Talent Management Gaps in Singapore: Difference Between Rhetoric and Reality?

September 14, 20158:22 am1251 views

Singapore CEOs continue to identify people issues as the most critical “business” challenge for their organisations. Consistent with the rest of Asia, Singapore organisations identified shortage in critical skills and rising salaries as the top people issues.

As part of the Aon Hewitt Best Employers 2015 programme, the consulting firm interviewed more than 400 CEOs in Asia to understand key talent issues that are posing a risk to their organisations’ ability to succeed and how they intend to mitigate them.

In the midst of the on-going talent war, best employers in Singapore are able to outperform the market by achieving 29 percent higher income than market average, enjoy a 25 percent lower attrition rate and have filled 42 percent more job openings internally compared to market average. The “formula” for a Best Employer is dependent on its ability to generate high scores in employee engagement, a compelling employer brand, effective leadership and a high performance culture.

The gap between Rhetoric and Reality in Singapore organisations is manifested in all 4 pillars of the Best Employers study:

  1. High Employee Engagement: Career opportunities are the top driver of engagement across all generations. But only 54% of employees think they have good career opportunities at their organisations. Overall employee engagement scores in Singapore have remained stagnant over the last ten years. Engagement score drops significantly for new hires after they have spent more than 1 year in an organisation. Generation Y are least engaged and most prone to attrition. While on average only 1 in 2 Gen Y is engaged, 3 out of 4 are engaged at Best Employers.

See: Steady Hiring Outlook for Singapore in Q4 2015

  1. Compelling Employer Brand: 65% of organisations said they have a clearly defined employer brand. But only 15% have complete alignment between the CEO and HR definition of their employer brand. The lack of alignment between the CEO’s and HR’s perspective on employer brand is possibly diluting the impact of the promise. Merely having an EVP is not enough. Reinforcing the brand through actions and regular communication by leaders and managers is a pre-requisite.
  2. Effective Leadership: Leaders say “our employees are our greatest assets.” But only 58% of employees believe their leaders treat them as their most valued asset. The best employers adopt multi-modal interventions to develop their leaders. 100% of the best employers have their high potential programme integrated into talent management processes compared to 60% market average.
  3. High Performance Culture: 71% of CEOs say people managers have tools and resources to manage. But only 55% of people managers feel they are fully productive. To drive better performance, best employers leverage their performance management system more effectively. Employee aspirations of getting better career opportunities are increasing faster than organisation’s capability to deliver on them.

Examining the best and most innovative talent management practices of Best Employers provides key learnings for business leaders in Singapore. Some of the behaviours and practices followed by the best employers in Singapore are:

  • Tailoring talent management practices to engage specific employee groups.
  • Put emphasis on total rewards, transparently linked to performance systems, to drive a high performance culture.
  • Meet talent supply with early identification of high potentials as well as people management and capability development programs.
  • Recognise high performers in relevant and memorable ways.
  • Understand that mature people practices improve employee perception and enable better delivery on the ground.
  • Defining and delivering a unique and compelling Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that is clearly delivering on its values and promises.

Gitansh Malik, Regional Manager, Best Employers Asia with Aon Hewitt says, “It is possible for everyone to become a Best Employer, if you have articulated the destination you want to head to and have planned your journey wisely.”

You can read the detailed ‘Aon Hewitt Best Employers – Singapore 2015 Country Report’ here.

Also read: Salaries of IT Professionals in Singapore to Increase at Average 10% to 15%