Agents? Fuck the Agents.

Isn't this slave trading?

Hi Friend,
I am just emailing to see if i can receive guidance and advice or help from Singapore Perth"ian".
I received my Perth Sponsorship and became a PR in Australia. I have been scurrying around online for job opportunities for past 2 to 3 months.
Can you recommend me any idea or concept on how this works or is there any agencies which process this kind of request of oversea jobs.
I did my bachelors in mechanical from RMIT in Melbourne and have 3-4 years work experience.
Please do advice me. I am open to any suggestions or ideas.



Thank you for calling me a Singapore Perth"ian" instead of "ex-Singaporean".

I'll keep this simple and go straight to your question. Agencies - Forget about them. They work like lightning bolts. No, I'm not referring to their speed but their tendency to choose the path of least resistance. So consider three candidates,
  • one with no "local experience", residing outside Australia
  • one with no "local experience", residing in Australia
  • one with "local experience", residing in Australia
which candidate would you choose to match the job with, to wrap out the deal in the least possible time? To job agents, job seekers are merely numbers to chalk up their sales figures. Unless specified by a company to look for a candidate with key skills that locals do not have, such as market knowledge of Singapore, it will be extremely difficult to get a job through an agent without stepping a foot here.

To date, I have only met one Singaporean who secured her job in Singapore before coming over. Even so, it was a direct application to the company without going through an agent. I tried to dig out some details behind her little feat over dinner when she visited Perth from Sydney. It turned out that it wasn't a regular job opportunity. More often than not, employers will try not to consider job applications from overseas so that they would not need to go through the hassle of helping the employee relocate. Usually, some employers have to fork out money to provide some form of relocation package for their selected candidate. In some cases, the candidate even ask for an expat package during their negotiation. Thus in general, I assume employers would rather not go through the hassle to look for overseas candidates. In the lady's case, she was employed by a Malaysian boss who probably thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to work with a Singaporean and had specifically told her the company would not be able to afford an expat package nor offer anything about the market rate. She agreed to the terms and took it up. Even so, I believe such cases are few and far between.

Don't let me discourage you though. Every time I thought I had seen it all, someone comes along and surprise me with an unlikely feat. If you want to do the near impossible, you will have to be prepared to be very tenacious and unyielding in the job search and work many times harder at it. Don't limit yourself to conventional methods such as sending a resume. If there are chances for you to communicate with an employer directly, even if it is just a discussion and not related to job search, it may just give you an edge when opportunities come knocking.


  1. My wife was lucky to secure a full time job in Sydney with a minimum relocation package before coming over.
    Prior to that, I know a Singaporean guy whom his wife was in Singapore when she secured a full time job in Perth.

  2. I agree with Nix

    Depending on the nature of the work/ occupation/ project involved, there are very few people in Australia who will be happy to hire people from overseas without a face-to-face assessment even with Skype or phone interview available.

    Unless the employer is satisfied that your overseas experience is 100 % compatible and there is practically no one else in Australia willing to do the job at that pay, then they are willing to consider hiring on probation or short term contract.

    For some employers getting approval for subclass 457 can be a pain in the a*se and the person must be worth the trouble so most Aussies would prefer to talk to the prospective employee and shake his/her hand face to face. Furthermore the visa application can delay the project etc as well.

    Nix is also right that just because the agency take your name down doesn't mean they will work hard to look for employment for you since the overseas workers is more troublesome to sort out unless they find a high-value position that no one can fill locally. They are not interested in doing more work involved in dealing with foreign workers.

    You may need to be prepared to come to Australia for a couple of weeks at least for a string of interviews your agent may be able to organise for you.

    Dealing with employment agent is a bit like dealing with a real estate agent selling your house at 3% commission. You may ask the buyer for an extra $10,000 more but to the agent it only mean earning another $300. Since the negotiation may end up delaying or dragging on for a few weeks, often the agent rather get you to accept the initial offer (without the extra $10,000) by telling you that the offer is already very good, and thus complete the sale ASAP.

  3. Hi nix, I lost your email due to yahoo mail server upgrade. Anyway we got the study visa to perth already. Hope to see u soon. Wayne toh.

  4. Hi, I'm planning to apply a working visa on my own as the local agent in SG charge around 10 to 12k. I have tried applying it online but I'm stuck at the steps in getting my skill set asses. Now I'm completely lost on what should I do. I have a degree from Curtin Australia. Could you kindly provide me some green light pls.

    Thank you

  5. eileen

    ask your questions here.