Challenges to Hiring and Retaining Managers in Singapore

November 11, 20158:38 am1679 views

Mid-level managers in Singapore are viewed as having good professional skills, logical thinking, integrity and high sense of responsibility. One of the most important factors in recruiting mid-level and senior managers for foreign companies in Singapore is the need for leadership skills.

However, most foreign MNCs were least satisfied with leadership skills of the managers in their firms.

According to a recently published regional report on “Challenges in recruiting and retaining mid-level and senior employees for foreign firms in Singapore” by en world, a group of recruiting consultancies specialising in professional and managerial roles, the key findings are as indicated below.

Shortage of mid-level candidates in terms of both quantity and quality

53% of respondents to the survey conducted in Singapore say that they have not been able to attract enough mid-level and senior employees to their firms in the last 12 months. This is a “hard-to-solve problem” not only in Singapore but also in Thailand and Vietnam with 52% and 41% respondents, respectively, saying it is difficult for them to recruit enough talents.

Apart from the lack of quantity, candidates have not completely satisfied employers’ requirements in Singapore. In particular, 33% of the respondents say that the candidates lack leadership skills. This is followed by low competency in technical skills and management skills for 33% and 29% of respondents respectively.

82% of the respondents believe that the biggest challenge in retaining managers is fierce competition in terms of salary and benefits from industry peers. Regionally, Thailand (84% respondents) and Vietnam (56% respondents) also face the same challenge in retaining managerial candidates.

See: Millennials in Singapore Looking to Overhaul their Careers: Findings Reveal

“Strengths and weaknesses of mid-level personnel in Singapore”

The survey shows that mid-level and senior personnel in each country have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. While managers in Singapore and Vietnam seem to share the same strength of being hardworking and eager to learn new things, managers in Japan and Thailand are perceived to have very high self-motivation. Managers in Japan, Thailand and Vietnam are highly praised for their communication skills.

Training remains the best solution

All the respondents surveyed in the four countries included leadership and management skills in the training programs for managerial personnel. 78% in Singapore, 74% in Thailand, 60% in Japan, and 48% in Vietnam say that this will be the main area of training for management staff.

“Train the trainer” helps make “learning by doing under supervision” a more effective model as 90% respondents in Singapore, 82% in Thailand and 57% in Vietnam claim that this is the prevalent model in their firms.

According to the survey data, Singapore is the only country that puts financial support (co-sponsorship) for self-development in the top 3 most popular training models for managers.

Based on the survey findings in Singapore, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam, Yusuke Nishino, Country Manager of en world Singapore said: “Upon the agreement of the TPP and the establishment of the AEC, we will foresee a more diverse business environment and greater labour mobility in the region. Multinational corporations need to create a platform where all employees can work together efficiently whilst respecting the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of their colleagues.”

Also read: Top 10 Singapore’s Most Misunderstood Professions

Image credit: peak-resource.com

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