Strong hiring outlook anticipated for Singapore in Q2 2023

Strong hiring outlook anticipated for Singapore in Q2 2023

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Overall, employers in eight of nine sectors in Singapore expect staffing levels to increase this upcoming quarter.

Singapore is expected to experience a strong hiring market for the second quarter (Q2) of 2023, with 42% of 510 employers surveyed reporting plans to increase their headcount. Factoring in the 15% who anticipate a decrease and 42% not anticipating any changes, the resulting net employment outlook is +27% after seasonal adjustments.

As a whole, hiring intentions have softened by 6 percentage points (pp) in comparison to the last quarter, but strengthened by 2pp year-over-year.

Further noted in ManpowerGroup's latest Employment Outlook Survey, released today (Tuesday, 14 March 2023), there is high demand anticipated for talent across key sectors. The strongest labour markets are forecasted to be the energy & utilities sector (+67%), followed by communication services (+59%), and the financials & real estate (+39%) sectors. The forecasts in the remaining sectors are as follows:

  • Healthcare & life sciences: +33%
  • Consumer goods & services: +27%
  • Information technology: +24%
  • Industrials & materials: +23%
  • Transport, logistics & automotive: +18%
  • Others/none of the above: -1% 
    • Government or public service; not-for-profit/NGO/charity/religious organisations; other industry; other transport, logistics & automobiles sub-industry; educational institutions; agriculture & fishing)

Overall, employers in eight of nine sectors in Singapore expect staffing levels to increase this upcoming quarter, while one sector predicts a decrease. Compared to the previous quarter, hiring sentiments have weakened in six sectors and strengthened in three.

Among the different groups of organisations, micro-organisations (those with less than 10 employees) were observed to be the most optimistic in hiring for Q2 (+48%), rising by 6pp from Q1 2023, and 36pp compared to a year ago.

Most in-demand skills across sectors

In addition to the above, the survey also looked at the skills there were most sought-after in Singapore.

Across the country, the top five in-demand hard skills were as follows: 

  1. IT & data (44%)
  2. Engineering (29%)
  3. Operations & logistics (22%)
  4. Sales & marketing (22%)
  5. Sustainability & environmental (20%)

Meanwhile, the top five in-demand soft skills were noted to be: 

  1. Critical thinking & analysis (41%)
  2. Creativity & originality (38%)
  3. Leadership & social Influence (35%)
  4. Resilience & adaptability (29%)
  5. Reasoning & problem-solving (29%)

Trends by sector

Consumer goods & services

Demand for talent seems to be outpacing supply, with 82% of organisations reporting difficulty finding the talent they need, according to the survey.

Despite the talent shortage, employers in Singapore anticipate a net employment outlook of +27%, weakening 12pp since last quarter, but strengthening by 23pp compared to this time last year.

Top five soft skills consumer goods & services employers are seeking:

  1. Creativity & originality
  2. Critical thinking & analysis
  3. Reasoning & problem-solving
  4. Collaboration & teamwork
  5. Leadership & social influence

Energy & utilities

Next, demand for talent in energy & utilities seemed to be surpassing supply, with 97% of organisations reporting difficulty finding the talent they need.

Despite the talent shortage, employers in Singapore anticipate a net employment outlook of +67%.

Top five soft skills energy & utilities employers are seeking:

  1. Creativity & originality
  2. Leadership & social influence
  3. Critical thinking & analysis
  4. Resilience & adaptability
  5. Reliability & self-discipline

Financials & real estate

At the same time, demand for talent in financials & real estate seemed to be exceeding supply, with 89% of organisations reporting difficulty finding the talent they need.

Despite the talent shortage, employers in Singapore anticipate a net employment outlook of +39%, decreasing by 19pp from the previous quarter, though still improving by 14pp on a year-on-year basis.

Top five soft skills financials & real estate employers are seeking:

  1. Critical thinking & analysis
  2. Leadership & social influence
  3. Creativity & originality
  4. Reliability & self-discipline
  5. Initiative-taking

Communication services

Demand for talent in communication services has eclipsed supply, with 82% of organisations reporting difficulty finding the talent they need.

Despite the talent shortage, employers in Singapore anticipate a net employment outlook of +59%, improving since the previous quarter by 41p.p.

Top five soft skills communication services employers are seeking:

  1. Creativity & originality
  2. Critical thinking & analysis
  3. Reasoning & problem-solving
  4. Collaboration & teamwork
  5. Leadership & social influence

Industrials & materials

In the industrials & materials scene, demand for talent seemed to be outweighing supply, with 79% of organisations reporting difficulty finding the talent they need.

Despite the talent shortage, employers in Singapore anticipate a net employment outlook of +23%, weakening by 7pp when compared to the previous quarter, but still remaining stable year-over-year, respectively.

Top five soft skills industrials & materials employers are seeking:

  1. Critical thinking & analysis
  2. Leadership & social influence
  3. Creativity & originality
  4. Active learning & curiosity
  5. Reasoning & problem-solving

Transport, logistics & automotive

Meanwhile, in transport, logistics & automotive, demand for talent seemed to be outpacing supply, with 85% of organisations reporting difficulty finding the talent they need.

Despite the talent shortage, employers in Singapore anticipate a net employment outlook of +18%, declining from the previous quarter and weakening on a year-on-year basis by 14pp and 4pp, respectively.

Top five soft skills transport, logistics & automotive employers are seeking:

  1. Leadership & social influence
  2. Creativity & originality
  3. Critical thinking & analysis
  4. Resilience & adaptability
  5. Collaboration & teamwork

Information technology

Over in information technology, the demand for talent seemed to be surpassing supply, with 84% of organisations reporting difficulty finding the talent they need.

Despite the talent shortage, employers in Singapore anticipate a net employment outlook of +24%, weakening when compared to both the previous quarter and year-on-year by 10pp and 18pp, respectively.

Top five soft skills information technology employers are seeking:

  1. Critical thinking & analysis
  2. Creativity & originality
  3. Leadership & social influence
  4. Reasoning & problem-solving
  5. Reliability & self-discipline

Health care & life sciences

Finally, in healthcare & life sciences, the demand for talent seemed to be exceeding supply, with 88% of organidations reporting difficulty finding the talent they need.

Despite the talent shortage, employers in Singapore anticipate a net employment outlook of +33%, improving by 8pp from the last quarter.

Q2 global employment outlook

Per the survey of close to 39,000 employers, 22 of the 41 countries report higher intentions than the previous quarter.

Employers around the world continue to anticipate hiring more workers in Q2 2023, reporting a seasonally adjusted net employment outlook of +23%. Hiring intentions remain unchanged quarter-over-quarter and soften by 6pp when compared to this time last year.


Lead image / Employment Outlook Survey

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