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37% of Singapore employers facing talent shortage

By: Staff Journalist, Singapore
Published: May 29, 2012


Singapore – Almost four in 10 (37%) employers in Singapore are struggling to fill key vacancies in their organisations, the latest ManpowerGroup survey released today has found.

According to the latest Talent Shortage Survey, the top positions local employers have most difficulty filling is production operators, followed by accounting and finance staff, and engineers. Rounding up the top five are secretaries, personal assistants, administrative assistants, and office support staff, and sales representatives.

A lack of available applicants (38%) and lack of technical competencies (14%), are the most common issues employers face on their hunt for talent. To overcome these difficulties, employers said they partner with educational institutions to align with their talent needs (19%), focus more on improving their pipelines (11%) and provide additional training and development to existing staff to fill vacancies (8%).

“Alarmingly, employers are less concerned about the impact talent shortages are having on clients and investors, with 21% of employers indicating that there is a high impact while 44% indicate a medium impact on stakeholders,” Linda Teo, country manager of Manpower Singapore, said. “Employers may not think leaving important positions unfilled is a problem now, but they will in years to come when it will be too late.”

With access to talent being the key competitive differentiator in the “Human Age”, companies that will succeed are be those that employ a comprehensive workforce strategy closely aligned with business strategy, she said. A successful workforce strategy will identify and solve current talent acquisition challenges, anticipate future challenges and put in place solutions to address them effectively.

“Human resource leaders should consider employing various solutions – including hiring workers who are a Teachable Fit, utilising strategic migration, employing flexible workers, engaging in hyper-specialisation, recruiting within untapped pools of talent like women and youth and expanding tapped talent markets – to find the best workers,” Teo said.

Across Asia Pacific, 45% of employers also reported they face difficulty in filling job vacancies due to lack of available applicants. For the second consecutive year, Japan is hit hardest by the talent shortage, with 81% of employers reporting talent shortages. Australia ranked fourth, with 50% of employers reporting talent shortages, followed by those in India and New Zealand tied in sixth place at 48%. Taiwan ranked close behind in the top 10, with 47% reporting talent shortages.

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