Job roles in HR are right up there among the highest amount of hiring activity expected in Singapore. 

Stepping into Q3 2021, it is worthy to note that technology firms, particularly those who are seeking a stable geopolitical environment have continued to view Singapore as a strategic location.

Meanwhile, businesses in the nation have had to implement digital practices to help maintain company operations, which has led to a surge in demand for technology professionals - such as developers, data engineers, cybersecurity, and machine learning roles.

These are some of the hiring & talent insights from the Michael Page Singapore Talent Trends 2021 report.

We've summed up five key talent trends for Singapore employers to track in 2021 and beyond, as the economy recovers:

#1 Hiring outlook: Optimism is starting to show

While hiring activity in the city-state dipped 35% in 2020, optimism is now starting to show, with about 40% of companies in Singapore looking to increase their headcount in 2021. However, a slightly higher 45% have said their headcount projections are about the same, while 15% anticipate a reduction.

Nilay Khandelwal, Managing Director, Singapore, Michael Page, said: "It is noteworthy to highlight that many businesses are thinking ahead – as Singapore's situation improves steadily, there has been a surge in opportunistic hires by companies. Businesses are hiring for the future, not for today."

The highest hiring activity is expected in the following five sectors:

  1. Technology & telecoms
  2. Banking & financial services
  3. Healthcare & life sciences
  4. Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG)
  5. E-commerce / Internet

These are the five job types with the highest hiring activity expected:

  1. Technology
  2. Sales & marketing
  3. Finance and accounting
  4. Logistics & supply chain
  5. Human resources

#2 Salary outlook: 40% of employers intend to increase salaries, 40% are undecided

The report found no clear trends around salary increases expected in 2021, as 41% of employers said they anticipate increases in pay for employees, while an equivalent 40% said they are undecided on the matter. A significant 19% said no to the proposition altogether.

Among the sectors where salary increases may be possible, all of them stand at 3.5% or lower.

The following are the sectoral average annual salary increases that Singapore employers may consider:

  • Banking & financial services 2.2%
  • E-commerce / Internet 2.5%
  • Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) 2.0%
  • Healthcare & life sciences 2.8%
  • Industrial & manufacturing 1.6%
  • Natural resources & energy 1.6%
  • Professional services 2.1%
  • Property & construction 0.5%
  • Retail 0.5%
  • Technology 3.5%
  • Transport & distribution 1.7%

#3 Career outlook: 25% of employers say promotions are likely to be postponed

A quarter of employers (25%) anticipate employee promotions to be postponed, while 31% are undecided. More promisingly, two in five (44%) do say that there are no plans to postpone promotions.

Middle management is likely to be most impact by the postponement of promotions (71%). The impact of postponed promotions is about the same for the other two levels, i.e. entry-junior level (49%) and senior leadership level (38%).

However, two in three companies believe that things would change for the better from Q2 2021 onwards.

#4 The most popular strategies to attract talent

The most commonly used talent attraction strategies by companies in Singapore are:

  • Competitive remuneration and benefits package - 42% (stated by 80% of candidates as their #1 consideration)
  • Dynamic company culture - 35%
  • Professional development opportunities - 35%
  • Remote/flexible work arrangements - 32%
  • Company reputation - 21%
  • Constant technology advancement - 15%

What's interesting is that across all three generations surveyed, Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y & Z (combined), the top consideration in evaluating a job offer was 'remuneration and benefits'.

Looking for 'remote/flexible work options' was unique to Baby Boomers' list of considerations, while 'company culture' and 'professional development' opportunities featured strongly for Gex X, Y and Z.

#5 Recruitment trends to watch

  • Contractors and temp staff in high demand - As they give companies the flexibility needed during periods of uncertainty.
  • Quality candidates will continue to command top salaries - Those with the right combination of experience and soft skills.
  • Focus on purpose and vision - Companies must to effectively communicate these key messages to stakeholders and prospective employees.
  • Focus on humans in the recruitment process - While considering the automation opportunities presented by AI and machine learning.
  • Emphasis placed on soft skills - Such as communication, teamwork, relationship management and leadership. 

Image / Michael Page

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!