Singapore’s healthy business environment will pose some challenges for hiring employers in the coming year, according to the 2014 Page Personnel Singapore Salary & Employment Forecast.
The report reveals that Singapore continues to be chosen by an increasing number of companies as the location of their regional or global headquarters. With the demand this creates for talent, some 54% of all surveyed employers believe current hiring activity for junior to mid level staff in Singapore is steady compared to 12 months ago, and a further 34% indicate it is slightly stronger or stronger.
The professional employment market for junior to mid level staff in finance, office support, technology and sales and marketing held steady over the last 12 months. This was attributed to the continued growth and headquartering of businesses in Singapore and the region as they supported the demand for skilled junior to mid level professionals.
The demand for junior to mid level professionals for pharmaceutical companies was stronger than other sectors, due to the fact that Singapore is an established hub for pharmaceutical companies.
The local manufacturing sector also experienced a stabilisation of hiring activity which was influenced mainly by the recovery of the US economy.
Industries such as healthcare, oil and gas, technology, insurances, professional services and commodities are also expected to be key areas of growth in Singapore and also the drivers for recruitment activity.
The growth of companies operating in these sectors will contribute to a demand for junior to mid level professionals in support role functions such as information technology (IT), finance and business support.
One challenge this healthy business environment poses for hiring employers is competing to secure talent. Almost half of surveyed employers (48%) expect a professional skills shortage this year.
To attract professionals to work within their business, employers will implement a range of financial and non-financial rewards. According to the report, 29% of employers say recognition and reward is the most popular tool for staff attraction and retention, followed by 28% who will implement structured career progression.
A persisting struggle for companies will be to overcome the shortage of junior to mid level professionals with regional exposure and expertise in business partnering. Soft skills such as communications and languages will also be in demand as companies look to professionals with these proficiencies to sustain local and regional operations.
Key challenges for employers in the next 12 months include the importance of developing long term recruitment strategies and processes, as well as identifying the right candidate for their business.