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Leaders are looking at investing more into their talent in order to keep the company moving forward, as fewer companies plan to hire this year.

Only 43.2% of 324 local employers surveyed by Hudson signalled intent to increase headcount this quarter, with a majority (51.5%) expecting headcount to remain steady.

However, 76.8% of employers said they have programmes in place to retain top talent and drive stronger business outcomes.

Andrew Tomich, executive general manager for Hudson Singapore, said now is the best time for employers to focus on talent development and re-evaluate skills needed to build a talent pipeline to meet future business needs.

“Smart employers know the market will regain strength again at some point, and this will result in greater demand and competition for talent assets. Being able to hold onto talent, and accelerate their growth, will enable them to ride the wave of growth as and when it arrives,” Tomich said.

But employers can expect challenges as they realign their focus on talent development – one of which is the difficulty in differentiating between high performers and high potentials.

According to Hudson, “93% of all high potentials are also high performers, yet only 29% of high performers have high potential”.

“Identifying talent with high potential isn’t easy. Employees must be judged on their potential ability to perform a task they have never done before. In today’s risk-adverse environment this can be challenging, but it is necessary to protect the longer-term talent pipeline of the organisation,” Tomich said.

Programmes tailored for high potential staff have to be consistent, sustained and with a clear purpose, and its outcomes need to be aligned with business objectives. There programmes also need to be “high touch, individual customisation and mentoring, coaching and exposure to new experiences”.

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