• 94 per cent of employers say skill shortages could hamper operations to some degree in 2018
• Up-skilling employees is the most popular way of combating skill shortages
• 69 per cent of organisations confident they can find the talent they need in 2018 despite skill shortages
Most employers in Singapore are confident they can somehow find the talent they need in the coming year, despite admitting skill shortages could impact their business in 2018, according to recruiting experts Hays.
More than 3,000 organisations in five key Asian countries employing more than six million people were quizzed about recruitment and candidate trends for the year ahead as part of research revealed in the newly released, 2018 Hays Asia Salary Guide. When asked if skill shortages have the potential to hamper the effective operation of their business or department in the year ahead, 45 per cent of organisations in Singapore answered “without doubt” while another 49 per cent expect some negative impact.
“Finding the right talent in 2018 will be critical for companies wanting to take advantage of Singapore’s more buoyant economic outlook. We expect competition for quality candidates to intensify as companies pull out all the stops to position for growth in the year ahead,” says Lynne Roeder, Managing Director of Hays Singapore. “Singapore’s business community has weathered challenging economic conditions in recent years and are resilient, so perhaps it is not surprising that despite most holding concerns about the threat posed by skills shortages, 69 per cent of companies are confident they will somehow find the talent they need,” she said. “Our guide reveals that up-skilling existing employees is the most popular strategy for countering skill shortages, but other methods include developing better ways to attract new employees and internal transfers.” “Hiring from overseas, is not easy but 69 per cent of companies in Singapore told us they would be willing to use this option to fill a role in a skill short area in the coming year.” “Employers will need to stay open to the best ways to recruit, but also retain employees as competition for talent will be fierce in 2018 from other employers in Singapore, but also the region. It is worth noting that 64 per cent of candidates in Singapore taking part in the 2018 Hays Salary Guide research are willing to relocate for a job,” said Lynne.
Having enough staff to hit business objectives
The 2018 Hays Asia Salary Guide found that 68 per cent of employers in Singapore believe they have the talent they need to achieve current business objectives. This figure is down three per cent from the figure reported last year.
Employers in Singapore have found it particularly difficult to recruit in the following areas as reported:
• Middle management Sales roles; 22 per cent
• Middle management Accountancy & Finance roles; 19 per cent
• Middle management IT roles; 18 per cent
• Entry up to middle management Sales roles; 18 per cent
• Entry up to middle management IT roles; 15 per cent
Action to counter skill shortages
In terms of the action employers have taken to counter skill shortages, 32 per cent are up-skilling existing employees, 20 per cent are improving attraction strategies such as increasing their recruitment budget and 18 per cent plan to use internal transfers.
Counter offers as a retention tool
Two per cent of companies in Singapore have a policy of counter offering employees when they resign compared to four per cent last year. A further 59 per cent will make counter offers “sometimes” (up from 57 per cent in our previous survey) while 39 per cent of companies never make counter offers.
When asked what percentage of staff that resigned was made a counter-offer, most employers (89 per cent) answered up to 25 per cent. Nine per cent of employers answered 26 to 50 per cent and two per cent answered 51 per cent to 100 per cent.
How Singapore compares with competitor countries
While 68 per cent of employers in Singapore are confident they have the talent they need to meet current business objectives, only 34 per cent of employers in Japan share that confidence with 66 per cent saying they are not confident.
Most confident in the region are Hong Kong employers (74 per cent), followed by Malaysia at 71 per cent and 66 per cent in Mainland China.
Looking ahead, 45 per cent of employers in Singapore say that “without doubt” skill shortages have the potential to hamper business operations in 2018 and another 49 per cent fear some negative impact is likely.
In Japan, 47 per cent of employers say skills shortages pose a threat “without doubt” while half expect some impact. Malaysian employers are evenly split at 48 per cent while in Mainland China, 37 per cent of employers expect some impact and 61 per cent are “without doubt” about the threat posed by skill shortages. In Hong Kong, 39 per cent say yes “without doubt” and 50 per cent say “there will be some impact”.