The recruitment process has never been an easy task for companies. With the economic recovery in full swing, many questions remain unanswered ahead of the recruiters in Singapore. The recruitment market in Singapore is facing skill shortages and recruitment difficulties. While the unemployment rate is falling but the economy is in urgent need of boosting immigration to deal with the skill shortage.

Post-pandemic employment trends

COVID-19 led Singapore’s population to fall by about 4.4%. This decline has offset the overall population growth of the preceding six years. Consequently, the country has recorded the lowest population level in the last eight years. This is not good news for recruiters. The economic performance of the economy in the upcoming years will be completely dependent on how this population trend transforms. Although, because of the lower population, unemployment rates have remained low, the issue of skill shortage has been witnessed by corporations throughout the country. This can be solved only if the population numbers are turned back to normal by boosting the immigration of skilled resources.

Moreover, Singapore has a significant proportion of university graduates. Students with university degrees have lucrative job offers. Candidates with professional qualifications also have strong prospects. But for residents who have a secondary qualifications, the pandemic was rough. However, now the economy is booming again. It has shown a growth of 3.6% in 2021, and for 2022 the prospects are even brighter, between 3-5%.

Recruiters are struggling to find manpower as employment rates increase

The population is declining, and recruitment is at a record high- this is not an ideal situation for recruiters. This situation does not resolve the concerns related to skill gap and skill shortage. The recruitment process has become a platform full of difficulties, especially for businesses that rely on overseas talent, leading to a challenging and complicated recruitment environment. The ageing population will make the population number fall further. Hence, if the country has to achieve long-term economic goals, immigration could be the only way out for long-term economic growth

Rise in work from home opportunities

The demand for remote jobs continuously increased after the pandemic. More people are applying for remote working opportunities or the chance to work from home. Hence, the hybrid model is likely to be the future. Indeed job portal suggests that at the end of January 2022, almost 2.9% of searches were for remote jobs. This means that 1 out of every 34 searches was for a WFH environment. This number is 3.8 times higher than in 2019. While 2.9% may not seem significant but it is noteworthy that candidates would be using multiple different keywords to search for jobs in the remote environment. The term, which was not so common before the pandemic, has become a priority for many candidates.

Vaccination – a Prerequisite for Employment

The vaccination has also become a new mandate in the job description of various companies in the country. By the end of January, almost 3.5% of job descriptions stated that vaccination is mandatory. This number is about five times higher than last year. Several jobs are not recruiting those candidates or job seekers who are not vaccinated. In Singapore, where the rate of vaccination is high, most companies are taking this as a default that the candidate who has applied for a job is already vaccinated. Candidates are asked about their vaccination status only at the last stage of recruitment.

The Technological Sector of Singapore

After management roles, software development is the second most popular occupation in the country. There is a rising demand for people who are experts in technical fields. Moreover, the IT industry is one of the most growing industries in the country. However, most often, the demand and supply of the skillsets do not match. Earlier, this gap was adjusted with skilled immigrants. The gap is ever evolving also because of the industry that grows and upgrades rapidly.

Strategies for Recruitment

There are many ways by which companies can deal with the problems in the hiring process.

  • The most important of all strategies is paying higher and providing greater benefits to prospective employees. This is fundamental for retaining existing staff and attracting a large number of job seekers.
  • Companies should broaden their search horizon. They can do this by expanding the parameters like geographical locations, work arrangements, and qualifications. In the scenario when there are limited resources, the broad criterion can eliminate the artificial barrier and gives companies an opportunity to review the talent pool with a wider scope.
  • The organization can also pay more attention to its internal training sessions. Through this, they can make their existing staff ready for the new roles they seek.

Necessity is the mother of invention- Tight labour market is a challenge for organizations, but it brings the opportunity to innovate the work processes. For instance, restructuring the team or investing the technology can help an organization fill the roles temporarily.

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