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Country focus: Singapore

Country focus: Singapore

Continuing our series examining the current state of global jobs markets, we turn our attention to Singapore, which like many other countries, has experienced a marked economic slowdown.

Based on workforce figures, Covid-19 has been more extensive in Q2 than Q1 in the south east Asian sovereign island-city state, with a fall in the number of job vacancies accompanying a record fall in employment. “Labour turnover was muted as employers deferred hiring, cutting salaries and recruitment budgets in the process. Employees are less likely to leave their jobs given the fewer opportunities in the jobs market, and to preserve the job prospects of locals, the government has made it more expensive for firms to hire expats,” says Singapore based Laurianne Brochard, Morgan Philips Director for Executive Search in South East Asia.

Demand for specialists in Singapore

Although the impact of the pandemic has been widespread, some industries have managed to ride the storm better than others. “The industries that were most hit were retail, hospitality, entertainment and tourism but the effects were also felt in other sectors, such as manufacturing, construction and oil and gas,” continues Brochard. “Demand for candidates with niche skills has remained buoyant, examples being electronics manufacturing, e-commerce, finance and insurance, information and communication, public administration, education, health and social services.”

Brochard notes, “Fintech also continues to grow, with a focus on IT and data security jobs. Singapore is a high-tech and start-up hub so organisations are looking for candidates with strong technical skills and experience of blockchain, cloud computing, analytical reasoning, AI, business analysis, sales and UX design. But they also need accomplished all-rounders, so excellent interpersonal skills are a must.”

Rethinking role requirements

Jobseekers are understandably cautious when it comes to changing jobs. “Candidates need to weigh up their options and assess whether now is a good time for them to move given the uncertainty. As well as understanding the local market they need to make sure they find a company with the right culture, and values that match their own. At interview, they must demonstrate adaptability, confidence, agility, commitment and resilience. There are still opportunities out there for suitably qualified individuals,” stresses Brochard.

Organisations for their part need to prioritise the development of their employees. “People are key to driving growth, therefore not only do companies have to redesign jobs in line with current profile requirements, they must also help their existing workforce upskill during this period, given the frenetic pace in technological advances and digitalisation. They need to support individuals and encourage a healthy work-life balance,” advises Brochard. “At the same time, they have to get their selection processes right and ensure that the people they hire are agile and adaptable.”

Most in demand soft skills in Singapore

  • Creativity
  • Agility
  • Collaboration
  • Adaptability
  • Influencing
  • Emotional Intelligence

If you’d like to find out more about the jobs market or are looking to hire talent in Singapore, email or call +65 8292 4102.

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