4 Job Boards to Hire Your Best Recruits in Southeast Asia

unnamed-1Today, there are a mind boggling number of channels to use while searching for the best candidate to join your team. In Singapore, the number one channel for recruiters to hire employees is through an online jobs portal. The other Southeast Asian nations are catching up to the trend. Which means, not only do you have to post in multiple online portals, you also have to stand out from every other company in your industry because everyone is using the most popular channel. We want to help you with that. Here we have a list of jobs portals, both conventional and specialized, for restaurant and retail owners to recruit staff.

Recruitasia: This website is devoted to the hospitality sector in Singapore. This is a great site for very specific roles for your establishment. It also provides industry news so that you can stay ahead of the curve when you are recruiting. Currently, the website is in beta stage. During this stage, jobs can be posted free of charge while the website is adding new features and receiving customer feedback to improve their application procedure.

JobsDB: This website runs ads in many Southeast Asian countries: Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and China. In Singapore, it currently has 300 positions posted on the website under F&B. In the Philippines, the site features 960 positions. Every recruiting ad costs SGD 99. However, JobsDB is turning over all Job ads to JobStreet.com.ph in order to streamline the two recruiting sites into one.

JobStreet.com: JobStreet runs in Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. Currently, the Singapore site is featuring approximately 800 vacant positions in the F&B industry.This is the largest recruitment website in the Philippines and one you cannot miss while posting ads. The Philippine website is currently running a promo package that is 40% off the standard price (the standard price being PHP 5,600). The Singapore website runs 3 packages, based on number of ads you want to post and how long you want them to stay live. The price ranges between SGD 180 to SGD 400.

KalibrrKalibrr: This startup recruitment website works on a completely different pricing strategy. Instead of charging employers per ad, the ads are free and the database is open for employers to find their best candidate. They are charged a minimal fee of PHP 50 only when they want to contact the candidate. This company is becoming increasingly popular in the Philippines with around 1000 applicants signing up every day. Kalibrr features restaurants and retail as the most popular searches. (Disclosure, both Mike Stephenson and Stephen Jagger of PayrollHero are investors in Kalibrr)

These four are a few of the most popular recruiting website in Southeast Asia. We hope this list is useful and do let us know if you have any additions to the list that are unconventional or special to the retail or restaurant industries.

5 Ways to Make your Business Card Stand Out

With a first glance at the title, you might wonder: Who uses business cards anymore?!

While that might be true in some regions of the world, one of our first lessons in Southeast Asia was the importance of business cards. As a college student, I have been to career workshops in school that devote entire sessions on how to stand out using your business card: from creating a unique design to the way you hand the card to someone you have just met.

So let’s get down to business:

  1. The vertical layout: Usually business cards are horizontal. But if you think about it, the horizontal design does not optimize space. Even if you add details in two columns to use the space effectively, it looks odd. The advantage with the vertical design is, there is plenty of space to add in contact links (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter), while also standing out from the other, conventional, horizontal layouts.
  2. Add in your picture: Most business cards have the company’s logo on it. Which is why putting a picture of yourself on the card makes it stand out. Agreed, it takes up inches on your card. But if you can get someone to tag your face to the name, then the purpose of your business card is fulfilled.
  3. QR code: In keeping with the times, a QR code linking to your social media pages or a discount platform on your website will pique interest in your business-card-receiver. It could even link to a landing page which allows you to keep track of who is receiving and looking at your business card. Make sure it works though! You don’t want this to turn into an embarrassment.
  4. Radical designs: This one requires some thought. A banker with a radical business card probably won’t go very far, but if you’re in the restaurant business or any creative industry, it’s worth exploring ideas that can make your card stand out. You can break off from the rectangular layout and try a layout that makes your business
    Image from - http://www.cardfaves.com/images/2012/danielle-yoga-2.jpg

    Image from – http://www.cardfaves.com

    self explanatory. For example, a yoga centre made their business card look like a yoga mat; a bakery made their business card look like a cookie cutter. You can explore with materials as well: there is no rule that says it needs to be made of paper.

  5. Offering your card: Knowing how to give your business card is as important as the card itself. Try not to make it look like your card is given to just about anybody. It’s a unique marketing tool that is handed to someone deliberately and with great regard to who it goes to. Giving it with both hands is a sign of reverence. It also helps if you have a hook when you offer your card, maybe a memorable catch-phrase or a joke. I know, it sounds cheesy, but again, if you can get someone to tag your face to your name, then that cheesy joke is worth a shot.

Bonus Points: In Asia, many people refer to “business cards” as “calling cards”.

Hope these 5 points help. Let us know if you have any more ideas on business cards that stand out.

News: Labour Crunch in Singapore

Labour Crunch in SingaporeThe F&B sector is facing a labour crunch. Restaurants are turning away diners even though they have empty tables because they are understaffed. This has been a problem in Singapore, but never more serious than now. Singapore’s unemployment rate is at a stunning 1.9%. The turnover rate in the F&B business is the highest among all industries.

As an economics student, I see this as an interesting problem. Finding out what is going on behind the statistic is necessary from a policy perspective. But it also helps a restaurant owner to prepare his or her restaurant and steer through till the economy adjusts to the issue. So what is going on and what can you expect?

  1. Saturated labour market

With such a low unemployment rate, the pool for new recruits is drying. It would help if Singapore could widen its employment base and rope in people who have dropped out of the labour force altogether. However there is a problem with this.

Employment numbers among locals is concentrated towards food services, retail trade and construction. Wages in these domestic oriented industries are lower than export oriented ones. Low wages are a disincentive. People will be more willing to joining the labour force if wages were higher.

The second problem with widening the employment base is that the population of Singapore is too small. There aren’t enough locals to widen the labour market. But more on that later.

Now, we have mentioned that wages are low in the food services and retail market. But you must be noticing that you need to pay higher to retain your workers. This is the typical economics demand-supply problem. As the demand for workers rises while the supply remains the same, wages must rise. If it has not happened in a dramatic way yet, it will eventually. Markets will adjust and overcome rigidities unless the government intervenes.

  1. Labour Laws

Let’s go back to widening the labour market and why we can’t seem to do that. Firstly, Singapore’s local population is too small. Secondly, foreign workers are restricted by numbers and industries.

For the F&B services, it would help to employ a foreign worker for every old-age worker, as suggested by Food and Beverage Work Group Report. While this is a policy decision that the government has to take, restaurant owners should be aware about the policy changes that are likely to come about, considering the current labour market.

  1. Perception of working in the F&B industry

It is hardly surprising that the labour market is not kind to F&B services. The hours are eratic, the pay is low. The lack of a minimum wage in Singapore leads to wages being pushed down to a point where Singaporeans cannot accept the job.

The overall benefits of an entry level worker in the F&B industry are minimal. This could have damaging effects. If the government does decide to loosen rules on part-time, the connotation that is attached to F&B employment may hinder chances of employing students. If this perception does not change, the F&B industry might see more restaurants shutting down.


Let’s say that the government will intervene and solve the situation at some point of time. But what can you do in the meantime?

  1. Increasing Productivity Through Technology

There can be no better time to invest in technology than now. With a shrinking labour force, restaurants have fewer waiters to take orders and handle customers. By installing POS systems, waiters can focus on serving customers. Improving other aspects of your businesses will also cut costs and help you through the tight economy. Inventory management and food delivery ordering systems can be digitzed. All this aims towards reducing manpower and costs.

  1. Improving the perception of working in F&B

This is imperative in order to bring in workers into your restaurant. There are a few ways you can do this. Firstly, add more meat to the job. The worker should know that there is a possibility of growing in the job.

For more tips on retaining young workers read “How we keep our young talents from leaving“.

Secondly, workers must be awarded with performance based incentives. They need to feel empowered and know that working hard will pay off. This will raise the perception of the industry as one that can further career prospects for individuals.

  1. Training

Lastly, Putting them through well designed training programs will improve turnover rates. The Group Report suggest the training program implemented in Singapore Airlines and customized to the F&B industry.

The F&B industry needs to change with the times and adapt to the current economic conditions. Restaurant owners need to adopt best practices and use technology to reduce human errors and eventually reduce costs. This way, the industry will be less exposed to labour market fluctuations that can potentially result in damaging Singapore’s reputation as the food hub of Southeast Asia.

If you are in need of people, check out our friends at BGC for your staffing needs.


Crash Course for Hiring a Singapore Intern

Editors Note: Introducing Pragya Gupta, Business Development Intern at the PayrollHero Singapore office. She will be contributing to the PayrollHero blog from time to time.

“To get a job you need experience; to get experience, you need a job.”

That pretty much sums up a college kid’s life-crisis. Enter: internships.

Singapore PayrollI am an intern at PayrollHero. Today marks the second day of my internship. I have been studying in a university in Singapore over the last two years. The importance of internships cannot be stressed enough to a college student. Universities even have an internship requirement that must be completed in order to graduate. So it is worth exploring how this works and what both parties, the intern and the company are required to do.

Internships, in general, are quite a messy affair. The first question that should/would strike anyone is: Why should I hire you? You’re just a kid, probably not a smart one, probably irresponsible and probably not good at what I need to get done. Most importantly, I am going to spend all these resources on you for two months or more, just to see you walk out that door by the end of it. What’s the point?

Great question. So here is the thing: companies take two or three months to train their newly hired staff just so they can get used to the way things work. And while that is true for interns as well, some companies use internship programmes to really judge how good a student is in order to hire them once they have graduated. By this time most of the training is already done and the company can be sure that the student fits the bill. Other companies need interns to help them with a particular project. In both cases, it’s a cost effective way to get things done. To give you a student’s perspective: an intern is always excited to do something new and get some experience. It is mutually beneficial, if all goes well.

Step 1: Who Can You Hire?

The Ministry of Manpower states rules that are different for a local student and an international student studying in a local university and looking for an internship. Local students in universities do not have binding requirements on the hours that they can work during term time. As an international student, I have a Student Pass that is valid for four years of college. During the term, I can work part-time for only 16 hours a week regardless of where I work: banks, startups, the neighbourhood Subway, anywhere. During holidays, there is no solid requirement that prevents me to work.

Leave of Absence: A student may take a Leave Of Absence for an entire term in order to get some internship experience, which can be a full-time internship. For an international student, this is possible only if the university’s internship requirement has not been completed. For a local student, the LOA has no binding requirement.

Step 2: Where Do You Look For Interns?

I applied for an internship using the standard internship search portals: StartupJobs.Asia, internsSG, the university jobs portal. Usually companies post about internship positions on these websites. Some of these companies partner up with universities and post job positions through the university portal or email. Some internships are structured while others are spontaneous and depend on the project that the company is currently working on. Companies specify the job scope in the search portals. PayrollHero worked a bit differently. It was featured on one of these sites. I clicked on the website, loved the look and content and decided to email them.

Step 3: Details, Payment, Contracts

The job applications have been posted; you have called the applicants in for an interview; you have picked a prospective intern. What’s next? Once an intern is hired, a contract must be drawn up. The contract specifies what the job requirement is, the number of weeks in the internship, number of hours in a day and the amount that the intern will be paid. An intern is covered by the Employment Act that entitles him or her to a stipend, a fixed number of hours and a few more entitlements (check links below). A regular internship is anywhere between 8 to 10 weeks. The regular stipend is between SGD800 and SGD1200 a month, depending on the hours and the job scope and excluding over-time pay. SPRING Singapore is an agency that supports SMEs to fund internships for local students. This is a good resource in case businesses have trouble paying for interns.

If the internship position was posted on the university portal, then the company and the university liaise together and the university directly clocks in the weeks for the student. In a self-sourced internship, if the student wants to clock in weeks, he or she keeps the university in the loop and they contact the company for details. Some universities require forms to be filled for the internship to be approved. Once the internship ends, the university sends a feedback form to the company for details on how the internship went and how the student performed.

Finally, internships are a great way to get people to know about your company. When a company ties up with a university, it can participate in career fairs and feature in promotional emails that the university sends out. Students get a chance to gain some experience and build skills for their future jobs. All in all, Singapore has a straightforward infrastructure set up to hire interns which makes it a worthy option for companies to explore the existing talent pool.

Happy Hiring!

For More Information:

Employment Act and who it covers: http://www.mom.gov.sg/employment-practices/employment-act/who-is-covered

Hours of work, over time pay and rest day: http://www.mom.gov.sg/employment-practices/hours-of-work-overtime-and-rest-days

SPRING Singapore: http://www.spring.gov.sg/Growing-Business/Grant/development-areas/Pages/HCD-SME-Talent-Programme-for-students.aspx

Adventure Engineers Scatter This Weekend

Our team has been full on the past few months so a few of them took this weekend to see the sights around the region. The timing was was a coincident, but we have PayrollHero #AdventureEngineers in 7 cities around the world today. They are in Hong Kong, Shenyang China, Whistler Canada, Singapore, Manila Philippines, Cebu Philippines and Squamish Canada. Below are a few pictures from their adventures.

Nico Suria is in Hong Kong along with Kieran Peppiatt and their girlfriends seeing the sights, doing a little shopping and taking in some of the local culture.

adventure engineer in hong kong

(Nico in Hong Kong)

adventure engineer kieran in hong kong

IMG_0539.JPG(Kieran Peppiatt in Hong Kong)

Bram Whillock, the very definition of #AdventureEngineer takes his outdoor time to the next level. Today, he can be found in the far off peeks of Whistler mountain in Canada.
whistler mountain ruby on rails engineer(Bram Whillock on Whistler mountain ~
photo by Bradford McArthur of ForeverExploring.com)

Aidan Sullivan is in Shenyang, China which is one hour north of Beijing. Shenyang is one of China’s very polluted cities as you can see from the picture below.
aidan in china

(Aidan Sullivan in Shenyang, China)china adventure engineer

(pollution in Shenyang, China)
vince paca in cebu(Vince Paca in Cebu, Philippines)
singapore payroll guys(Michael Stephenson and Adam Baechler in Singapore)

Are you looking to join a hard working team? We are looking for a few people to join our team. Roles available: Event Manager, Content Writer, Ruby on Rails Engineer, Customer Service Specialist, Business Development and Marketing Manager.

Watch our Adventure Engineering video below to learn more about us…


Company Atmosphere and How it Relates to your Turnover Rate

Screen shot 2012-11-04 at 11.05.51 PMScreen shot 2012-11-04 at 11.05.30 PM

There is this great feeling when you are happy to be at work because of your team and commitment to a company that somehow overrides the daily headaches and objectives before you. Those who have experienced this feeling of belonging to an organization can tell you how hard it is to leave a company to which they owe great friends, memories, experiences and lessons from. It all comes back to company culture and it’s incredible spill over benefits when things are right. You have seen it in the news and articles how big companies like Google, Zappos, Facebook, Mind Valley in Asia and several others have created incredible office spaces built to be true work paradises with an easygoing relaxed atmosphere. Companies strive to achieve this because they know it allows employees to be creative with great imaginative new measures and feeling comfortable at work has proven benefits. Recruiting talent is much easier in companies that offer more perks than just a benefits package.

Besides just having a great working environment, creating a community of close colleagues has incredible effects on the staff moral and job satisfaction. People have been proven to tolerate jobs they don’t enjoy simply because of the people they work with.  In fact in a study done on “WorkForce Retention” by American Psychological Association, more than 56% percent of participants stated their connectivity to their organization and co workers as a reason for staying at their current job.  With over 67% stating that the reason as their job fits in well with their life, you cannot ignore the importance of creating a great company atmosphere to engage and retain human talent. Here at PayrollHero we like to do activities together such as golf ranges, mountain biking, traveling and group meals on top of offering a ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) to attract great employees.

We designed our software to encourage a positive workforce and help brighten the moods of staff members from what used to be a mundane process to a fun and engaging way to be welcomed to work. Let us help change the environment at your business, feel free to contact us.

Visa And Immigration Routes For Working In Whistler, BC


BC flag

The provincial flag of British Columbia

We know some great immigration lawyers here in Whistler, and I tapped their expert knowledge to put together this quick guide outlining the five routes available to foreign workers who want to come to Whistler, BC.

To see if PayrollHero is what you’re looking for take a look at our careers posting, here.

Visa and immigration options

1. Working Holiday Visa (WHV) Working holidays visas are a great way for young people to get a temporary work permit for Canada. If you would like to be part of our Engineer in Residence program, this would be the best option as WHV’s are genrally easier to get.

  • How to apply: Each country has a different application process for Canadian WHV’s, so you will need to apply through the appropriate government program for your home country. A quick Google will help you find your native WHV program.
  • Restrictions: There are a limited number of WHV’s available, per country, per year and most have upper age restrictions. They are usually limited to a 1-2 year stay per WHV and there is also a limit on the number of consecutive WHV’s you can have.

2. Temporary Work Permit Normally you have to apply for work permits outside of Canada, from your country of residence, but under some circumstances you can apply once in Canada. A work permit is a temporary visa allowing you to work in Canada and you must have a confirmed job offer in order to apply.

  • How to apply: If a work permit is the right route, we will apply for this with advice of our immigration lawyer.
  • Restrictions: The Human Resources and Skills Development of Canada may require that we do a Labor Market Opinion (LMO) survey to determine that there are no local workers that are right for the job, and that the best option is to bring in a foreign worker.

3. BC Provincial Nomination – To be accepted to the BC PNP program applicants must have a permanent, full-time job offer that is on the Strategic Occupations list. The BC PNP is considered to be a fast-track option to permanent residency.

  • How to apply: This will also be done with our immigration lawyers, as eligibility for the BC PNP depends on many criteria.
  • Restrictions: We may be required to do an LMO (see Temporary Work Permit, above). Permanent residents are required to live in Canada for two out of every five years, or they risk forfeiting their status.

4. Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program – On the FSW program workers are selected to enter Canada as permanent residents based on their skills, education, knowledge of English or French and work experience. This is usually applied for if you are not currently living in Canada.

  • How to apply: If appropriate, this will be done with our immigration lawyers as there are lots of hoops to jump through.
  • Restrictions: Applicants must have proof of enough funds to support themselves and their dependents when they arrive in Canada. Your work experience must be on the Canadian National Occupational Classification list to be considered for this route of application.

5. Canadian Experience Class (CEC) –  The CIC is open to people who are currently living and working in Canada and would like to become permanent residents, but do not want to be ‘sponsored’ by their current employer.

  • Application for the CEC program: This will be done with our immigration lawyers as they will have to determine your eligibility and if this is the best route to take.
  • Restrictions: Applicants must have at least one years work experience in Canada and have to take an English speaking and listening test.

Overwhelmed by all the information or stoked to get started?

If you come to work with us, we will let the immigration lawyers guide us down the right path to get the best people on our team.

You can apply to join the PayrollHero Dev team by sending us a (not-so-typical) resume that best represents your personality and your skills, to support[at]payrollhero.com

Whistler’s Vast, Untapped, Potential is…You

In this blog post we’re going to meet Vicky, who flocked to Whistler looking for a better work-life-balance and is now working with us here at PayrollHero. We’re going to share with you some of her tips and advice on moving to Canada and the truth about finding a career in a resort town – and hopefully inspire you to get in touch and make the move too.

* In a future post, coming soon, we’ll be chatting with local immigration lawyers to provide you with practical guide to the process of moving to British Columbia.

Meet Victoria, Curator of Digital Communities and Happiness

Name: Victoria Farrand

Age: 27

Home: Huddersfield, England

Previous Industry Job: Digital Content Manager and Creative Strategy at Brass Agency, UK

Reason for moving to Canada: I came for a career-break and never left, Whistler just pulled me in and I knew this was where I had to put my roots

How do people choose Whistler?

Ask most long-term locals how they ended up living in Whistler, and you’ll probably get the same answer over and over: “I came for a holiday and never left”. And like the thousands before her, Vicky didn’t plan on living in Whistler permanently either, it just happened.

“My partner, Tom, and I were setting off for a round-the-world trip… three years later, we never left Whistler and now we almost have permanent residency.” – Vicky

For every person who does stay, there are unfortunately many who don’t. Many who think that making a permanent life in a resort town is just too tough. So at PayrollHero we asked ‘what can we do to help more people realise their dream of living in Whistler?’

PayrollHero has a local immigration expert on our side

We have a great relationship with a local immigration lawyer here in Whistler. If we decide that you are the right blend of adventurous, dedicated and talented, and we offer you a position with us, they will guide you through the visa process for foreign workers.

We can help you live permanently in Canada

As well as finding talent from overseas, we also especially like to employ locals; and in a resort town ‘local’ can be someone who has been here 6 months or 6 years. We’re looking for the locals who are starting to think that they might have to move to Vancouver to get the job and they pay they want. Well don’t move, we want you! And if you’re not from Canada, Rudy will help you stay.

“We originally came to Canada on a working holiday visa, but a year later we decided we wanted to be permanent residents. Having lawyer took away all the stresses of this big life-decision. They helped us get Provincial Nomination with the BC Government, walked us through the implied status process and helped us get new working visas until or residency came through. This was very important to us because we were at the limit of how many visas we could get being from the UK. Now we’ve had our medicals and we’re just waiting for confirmation.” – Vicky

Move to Whistler for a career break…at first

As Vicky mentioned, you can come to Canada on working holiday visa. We recommend looking into it for your respective Country of origin, as each has different age restrictions and limits on the number of visas you can have.

Once you have been approved for a working holiday visa you can move to Whistler, British Columbia or anywhere else in Canada (but why would you want to go anywhere else).

“I moved from the UK to get away from the lifestyle associated with working for a big a marketing and advertising agency, I needed to escape the constant feeling that I was working working for the weekend and re-evaluate what It actually was that I loved about my job. As a result I’ve had many jobs in Whistler, I’ve been a snowboard instructor, a ski technician, a bootfitter and a zip-line guide to name a few, but doing these jobs has brought me full circle to realise that this is what I want to do, I just want to do it for the right company” – Vicky

Not everyone who comes to Whistler on a working holiday visa wants to only stay 6 months. A lot of people use it as a career break, a good way to escape the daily grind, and others use it as a way to bridge the gap while they apply for residency. But however you end up in Whistler one thing is sure, it’s hard to leave.

If you’ve ever been to ‘Super, Natural British Columbia you’ll understand why this west coast province continually attracts like-minded, creative people. Like like bees to honey, creatives flock from all over the world to find the right work-play balance. Each one bringing with them their culture, knowledge and skills; and here at PayrollHero we are very happy to welcome Whistler’s vast, mostly-untapped, potential – you.

Whistler sounding good to you? Drop us and email right here at support[at]payrollhero.com.


Do You Work to Live or Live to Work?

I find myself reflecting on past travels from time to time…

Today I was reminded of a vivid bar night that took place while visiting some friends studying at the Sorbonne. It was 4am and I got into a conversation with a Swiss-German Tech Entrepreneur over how Europeans Work to Live while he thought that North Americans Live to Work.

I like to think we build companies with the spirit of Let My People Go Surfing.

So, how does “working to live” get implemented at the PayrollHero.com Whistler Office?

I guess like all things – It all depends…

There are many work schedule options anyone can elect to participate in including:
  • 4×10; three day “weekend” every week.
  • 5×9 and take every other Friday off.
  • Late morning start so you can ride the powder.
  • Work weekends and play weekdays when the hills are bare.
Pretty much we’re open for anything as long as you:
  • Have consensus with your pair if you are pairing on a new critical feature.
  • You attend the Weekly Engineering Meeting (Monday’s 15:07-16:07).
  • You present at the daily huddle on the days you are working 16:37-16:52.
  • If you are working on a new feature; you would be expected to attend all ideation meetings.
We understand and encourage the need for flexibility on snow days in the winter and 30 degree+ days in the summer.
What sort of work schedule would you be interested in?