson, managing director of recruitment agency Robert Walters Singapore.
  • There are no hard statistics to illustrate how widespread the practice is, but the comments reflect uncertainty about prospects for business as the city-state endures its worst documented recession.
  • Visit The Financial Today’s homepage for more stories.

Singapore • Job seekers in Singapore are seeing signed work contracts rescinded as companies cut back on recruiting during the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic, recruiters say.

There has been an increase in cases where businesses cancel work offers in late March and early April, said Rob Bryson, managing director of recruitment agency Robert Walters Singapore. According to Nilay Khandelwal, managing director at Michael Page Singapore, during the global financial crisis, when most jobs affected by the downturn were in finance, sectors now taking a knock include retail and aerospace.

There are no hard statistics to illustrate how widespread the practice is, but the comments reflect uncertainty about prospects for business as the city-state endures its worst documented recession.

A government report on July 29 is expected to show that the unemployment rate in the second quarter has risen to 2.9 percent, the highest since the global financial crisis over a decade ago. Euben Paraceulles, an economist at Nomura Holdings, predicts the pace in the second half of this year could hit 4.5 percent.

Paul Hoon, 44, said he resigned early June after signing a contract to be a regional supplier quality manager with a US-based company designing and constructing commercial fans. The day before it was due to start, the company told him that the deal had “ceased” because of COVID-19 ‘s economic blow.

Derrick Lim has also lost out on a new job. The Singaporean said he was offered a position at a car dealership at the end of February as a customer experience manager, but later the general manager of human resources urged him to rejoin his former company. He said it took fourteen job interviews before he found a new position.

Michael Page’s Khandelwal said businesses are canceling jobs when it comes to regional sales and talent acquisition, while “bright spots” remain in technology, especially developer roles.

Bryson, of Robert Walters recruiters, said there’s been a general downturn in hiring and a slowdown in the process. Businesses “will only start the hiring process if they have a clear internal mandate to do so, rather than making speculative hires,” he said.

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