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Dealing With Talent Crunch In Singapore

talent shortage

In the second quarter of 2015 Singapore saw a decrease in the number of job vacancies and an increase in unemployment rate. Statistics have shown that unemployment rate is still increasing.

“With increasing volatility in the global economy, including China’s economic slowdown, it is not surprising that employers may be more cautious in their hiring in order top protect themselves against the full impact of economic instability.” – Michael Smith, Randstad Country Director – Singapore

Local bosses are increasingly looking to align job scopes and leverage on technology to reduce labour costs. Hence it is important for both the job seekers and current employees to upgrade their skills or gain new expertise in order for them to stay relevant in the tight labour market. This not only allows individuals to stay abreast in the job market, but also contribute to improving workplace productivity.

Singapore’s government has made tremendous efforts in improving the productivity of the labour force. SkillsFuture Credit scheme has provided a strong incentive for employees to deepen their skills through a myriad of training and development courses.

“Upskilling our Singapore workforce is critical to ensure organisations have the skills they need to accelerate performance and everyone has access to the opportunities on offer….” – Linda Teo, Country Manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore

In a study conducted by National Trade Union Congress’ Future Jobs, Skills, and Training unit, it was found out that there is a severe shortage of talent in the Infocomm Technology market. The technical skills that are in demand are namely – Java, SQL and software development. Employers in these sectors are always seeking to hire experienced professionals with specialised skills, and despite various institutions pushing for ICT-related skills training programs, there will be time lag.

However, in a Workforce Agility Report done by KellyOCG[1], it was reported that only 50% of the C-suite leaders use human resource in HR during business strategy development, and only 10% of them believe that their HR functions can provide strategic workforce insights.

In order for businesses to leverage on the benefits of having an agile workforce, it is essential that HR must be at the boardroom table as a strategic advisor to their management. Management of companies also ought to see the value in aligning workforce strategy with business strategy to get the best out of the situation.

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[1] KellyOCG, also known as Kelly Outsourcing & Consulting Group, provides Human Resource consulting and Business Process Outsourcing through to talent supply chain management.

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