This week’s international HR headlines: benefits mismatch in Singapore, visa restrictions in Kuwait and employment levels in Saudi

The top stories from People Management’s international websites

1. Mismatch between perception of benefit packages and reality in Singapore

Employees in Singapore are less satisfied with their benefits package than employers might think, according to new research from Willis Towers Watson. Less than half (45 per cent) of employees surveyed for its 2017 Asia Pacific Benefit Trends Survey said their package met their needs, compared to 63 per cent of employers that felt their offering was highly valued by staff.

2. Kuwait imposes new restrictions on expats workers

As part of its drive to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign labour, Kuwait is to stop issuing work permits to foreign graduates under the age of 30 from January next year, it has been reported. However, the rule change does not cover every industry – it is understood to apply only to the private and oil sectors at present.

3. Job candidates in southeast Asia value a quick recruitment process

A study by Randstad Singapore has found that the majority of jobseekers in southeast Asia would be prepared to turn down an offer of employment if the hiring process lasted longer than four weeks. Singaporeans were the least willing to wait, with 91 per cent saying they would decline an offer if the process took more a month.

4. Unemployment levels see slight rise in Saudi Arabia

The number of unemployed in Saudi rose by 0.1 per cent between the first and second quarter of the year, compared with the same period in 2017. However, the number of net new jobs for nationals has jumped by almost 30,000, with around 40 per cent of those being taken up by women.

5. Hong Kong experiencing increased labour participation rates

Figures from Hays’ latest Global Skills Index suggest that greater labour participation in Hong Kong has eased labour pressures, which is positive news given the region’s shrinking working-age population. Recruitment experts were quick to welcome the results of the survey, but warned that low-skilled workers must adapt their skills for roles in an increasingly digitised economy.