HR & EDUCATION | Contributed Content, Singapore
Lynne Roeder

The uphill task of securing high-skilled HR managers in a candidate-short market


Singapore’s rising status as a hub for multinationals’ regional headquarters is set to create a substantial number of new jobs for human resources professionals.

This will exacerbate a candidate-short market in the South East Asian country as high-skilled HR managers are becoming more and more valued by employers.

We are seeing an influx of fresh investment in Singapore which is delivering a vote of confidence for the local recruitment market. More companies are also moving their regional headquarters to Singapore, creating new jobs for HR professionals to manage their manpower.

Singapore, as an established financial centre in South East Asia, is attracting international companies to consolidate their footholds as they believe the business environment here fares better than other regional markets.

According to the latest Hays Quarterly Report of skills in demand, HR talent in Singapore will be in high demand in the first quarter of 2016 with experienced professionals sought after by employers.

Normally, hiring of HR talent starts at the beginning of a new year when new headcount plans are put into place. It is going to be a frenetic start to the year for employers to secure HR talent amid an existing shortage of candidates.

Within the commercial sector, competition for HR talent will be amplified by companies relocating to Singapore to set up regional headquarters. The financial services industry will also grapple with a candidate-short market owing to replacement hiring.

Employers will feel the pressure to find replacements for employees who decided to move after receiving their annual bonuses. Employers need to ensure their retention and attraction strategies are sound, especially at this time of year.

HR candidates who are capable of managing and acquiring talent for employers are in high demand. Companies have realised that talent acquisition is not just about recruiting. It is about providing an experience for applicants to help them better understand their potential roles and responsibilities if they were to be hired.

As multinational companies move into Singapore, HR professionals that can effectively communicate with and manage stakeholders are actively sought after to facilitate hiring processes and manpower arrangements.

Companies are striving to retain talent in general. Efforts are being made to up-skill and retain existing staff through training. As a result, HR professionals in training and development are seeing new opportunities.

In the financial services sector, employers are looking for benefits specialists to support their moves to retain existing staff.

In terms of candidate trends, more candidates are using temporary roles as they prefer the flexibility this type of work can offer. More and more candidates prefer work-life balance and flexibility, and are actively seeking temporary roles.

Indeed, contracting and temporary roles are increasing in the local market too. Temporary roles appear to be attractive to some local and international HR talent and the trend is expected to continue.

The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.

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Lynne Roeder

Lynne Roeder

Lynne Roeder is Managing Director of Hays in Singapore. She has over 17 years of experience within the recruitment industry across the UK, Australia, and Asia. Prior to relocating to Singapore, Lynne was Regional Director of Hays in Australia, where she managed teams across the country in many specialisms.

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