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5 trends impacting Singapore’s 2017 jobs outlook
Working in one of the largest and more well-established recruitment companies in Singapore, my colleagues and I have had front-row seats to the movements – both up and down – of Singapore’s job market. This year, economic uncertainty coupled with geo-political developments may impact certain industries and sectors in Singapore. But it is certainly not all doom and gloom. Hiring activity and salaries are still expected to grow in a steady rather than accelerated fashion in many areas.
Here’s a look at the five trends that will impact the Singapore job market in 2017:
1. Hiring patterns will be consistent with the region. Ninety-three per cent of the Singapore companies surveyed for the Michael Page 2017 Singapore Salary and Employment Outlook have said that they will be increasing or maintaining headcount, in line with the Asia average from the same survey.
2. Digital, technology and healthcare are likely to be the country’s fastest-growing sectors, with the Singapore government pledging to boost investment in these areas. Recently, for example, a funding scheme was put into place to support locally-based fintech (financial technology) trials, setting the path for the sector’s growth. As a result, employers across these three sectors are likely to continue hiring actively for specific roles.
3. With more employers finding it a challenge to gain headcount approval, contracting will continue to increase in popularity as a flexible solution. Nearly 70% of companies surveyed are already using contractors, especially in operations, technology and business support. Contracting offers flexibility in terms of headcount and budget. Through contracting, employers are also potentially able to select from a wider pool of potential candidates than would otherwise be available.
4. Certain sectors/industries will still face talent shortages. Searching for an ideal candidate to fill certain roles, for example, in the fast-moving digital sector, will continue to be an uphill battle for many companies, who require candidates with specific skills including broad geographical knowledge and clearly determined levels of work experience. Employers might not be willing to compromise, displaying a strong preference to recruit only the perfect candidate.
5. Employers will need to keep an open mind. While hiring the ideal candidate is logical from a business perspective, such an approach may not be sustainable in the long run. Not only do longer hiring processes leave potential employees frustrated, positions that are left open for extended periods may compromise business growth.
Employers may need to adopt a more open-minded approach, hiring a candidate with most – not all – the required skills and invest in his/her training and development instead. Employers also need to be aware that candidates may be more risk averse in a cautious environment and potentially reluctant to make a job change.
Gain fresh insights into Singapore’s employment climate with the Michael Page 2017 Singapore Salary and Employment Outlook,