2014 is the year recruitment in Singapore changes

July 2, 201411:06 am347 views

2014 is the year when recruiting practices in Singapore have to change, according to Adrian Tan, the President of the Singapore Professional Recruitment Organisation.

2014 marks an important year to every employer in Singapore, given the changes in the recruitment sector. Employers need to be aware that the recruitment game is not the same. What may have worked in the past, a short two to five years ago, won’t work now. Unless you aim to only hire robots, recruiters and employers have to attract humans to work for them.

With the generational, demographic and technological changes affecting how work is done, combined with tighter labour markets and changed regulations, there are seven reasons that employers have to take into account:

  1. Not just the fair consideration framework – that’s one but many also forgotten that there had been recent changes to the Employment Act, as well as amendments to foreign quotas and levies. Cheap foreign labour is over. Accept that, and focus on how to redesign the job, so that it appeals to locals.
  2. PC is so passé – if I can do it on my iPad or iPhone, I try not to turn on my PC, which takes 3 minutes to boot up. Making sure your jobs suited for mobile platforms AND allowing users to work from the same device is critical. With more than 50% market share (and growing), ignoring this element can turn away more than half of your applicants before they even attempt to submit their resume.
  3. Socialise, socialise – social media is such an entrenched aspect of our lives that a recent Facebook downtime created worldwide panic. That just tells you how powerful social media is. If tapped well, employers can get unique referrals and viral employer branding with minimal outlay.
  4. Modernise your business – 5.5 work weeks, 1980s ERP system and 1970s-style benefits have no place in a connected society, where everyone shares everything. With broadband and push mail, the rationale of why one must be in the office to conduct work is beyond comprehension.
  5. Millennials have taken over – Gen Y problems have matured. Now businesses have to deal with their successors, the Millennials. With short attention spans and craving near-instant gratification, business models must be reviewed to accommodate this demographic. Or perhaps seriously consider robotic solutions to eliminate any HR headaches.
  6. Consolidation of job portals – With the acquisition of JobStreet by Seek Australia, we are entering a phase whereby the market will only have 3 players. With reduced supply, the same demand will only drive up the market per ad rate. This will increase taken acquisition costs. Recruiters have to work on improving their job ad copywriting skill, to raise their rate of returns.
  7. Rise of aggregators – With announcements from both Monster and LinkedIN entering the job posting aggregation game, one cannot ignore the potential impact it will have on recruitment. As technology becomes more intelligent and minimises the multiple duplication problems on job postings aggregators, job-seekers will gravitate towards them to centralise their job search. Keyword optimisation become critical to ensure maximum exposure in a crowded sea of postings.

The combination of these factors will inevitably lead to new market norms. It’s time for businesses to recognise and accept this reality, whether they like it or not. The continuation of businesses depends upon accepting the changes that occur in the labour markets around them, as well as the business sectors that they operate in.

Adrian Tan is the President of the Singapore Professional Recruitment Organisation (SPRO), and the Managing Director of RecruitPlus Consulting, a Singapore-based mid-career professional placement and recruitment agency. He has provided recruitment solutions for major organisations, such as DHL Group, Crimson Logic and IDA. A recipient of the Leading HR Entrepreneur at Singapore HR Awards 2013, Adrian has written for The Straits Times Recruit, Singapore Business Review and HR magazines about the fields of recruitment, career coaching and entrepreneurship. 

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