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Singapore’s digital media sector faces talent crunch

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While social media retains its position as one of the leading recruiting platforms in the region, Singapore’s own interactive digital media (IDM) sector suffers from a talent shortage.

The 2013 IDM Report by Deloitte identified the increasingly stringent labour laws and government policies as a contributing factor to the gap in talent with regards to the IDM industry.

A deficiency in both technical and creative skills among local has, according to the report, exacerbated the situation.

“As a reflection of the risk-averse disposition of the general population in Singapore, students and graduates tend to be motivated by job security and, as a result, gravitate towards traditional jobs in the well-established industries.

“Moreover, candidates are influenced by the negative perceptions of creative industries and, subsequently, lack interest in them,” the report stated.

IDM is any digital media which enables users to interact with other users or with the media itself for the purposes of entertainment, information, commerce, and education.

The report surveyed those entities which engage in or enable the creation, publishing, distribution, and delivery of interactive digital media.

Rising costs was also reported to be a challenge facing the local IDM industry, “as many companies recounted setting up outsourcing centres in other countries in the region to alleviate the strain caused by high costs of infrastructure and labour”.

On a more positive note however, the study revealed a distinct advantage which set Singapore apart from the rest of Southeast Asia, namely the “Singapore brand”.

“Investors tend to view Singaporean companies in a more favourable light in comparison to their peers in the region,” the report said.

“Companies themselves, too, benefit from Singapore’s stringent Intellectual property rights, conducive business climate, efficient tax structure, world-class infrastructure and industry linkages across the region,” John E. Goeres, Deloitte’s executive director of consulting and Southeast Asia’s industry leader of technology, media and telecommunications, said.

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