7 recruitment trends to watch out for in 3Q12BY RONALD LEE
As global and local economic events have a direct bearing on the employment market, it is always wise to pay close attention to major issues unfolding across the globe.
The economy appears to be relatively stable right now, but there is an undercurrent of uncertainty resulting from the Eurozone debt crisis that remains unresolved, sluggish job growth in the US, and weakened growth prospects in China.
As such, what are the employment, recruitment and general HR trends to look out for this quarter? Here’s an excerpt from the Employment Outlook Q3 2012 published by PrimeStaff Management Services.
EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK FOR Q3
The “star” sectors that will be hiring in Q3 are: Hospitality (Retail, Food & Beverage), Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, and Biomedical Sciences.
The Hospitality sector will continue to shine due to strong demand from the domestic market as well as robust tourist arrival numbers.
The Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biomedical Sciences industries will be buoyed largely due to increased government spending on public healthcare resulting from heightened healthcare needs of a growing and ageing population, the opening of the new Jurong General Hospital in 2014, and medical tourism, which continues to rise.
Apart from these, the Information and Communications Technology sector will also see demand and growth.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Financial and Manufacturing sector may see some re-engineering of their workforce. The major banks are susceptible to the Eurozone risks and may restructure their business to focus on areas that enable them to maximise revenue.
Manufacturing companies are likely to trim headcounts as part of a long-term cost rationalisation strategy resulting from increased pressures on business costs and changing workforce dynamics exerted by the higher foreign worker levies and reduced Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC) for foreign workers that took effect in July 2012.
HR/RECRUITMENT TRENDS TO WATCH OUT FOR
1. Increased Hiring of Singaporeans vs Foreigners: This will arise from the additional restrictions (outlined above) on the hiring of the latter, resulting in a further tightening of Singapore’s local labour resources.
2. Rise in Basic Wages: An unofficial minimum wage may be established due to market forces of demand and supply – in order to attract more Singaporeans to work in certain types of jobs and industries that were previously dominated by foreign workers.
3. Greater Focus on Talent Acquisition, Development & Retention: With the talent war for Singaporeans heating up, companies will need to focus more on training and development initiatives in order to engage and retain their staff.
4. More Companies May Re-hire Former Employees: The increase in labour costs will put pressure on overall business costs. Re-employing ex- staff will help companies save on the cost of recruiting and training new staff.
5. Longer Process to Place Candidates: Recruiters and hiring managers will have to work harder as it becomes more of an employees’ market, with candidates having more options to choose from and taking more time to consider the various job prospects on offer.
6. Outsourcing of Staffing Solutions: Due to the uncertain economic climate, companies will continue to exercise greater prudence and are more likely to choose to outsource its recruitment needs because of the cost savings it produces.
7. Increased Contract Hiring & More Flexible Work Arrangements: The uncertainty in the markets will create more justification for companies to offer workers more contract roles as well as flexible work arrangements as organisations may prefer not to commit to a large permanent workforce.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR RECRUITERS & JOB SEEKERS
Given the current landscape, here are some recommendations for both recruiters/hiring managers and job seekers.
1. Be Open-Minded: Don’t simply look at a skills match or whether the candidate has experience in your particular industry. Look deeper when assessing the candidate as he or she may have transferable skills that are sufficient for the role. It is just as important for the individual to be able to fit well into the corporate culture, which will increase his or her chances of succeeding in the role.
2. Consider Looking Internally: As it’s currently more of an employee’s market, you may want to consider recruiting from internal sources if your recruitment budget doesn’t allow you to entice strong candidates who are asking for a high premium in terms of salary expectation.
3. Focus on Retention: Following on from the previous point, you should also put greater emphasis on retaining existing staff given the talent war most companies will be facing in Q3.
1. Cast Your Net Wider: If you are intent on searching for a new job, “sell” yourself to as many recruitment agencies as possible, in addition to using job portals and newspapers for your job search. This is because many of the bigger companies only use recruitment agencies for their hiring needs these days.
2. Be Realistic: Even though there may be a lot of opportunities in the tight labour market, you should be realistic in your salary expectations.
Don’t insist on a sky-high increment over your last drawn salary as many companies will still be constrained by tight budgets due to rising business costs. It is advisable to ask for increments of not more than 10%.
3. Focus on the Fit: Don’t just focus solely on the salary when considering the offer. Look at the bigger picture; would you fit well in the company’s culture; does it offer a motivating and inspiring environment that would help you excel; is the role aligned with your long-term career objectives?
4. Be Open to Contract Roles: Understand that companies are feeling the crunch and need to contain business costs. There is thus a growing tendency for them to offer contract roles instead of permanent ones.
And if you do take up contract jobs, have the commitment to see it through to the end of the contract period. Don’t break the contract and jump ship the moment you receive an offer for a permanent role as that would tarnish your professional reputation.
5. Upgrade Your Skills: It never hurts to upgrade your skills; it will enhance your employability and help push up your salary.
View the full Employment Outlook Q3 2012 report by PrimeStaff Management Services here.