Hiring intentions in Singapore have lifted this quarter with just under half of employers (48.7%) intending to increase headcount, up 5.5 percentage points, while intentions to decrease headcount are down 2.5pp to 2.7%, reveals the latest "Hudson Report: Employment Trends."
“Hiring intentions are at their highest level since Q4 2011, and there is a growing sense of economic confidence in Singapore, which is having a positive effect on hiring,” says Andrew Tomich, Executive General Manager, Hudson Singapore.
"In addition to increased intentions to hire, nearly half of employers (48.7%) expect to keep staff numbers steady, seeking internal efficiencies and productivity gains with their existing team. Where previously headcount was frozen or reducing, we’re now seeing a ‘loosening’ with roles being replaced immediately,” adds Tomich.
Industries with the strongest intentions to hire include manufacturing & industrial where 50.9% intend to hire more staff this quarter, followed by IT&T (50.6%) and consumer (42.5%).
“Singapore is increasingly a base for investment and engagement with emerging markets within multinational companies in Asia Pacific. We are also seeing high demand and short supply of candidates who have regional experience and proficiency in Mandarin,” says Tomich.
Contracting in the banking & financial services sector is increasingly robust, with employers seeking to satisfy headcount needs through temporary resources, intending to increase contractor headcount by 18.1pp. Risk control, risk management and compliance roles are in high demand.
The report also looked into how organisations are assessing and developing leadership. The research found that more than half of employers (53.4%) surveyed formally assess leadership, which is the highest of all countries surveyed. Formal leadership assessment helps ensure organisations understand current capability, where gaps exist and how leadership can be improved.
Hudson’s research shows that nearly half of respondents (45.7%) perceive the greatest shortcoming of leadership as poor people management followed by poor change management (20.8%).
“Volatility is a feature of the current economic environment and quick decision-making is often required by leaders. While this can be challenging, there is also a genuine need to consult and communicate with their teams so it’s essential that time is allowed for this,” says Tomich.
A lack of clear vision and direction is cited as the most likely reason for a leader to derail in an organisation (35.3%), followed by poor collaboration within an organisation.
“Employees are looking for leaders to be able to understand and guide them through complexity and change, and this can only be achieved by having close relationships, understanding what is happening at the frontline of the business, altering course through consultative decision-making,” he added.
The report showed that the best leaders develop a vision and inspire people to buy-in to it (67.4%).
“Involving teams in the direction and decision-making process is key to achieving both understanding and buy-in,” says Tomich. “Perceptions around a lack of vision or direction often arise when there is a lack of alignment between leaders and employees. Leaders cannot create a strategy and vision in isolation and need input and support from their teams.”
Successful leaders share common attributes and formal assessment programmes should take these into account. These attributes include: people leadership – the ability to set the vision, and inspire others to act; the ability to manage complexity and change; mental efficiency; personal drive and ambition to succeed; and relational and cultural sensitivity, whereby leaders have strong interpersonal skills and are open and responsive to others’ perspectives.
Behavioural forms of assessment are the best way to understand current capability. These include psychometric tools to examine individuals’ leadership traits and capabilities; assessing individuals’ behaviour through observation, simulation or leadership development centres; and measuring how their behaviour is perceived in the workplace by using 360º feedback. Using a blend of these approaches provides a holistic, accurate and informative view of leadership capability.
“Once leadership capability gaps are established, organisations can bridge these via effective, multi-dimensional leadership programmes and strategies, which have a heavy focus on action-based learning,” says Tomich. “Hudson also recommends support from coaches who promote self-awareness and behavioural change, and mentors who can provide advice and act as a sounding board.”
“Leaders with a clear vision, who consult and communicate with their teams can maximise opportunities in an unpredictable world,” says Tomich.