Top 10 Singapore talent trends to look out for in 2018

With the economy on the mend, Singapore companies are expected to invest more in people and technology from next year.

With Singapore’s economy now on the uptick, recruitment firm Hays has revealed its top 10 talent trends for next year.

The predicted trends show how organisations plan to extract greater value from people and technology in the year ahead to take advantage of positive conditions.

“Companies in Singapore want to position for growth in 2018. In our conversations with employers, we are hearing that they plan to invest in talent and technology while also keeping a close eye on costs,” says Lynne Roeder, Managing Director of Hays Singapore.

Roeder says one prevalent example of this is the increasing use of contractors and temporary staffing in Singapore. She says organisations are starting to recognise they can bring in top talent for projects via contracting and are accordingly offering more attractive benefits to secure the best people to these roles.

Technology, Roeder adds, will also play a key role in hiring. Artificial intelligence (AI) with the ability to scan CVs and manage candidate communication is one example of such innovation.

AI will also be used to mine data to help companies find the right candidates to approach. This will then leave recruitment experts with more time to focus on other objectives, such as building relationships with talent.

“Not surprisingly, candidates with experience in AI will be hot property in 2018 for these roles but also others across many sectors,” Roeder says.

Here are Hays’ top 10 talent trends for 2018 in Singapore:

1. Flexible workforces 

Contracting continues to become a very attractive option for employers – particularly those within industries where cost pressures are high, such as Banking, Life Sciences and Manufacturing. Hays predicts that more employers will be looking to make use of contingent workers in 2018 across a greater range of functions.

2. Soft skills 

Employers will probe even deeper in 2018 to uncover the interpersonal and soft skills of interviewees. As automation and AI are transforming work processes, candidates with strong soft skills who are able to communicate changes and work with technology will be highly prized.

3. Diversity 

Diversity remains a hot topic in Singapore as organisations look to address their gender balance in particular. Companies will be looking to implement strategies to ensure job advertisements and hiring processes are gender neutral and attract people based on skills rather than gender. Also, shared parental policies will be increasingly implemented to encourage a gender-balanced workforce.

4. Regional hubs drawn to Singapore

As one of the best cities to do business in Asia, more MNCs are establishing or moving regional hubs to Singapore to access quality leadership talent and take advantage of business-friendly policies, especially in the Life Sciences and Technology sectors. Employers in these sectors want to utilise regional teams in order to maximise their headcount capacity and leverage the full value of teams across the region.

5. Talent Management on the rise
Hays foresees talent management professionals taking over traditional learning and development roles in a number of MNCs as they expand their remit throughout 2018. This trend is extending to talent acquisition and we are seeing more employers looking for candidates with broader experience.

6. Regulatory change candidates

Hiring regulatory change professionals remains high on the agenda of many employers in Singapore, but also across the Asia-Pacific region as banks look to ensure compliance with new local and global regulations, such as International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9.

7. Finance becomes a business partner service 

More sophisticated finance candidates will need to act as business partners to their organisations in 2018 that will in many cases, reduce demand for lower skilled, transactional roles. The prevailing trend is for the responsibilities of the finance function including accountancy to evolve into a business partnering service.

8. Process improvement

As firms in Singapore look to gain a competitive edge against their rivals, it will become a bigger part of an employee’s responsibility to improve processes and gain efficiencies. More and more candidates will be asked at interviews throughout 2018 to discuss their achievements in this area.

9. AI candidate screening: 

Automated and machine-learning algorithms will be used to screen CVs and communicate with candidates. While this is a complex AI challenge, in 2018 organisations will work on ‘training’ ontology to convert the semi-structured data of CVs and job descriptions into a consistent format for processing which, once implemented, will significantly accelerate the shortlisting process.

10. Recruitment remodelled to "Find & Engage": 

In 2018, a new model of recruitment will emerge, fuelled by technology, the dynamics of the digital world, data science and artificial intelligence. The historic and conventional "Advertise & Apply" model (where active jobseekers at that point in time apply to advertised vacancies) will be superseded by a "Find & Engage" approach.

The ‘Find’ element of the equation involves using digital technology and data science analytics to reach deep into candidate pools and examine large amounts of data to prepare shortlists of the most suitable people.

The ‘Engage’ element puts the relationship back at the heart of recruitment to understand a candidate’s personal priorities and aspirations for a successful outcome. 

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