Confusing guidelines for recruitment ads

I am an employer in Singapore and due to the size of my fledgling company, I am able to employ only Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs), as stipulated by the Ministry of Manpower. Recently, I placed a job advertisement with an online recruitment company.

Knowing the regulations, I clearly stipulated "only Singaporeans and permanent residents need apply".

However, my advertisement was blocked, as I had apparently infringed guidelines set by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep), by stating "permanent residents". I contacted Tafep, which confirmed this.

The only thing I could do was either say "Singaporeans only" or not put any restriction on applicants.

Both options seem flawed.

By putting "Singaporeans only", there is a section of the eligible recruitment pool missing, while opening it up to all would mislead non-Singaporeans and non-PRs to apply with no hope of success.

Could I get some clarification on why the guidelines are as such?

Paul David Paffett

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2015, with the headline 'Confusing guidelines for recruitment ads'. Print Edition | Subscribe