Singapore Employers Faced with a Challenge to Retain High-Skilled HR Managers in a Candidate-Short Market

February 3, 20168:47 am840 views

Singapore’s rising status as a hub for multinationals’ regional headquarters is set to create a substantial number of new jobs for human resources professionals.

According to recruiting experts Hays, this will exacerbate a candidate-short market in the South East Asian country as high-skilled HR managers are becoming more and more valued by employers.

“We are seeing an influx of fresh investment in Singapore which is delivering a vote of confidence for the local recruitment market,” says Lynne Roeder, Managing Director of Hays in Singapore. “More companies are also moving their regional headquarters to Singapore, creating new jobs for HR professionals to manage their manpower.”

Singapore, as an established financial centre in South East Asia, is attracting international companies to consolidate their footholds as they believe the business environment here fares better than other regional markets.

According to the latest Hays Quarterly Report of skills in demand, HR talent in Singapore will be in high demand in the first quarter of 2016 with experienced professionals sought after by employers.

“Normally, hiring of HR talent starts at the beginning of a new year when new headcount plans are put into place,” Lynne says. “It is going to be a frenetic start to the year for employers to secure HR talent amid an existing shortage of candidates.”

See: Benefits, Hiring and Salary Increase Plans of Employers in Singapore for 2016

Lynne adds that within the commercial sector, competition for HR talent will be amplified by companies relocating to Singapore to set up regional headquarters. The financial services industry will also grapple with a candidate-short market owing to replacement hiring.

“Employers will feel the pressure to find replacements for employees who decided to move after receiving their annual bonuses,” Lynne says. “Employers need to ensure their retention and attraction strategies are sound, especially at this time of year.”

HR candidates who are capable of managing and acquiring talent for employers are in high demand.  “Companies have realised that talent acquisition is not just about recruiting,” Lynne adds. “It is about providing an experience for applicants to help them better understand their potential roles and responsibilities if they were to be hired.”

As multinational companies move into Singapore, HR professionals who can effectively communicate with and manage stakeholders are actively sought after to facilitate hiring processes and manpower arrangements.

“Companies are striving to retain talent in general,” says Lynne. “Efforts are being made to up-skill and retain existing staff through training. As a result, HR professionals in training and development are seeing new opportunities.”

In the financial services sector, employers are looking for benefits specialists to support their moves to retain existing staff. In terms of candidate trends, more candidates are using temporary roles as they prefer the flexibility offered by this type of work.

“More and more candidates prefer work-life balance and flexibility, and are actively seeking temporary roles,” says Lynne. “Indeed, contracting and temporary roles are increasing in the local market too. Temporary roles appear to be attractive to some local and international HR talent and the trend is expected to continue.”

Also read: Employment Outlook for Singapore on an Upward Trajectory in 2016

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