Singapore HR trends recruiters and job hunters should watch out in Q4

Singapore Business Review
Published: 21 Oct 13
By Ronald Lee, Managing Director, PrimeStaff Management Services


According to the PrimeStaff Q4 2013 Employment Outlook Report, the recruitment landscape for Q4 should remain fairly healthy with hiring activities expected to remain buoyant, and even escalate for some industries.

We expect 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:

1. Public Administration

2. Education

3. Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate

4. Construction

5. Wholesale and Retail Trade

6. Services

7. Health and Allied Healthcare

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



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

2. Higher Wages for Skilled Local Talents: As a consequence of Point 1, employers can expect wages for skilled local talents to creep upwards – both in acquiring and retaining these talents.

3. Focus on Employee Retention: A the manpower crunch for local and PR workers continues, companies will focus on retention strategies to keep its employees.

4. 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.

5. Greater Move Towards Business Process Outsourcing (BPO): In line with a leaner workforce, organisations will be outsourcing more business support functions such as human resource activities.

6. 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.


In view of the above market conditions, here are PrimeStaff’s professional recommendations for both recruiters and job seekers for Q4 2013:


For Recruiters:

1. Take a More Holistic Approach to C&B: In this competitive hiring environment, it is the little things that would prompt a candidate to move. When devising compensation & benefits packages, go beyond salary considerations and bolster the package with non-monetary perks such as flexi-work programmes.

2. Go Big on Employer Branding: Beef up your employer branding and sell your organisation to potential talents.


For Job Seekers:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Don’t Be Complacent: Seek to continuously upgrade your skills in order to stay relevant and current. Grab opportunities for professional training and personal development that come your way.

4. Keep an Open Mind: Network every chance you get and be willing to explore opportunities outside your own industry.

Important Notice (click to view)

Please be aware that PrimeStaff DO NOT operate any branch in India. Any job offer from a “PRIME STAFF” in India has nothing to do with us.
Please also note that all legitimate emails from PrimeStaff will have “” as the email domain.
For example,

We want to reiterate that we DO NOT collect any fee from our applicants.