Singapore’s position as a digital nation is shaping both the demand and supply sides of the employment landscape. Given the city-state’s high social media penetration, with 83% of the population on social media, it is not surprising that more candidates are making use of their social media profiles and presence as part of their professional branding, according to Grant Torrens, Business Director, Hays Singapore. Using “YouTube video submissions” and “leveraging LinkedIn to highlight their skills and experience”, instead of the traditional CVs, enable them to “stand out among the crowd”, he elaborates. Hays’ research shows that human resource (HR) teams are also increasingly adopting new technologies in their internal processes. Here are Hays’ top 10 talent trends for 2019 in Singapore:
1) SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE EMPLOYMENT LANDSCAPE
There is heightened activity on social media from both employers and candidates in a bid to enhance employer branding and personal branding respectively. Internal HR teams have been realising the benefits of social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook to showcase their employer value propositions as an integral part to their efforts to secure the best talent in the market, and this trend will continue in 2019. Candidates are also getting creative in the way they market themselves through the use of multimedia, to catch the eye of prospective employers.
2) FLEXI HOURS
Companies are progressively conscious of the importance candidates place on flexi hours as a key benefit. As such, they are taking full advantage of technologies that enable flexi hours or work-from-home schemes to attract new joiners and retain employees. A Hays survey uncovered that 44% of organisations in Singapore actively promote flexible and agile working as the default position of their business cultures and support it overtly, as opposed to the 33% of respondents that said otherwise.
3) DIGITAL SKILLS IN DEMAND
In line with the Singapore government’s Smart Nation drive, companies are keeping pace with the latest digital technologies in hopes that such expertise will permeate every aspect of their organisations. Digital competence has therefore been cited as one of the top prerequisites for employers when hiring talent. Candidates with digital know-how and who display a willingness to learn emerging technologies in this evolving landscape will continue to be highly coveted by businesses in 2019 and beyond.
4) DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
Employers in Singapore have expressly included diversity and inclusion as a major component in their talent management strategies. In the Hays survey mentioned earlier, Singaporeans had said that greater diversity and inclusion in the workplace could have the most positive impact in “company culture”, “staff morale” and “organisational leadership”. This has translated to 40% of organisations in Singapore implementing diversity and inclusion targets or KPIs, higher than the 33% average in Asia (figure from a Hays survey in its operating markets in Asia, namely, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, mainland China and Japan).
5) MOBILE-FRIENDLY JOB PORTALS
In line with changing user behaviour, and to enhance the experience of potential job candidates, talent acquisition and recruitment teams have been ramping up their efforts in creating mobile-friendly job portals where job seekers are able to easily apply for jobs on-the-go. This year will see a rise in such functionalities to facilitate mobile job applications.
6) CONTINUOUS LEARNING
Alongside flexi hours, job seekers have been increasingly concerned about the learning and development opportunities which an organisation is able to offer. Many top-notch talents in the market in 2019 will expect to be supported in their continuous development. Employers are urged to include employee development as a critical portion of their talent strategies.
7) AI IN HR
Artificial intelligence (AI) is allowing HR and recruitment teams to screen massive amounts of applications in order to quickly find the perfect profiles. There are also emerging technologies adopted by employers here that enable them to suss out highly suitable but passive candidates according to the latter’s online behaviours. With such functionalities at their disposal, HR teams have been improving efficiencies with the help of AI in securing the best talents in a candidates-scarce market.
8) GREATER EMPHASIS ON CULTURAL FIT AT INTERVIEW
The importance of technical skills is quickly overtaken by an ever-increasing emphasis on a talent’s fit with an organisation’s culture and values. Many organisations are implementing tests at the initial stages of the interview process, to assess if a candidate aligns with their way of doing business, values and belief system.
9) TEMPORARY AND CONTRACT WORK
Temporary and contract work in Singapore has gained a lot of prominence in recent years, and 2019 will see a continuation of this trend. Employers are better appreciating the benefits of having a larger proportion of temporary and contract workers including the reduced long-term labour costs and shorter hiring process. Candidates, particularly millennials, are also more open to take on non-permanent roles, given the many benefits that such an agreement can offer.
10) GREATER EMPHASIS ON EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE
In this talent-starved market, employers have been arduous in their talent management to acquire, hire and retain talented employees, and this trend will continue throughout 2019. The importance of candidate engagement is at an all-time high, with organisations closely monitoring the satisfaction of their staff.