While the overall hiring intent of hiring managers in Singapore for H2 2016 (34.3%) has gone down slightly compared to H1 2016 (35.8%), more than four in 10 hiring managers (43.5%) are still looking to increase their permanent headcount.

According to the latest Hudson Report: Today’s workforce demands tomorrow’s skills, this was more than seven percentage points (pp) higher than the latter half of 2015 (35.9%).

Tracking hiring intentions across sectors, the report found that employers in the media/PR/advertising sector had the most positive hiring intentions with 67.6% looking to increase headcount.

"The switch from traditional advertising channels to newer ones, such as apps, blogs and predictive tools, has meant more work for agencies and has buoyed that sector. However, consultants need the right skills – in social and digital just as much as traditional media relations – to be in demand," said Tulika Tripathi, managing director, Hudson Asia.

Other sectors with positive hiring intentions in Singapore include:

  • Healthcare and life sciences sector (47.3%)
  • Consumer sector (46.3%)
  • Information technology sector (41%)
  • Manufacturing and heavy industry sector (36.4%)
  • Education sector (35.5%)
  • Banking and financial services sector (34.8%).

“Pharma, biological and medical companies are also doing really well. There were quite a number of mergers and acquisitions in this sector last year, and now that these are bedded down, companies are looking to grow,” Tripathi added.

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Good news for these hiring managers is that a vast majority (89%) of Singapore professionals surveyed are currently either actively or passively looking for jobs.

But if innovation is key to attracting this pool of talent, the report found a significant gap between the views of employees and managers on how businesses are managing innovation.

While 88% of organisations in Singapore believe they drive and reward innovation, only 70% say their organisations encourage innovation.

Shockingly, a quarter (24%) of employees felt that their organisations frown upon innovation.

“Singapore employees increasingly want to be a part of something they see as innovative, funky or game-changing,” said Tripathi.

“Many desire to work for companies like Facebook, LinkedIn or Lego, not necessarily as innovators themselves but as part of a company that is seen as innovative.”

Additionally, the report found that hiring managers and employees also don’t see eye to eye on the new skills that future workplaces will demand. While 86% of employees are confident they have the skills to perform well in the future, only 62% of hiring managers agree.

This is in part due to the perception gap between bosses and staff about the skills needed for the year ahead.

The top three skill sets employees felt are needed in the near future are: negotiation and influencing skills, driving and managing change, and stakeholder engagement.

On the other hand, employers thought the most most important skills in the future are: driving and managing change, stakeholder engagement and innovative thinking instead.


“Where there is a mismatch, employers need to have open conversations around why certain skills are needed and how this will benefit both the individual and the organisation,” Tripathi said.

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