Even as online assessments lead the way in hiring, Singapore companies continue to face an uphill battle in identifying the best talent for their organisations, according to the Aon Talent Acquisition Southeast Asia Study 2017 conducted by Aon, the leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions.

The study finds that around 50% of organisations in Singapore currently use technology-based assessments as part of their hiring process–compared to just around 30% across Southeast Asia–with cost savings, psychometric insights, and quality of analytics as the key reasons for implementation. However, while ‘Attracting Quality Talent’ is named as a top priority for Talent Acquisition professionals in Singapore, the success metrics set by organisations still focus on quantity (percentage of positions filled and time it takes to fill positions) instead of quality (employer brand perception, candidate’s skills and capabilities, and most importantly, job fit).

Personality assessments, competency-based interviews, and cognitive tests are the top 3 hiring assessments in Singapore, designed to lower the incidence of hiring on hunch–yet, Talent Acquisition professionals admit to a significant skills gap in the interviewing capability of mid-level managers who are responsible for hiring candidates in entry-level and junior roles. The study also found that there is a lack of functional assessment when hiring for mid-manager roles, even though ‘Functional Knowledge’ is the top characteristic identified by Talent Acquisition professionals for this level.

Despite high awareness of this capability gap, 66% of Singapore companies do not ask for candidate feedback after the interview process–which leaves them ill-equipped to address the issues in specific and tangible ways. This may be attributed to the fact that only 58% of organisations in Singapore have dedicated Talent Acquisition teams, compared to 70% across Southeast Asia. In Singapore, companies with fewer than 500 employees also have small HR/admin teams (no more than 4 people) and tend to outsource their recruitment process.

Vikas Verma, Director, Talent, Rewards and Performance, Aon Hewitt Singapore, says: “High performing companies use online assessments to screen applicants against the ‘Success Profile’ of their ideal employees. By utilising science and data, they objectively assess candidates for their aptitudes and attitudes, predict their behaviours, and hire those who are the ‘right-fit’ for their organisations.”

A recent survey found that 10.6% of recent grads are taking on freelance, part-time or temporary jobs with the rise of internet platforms and the gig economy. More than ever, attracting the millennial workforce demands the capability to deliver an engaging, and technologically-savvy, assessment experience that sets clear expectations from the get-go.

Boon Chong Na, Managing Director & Partner, Aon Hewitt Singapore, says: “The top reason for early attrition is that the job didn’t match the candidate expectations. Forward thinking companies use Realistic Job Previews (RJPs)–an interactive, engaging, and tech-enabled assessment experience, which provides job applicants with specific examples and virtual simulations of typical on-the-job challenges. RJPs highlight the demands of the role and the culture of the organisation, enabling applicants to self-assess their own suitability and gain instant feedback while setting the right expectations before they apply.”

About Aon Talent Acquisition Southeast Asia Study 2017
The inaugural Aon Talent Acquisition Southeast Asia Study 2017 surveyed recruiters in 186 organisations across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand about their talent priorities and future plans. The research highlights the changing nature of talent recruitment in the region, and provides key insights on the deployment of online assessments, the priority roles for recruitment, and the value of the employer brand. It also examines how recruiters are managing interviews, controlling early attrition, and achieving higher satisfaction levels through their talent acquisition process.