Monthly Archives: September 2016

Exploring Singapore’s Business Practices – A Brief Guide


Business practices vary around the world and Singapore is no exception.  Singapore has a makeup of approximately 76% Chinese ethnicity so Chinese customs are often prevalent in Singapore culture.

When they speak of family, the group that’s considered to be “family” may actually consist of close friends as well. Group concepts including harmony and security hold more importance than individual preferences. This dedication to respect for others carries over into their business life as well. Read on to learn about a few of the business practices common to Singapore.

The Etiquette of Business Meetings

Business meetings are always arranged by appointment and those appointments need to be made at least 2 weeks prior to the meeting.  Formal meeting arrangements are usually scheduled by writing but most Singapore business people are fine to schedule by phone or email.

Challenging authority is very taboo in Singapore culture so that value can inhibit people from asking questions.   If you give a presentation, always encourage questions after your talk and smile if question if a question is asked.

Remember that someone of a higher rank demands respect.  It is frowned upon to disagree or criticise someone who has a higher rank than you.  That act will cause you to “lose face” and it can also sever your business relationship.

The Etiquette of Business Negotiations

When a meeting for negotiation is arranged, always send the organiser a list of the people involved, along with their titles.

Before you sit down to the meeting table, wait to be shown where you should sit.  There is almost always a protocol to be followed so wait until you are told where to go.

Because people from Singapore often wait as long as 15 seconds before answering a question, it’s common to completely miss their responses if you start speaking too quickly. Make sure to offer your fellow meeting attendees the same courtesy silence of 15 seconds before responding to their questions.

Always bring a mental list of concessions to the meeting, and make sure that these confessions will not damage the health of your own business.

Remember that decisions are ruled by consensus and that business decisions are handled at a slow pace.

Because Singaporeans don’t like confrontations, they won’t usually make a strong statement of either “no” or yes”. Because of this their saying “yes” may not always indicate that they agree with you.

Although negotiation is a delicate art, many Singapore business people are sharp negotiators when it comes to establishing deadlines and prices. Once negotiations are ended, a contract will usually have to be signed. If you’ve been negotiating with an ethnic Chinese, the signing date of that contract will often be established by a Feng Shui professional who can find the most auspicious signing time for all concerned.

The Etiquette of Business Cards

Business cards are a large part of Chinese culture so it’s important to know a few simple facts about them and how they are perceived.

The first thing to learn about business cards is they should always be treated with respect.  To Singaporeans, how you treat a person’s business card is indicative of how you will treat your relationship with them.

Business cards exchanged by using both hands to grasp and present the card.  When you receive a business card, look at it carefully for as long as a minute before depositing it in your card case.  Your own personal business cards should be kept clean and excellent condition. Extending a business card with frayed edges is in bad taste.

If you think that you’re ready to move your company to the next step—doing business with Singapore- take a close look at the Servcorp virtual offices in Singapore.  A virtual office can help bridge the culture gap before a problem even exists.

Step by Step to Landing your First Job

Beginning to look for that first job can be quite a daunting prospect especially if it doesn’t happen quickly.  Frustration, anger, resentment and disillusionment soon sink into the equation of being unable to get into the world of work.

All is not lost.  There are many ways to improve the prospects of finding a first job whether just leaving school or a little older.  If looking for temp work in a dental practice for instance, why not consider using the services of professional recruitment specialists?

FP recruitment pride themselves in supplying temp dental nurses and assistants to major dental care providers.

Top 8 basic first job search rules

OK, it’s time to land that first job and start earning a living.  Find out more, here are top 8 basic first job search rules:-

  1. Showcasing grades – don’t think that grades are not important to potential employers, they are.  Recent surveys have shown that around 75% of employers place a real emphasis on being shown grades.

  1. Get out into the real world – for many employers, some kind of experience counts whatever the vacancy may be.  One way to gain experience is to taken an internship, do some volunteer work or where possible, take a part-time job.

  1. Being able to communicate with others – whatever the career, from a dental care nurse to a computer programmer, it’s essential to have solid written and oral communication skills to land the right job.

  1. Be computer literate – to find a job in today’s competitive business world, being computer literate is a must. Let’s face it, it’s the age of the internet so potential employees need to demonstrate solid computer literacy.

  1. Keep in the know – even in today’s technological world many jobs are landed through people they know.  Make a list of contacts such as professional family and friends, associations along with proven recommendations.

  1. Put the best possible resume forward – a good resume should be a concise-error-free-reader-friendly one -page document which can be easily scanned.  Make sure every detail is included and be positive, but don’t exaggerate or lie.

  1. Research – when applying for any type of job it’s important to do lots of research about the company in question.  This will provide a solid platform should any questions be asked about the company during an interview.

  1. Remember to smile – OK, it’s not easy to smile when in the interview hot seat.  Smiling shows enthusiasm and confidence for the position which is being applied for.  What’s more, potential employers may interpret a non-smiling face as a lack of interest.

Following these 8 points is a helpful gateway to employment, so good luck.  Likewise interested in becoming a dental nurse or assistant, get in touch with First Point Recruitment.  For eager job seekers there are also full-time, part-time and uni-holiday break positions available. Everything will be organised for candidates wanting to work within the dental industry.