The typical career path is more fluid than ever, with talent staying more connected, informed and open to new opportunities throughout their professional lives. It is becoming more challenging to find, attract and hire, given the multitude of opportunities available to the talent pool.
Professionals in Singapore rely most on social professional networks to find their next job, compared with their peers in Asia-Pacific, according to the 2015 Talent Trends study conducted by LinkedIn, the world’s biggest online professional network. 63% of them cited social professional networks such as LinkedIn as the main avenue to access job opportunities, ranking number 1 amongst the nine Asia-Pacific countries surveyed. Malaysia came in second, at 59%, followed by India at 57%. Indonesia, the third Southeast Asian country in this survey, ranked fourth in Asia-Pacific at 56%. Globally, Singapore professionals share the third place with Brazil in this regard, and are behind Spain (70%) and Chile (68%).
Given that Singapore has one of the world’s highest mobile penetration rates, the second most-popular channel that talent relies on to find new job opportunities is online job boards (60%). Companies should not discount the influence of friends and colleagues either, as 55% of Singapore professionals rely on word-of-mouth for information.
“With the sheer talent in the work force and a robust job market in Singapore, companies may not have trouble in hiring. The bigger question is how companies can attract the best talent and hire the right person for the job,” said Feon Ang, Head of Talent Solutions, Asia Pacific and Japan at LinkedIn. “Our research shows there is a wide talent pool to be tapped. Not only is active talent on the rise in Singapore, passive talent – comprising 65% of the pool – is also open to opportunities. A strong employer brand is more critical than ever for companies in the war for talent. One way for companies to stand out is to marry social professional networks and word-of-mouth recommendation by encouraging their employees to be their ambassadors in today’s digital age.”
Singapore professionals are also more open to new job opportunities, with 35% actively exploring, higher than the global average of 30%. In Asia-Pacific, they rank third, behind India (at 45%) and Malaysia (36%). This year’s figure in Singapore is also higher than the 27% in 2014, when the survey was first conducted. Whether passive or active talent, 86% in Singapore are open to hearing from a recruiter or headhunter, compared with 78% globally.
More compensation, less work-life balance
While many workplaces recognise the increased demand for work-life balance, talent in Singapore still rated compensation as the key factor in evaluating a job opportunity. Money matters, and professionals surveyed in Singapore say that it tops the list of other factors that they will consider in a job, increasing from 29% in 2014 to 51% in 2015. This year’s figure is the same in Indonesia, and in line with Malaysia, at 52%.
Coming in a distant second is work-life balance, with only 32% in Singapore considering it a top priority although the importance of work-life balance has increased from 22% in 2014. Still, the 2015 figure is the lowest in Southeast Asia, as 45% of professionals in Malaysia and 35% in Indonesia cite this as an important factor in deciding whether to accept a new job.
Interviews with prospective managers matter
LinkedIn’s research shows that organisations and employers should place more value on the interview process. While it is used to assess the suitability of a candidate, potential employees also form their perceptions of the company through their interview experience. Globally, 87% of professionals say that a positive interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they doubted, and likewise, a negative experience can reverse that perception (83%).
During an interview, 74% of professionals in Singapore would like to meet their prospective managers, compared with 62% in Malaysia and 44% in Indonesia. At a distant second, a team member is who 10% of Singapore professionals would most like to meet during an interview.
The 2015 Talent Trends report includes new ideas that recruiters and organisations can incorporate into their recruiting strategy to ensure that they find the best possible candidate for the job, and vice versa. It concludes that the best way to discover what the talent wants, is to simply ask.