Hiring trends to watch

The Straits Times
Published: 29th Oct 2013


Here are human resource trends that job seekers and recruiters alike should note

According to the PrimeStaff Q4 2013 Employment Outlook Report, the recruitment landscape for the fourth quarter of this year (Q4) should remain fairly healthy with hiring activities expected to remain buoyant, and even escalate in some industries.

There is likely to be a surge in manpower needs for the hospitality, retail and food & beverage industries in Q4, due to seasonal hiring for the coming Christmas and Chinese New Year festive periods in December and January respectively.

Strong hiring prospects are also expected in the following sectors, as these industries form the backbone of the Singapore economy:

• Public Administration;
• Public Administration;
• Education;
• Finance, insurance, and real estate;
• Construction;
• Wholesale and retail trade;
• Services; and
• Health and allied health care.

At the other end of the spectrum, the sectors that may experience slowing employment or even a mild contraction include electronics and manufacturing.

Recruitment and human resource trends

• Greater demand for Singaporeans and PRs: Singaporean and Permanent Resident (PR) workers will be in greater demand as the number of foreign hires continues to decline as employment passes are not renewed      or extended due to the clampdown on the hiring of foreigners by the authorities. This manpower crunch will be felt most keenly in blue-collar and retail service roles.

• Higher wages for skilled local talent: As a consequence of the first point, employers can expect wages for skilled local talents to creep upwards – in both acquiring and retaining these talents.

• Focus on employee retention: As the manpower crunch for local and PR workers continues, companies will focus on retention strategies to keep their employees.

• Leaner operational workforce: Employers will be looking into optimising talent to drive innovation and productivity in an increasingly tight local labour market. “Operational Lean” will be the new buzzword.

• Greater move towards business process outsourcing (BPO): In line with a leaner workforce, organisations will outsource more business support functions such as human resource activities.

• Scalable and competency-driven skills wanted: Employers will want to hire candidates who are adaptive and agile to respond to a business environment that is constantly changing. Candidates with great soft and    hard skills that are scalable and more competency-driven will be in higher demand.


Advice for recruiters and job seekers

In view of these market conditions, here are PrimeStaff’s professional recommendations for both recruiters and job seekers for Q4:

For recruiters:

• Take a more holistic approach to compensation: In this competitive hiring environment, it is the little things that prompt a candidate to move. When devising compensation and benefits packages, go beyond salary considerations and bolster the package with non-monetary perks such as flexi-work programmes.

• Go big on employer branding: Beef up your employer branding and sell your organisation to potential talents.


For job seekers:

• Think Asean, act local: The winds of fortune have clearly shifted to Asia. Global corporations are setting up a strong footprint for regional expansion, using Singapore as a springboard to the rest of the Asean region. Employers will be looking for high-value talent who have a strong regional work orientation and “Think Asean, act local” will be the new talent mantra. So cultivate an Asean-centric mindset when charting your career progression.

• Proactively manage your career: Sharpen your employability skills and learn to add value to your workplace by finding ways to achieve higher productivity gains as this will be highly valued by employers.

• Don’t be complacent: Seek to continuously upgrade your skills to stay relevant and current. Grab opportunities for professional training and personal development that come your way.

• Keep an open mind: Network at every chance you get and be willing to explore opportunities outside your own industry.

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