, Singapore

Here's why 2014 is the game-changing year for Singapore's recruitment scene

By Adrian Tan

This year marks an important year to every employer in Singapore. It is a period whereby employers seriously need to wake up and realise the recruitment game is never the same. What worked 2 to 5 years ago will not work again. And unless you only hire bots, you have to attract human beings to work for you.

1. Not just the fair consideration framework - that's one but many have also forgotten that there had been recent changes to the employment act as well as amendments to foreign quotas and levies. Cheap foreign labour is over. Accept that and focus on how to redesign the job so that it appeals to the local crowd.

2. PC is so passé - if I can do it on my iPad or iPhone, I try not to turn on my PC which takes 3 minutes to boot up. Making sure your jobs appear responsively on a mobile device AND allowing the user to apply from the same device is critical. With more than 50% (and growing), ignoring this element is turning away more than half of your applicants before they even attempt to submit their resume.

3. Socialise, socialise - social media is also entrenched in our life that a recent Facebook downtime created worldwide panic. But that just tells you how powerful that media is. If you tapped on it well, you can get unique referrals and viral employer branding with minimal outlay.

4. Modernise your business - 5.5 workweeks, 1980s ERP system, 1970s kind of benefits have no place in a connected society where everyone shares everything. With broadband and push mail, the rationale of why one must be in the office to conduct work is beyond comprehension.

5. Millennials have taken over - Gen Y problems have matured. Now businesses have to deal with their successor, the Millennials. With even shorter attention span and craving for almost instant gratification, business models have to be reviewed to accommodate this group of target audience. Or perhaps seriously consider robotic solutions to eliminate any HR headaches.

6. Consolidation of job portals - With the acquisition of JobStreet by Seek Australia, we are entering a phase whereby the market will only result in 3 players. With lesser supply, same demand will only drive up the per ad rate. This will increase taken acquisition cost. Recruiters have to work on improving their job ad copywriting skill to raise their rate of return.

7. Rise of aggregators - With announcement from Monster and LinkedIn entering the job posting aggregation game, one cannot ignore the potential impact it will have on the recruitment scene. As technology becomes more intelligent and minimises the current multiple duplication problems on job postings aggregators, job seekers will gravitate towards them to centralise their job search. Keywords optimisation become doubly important to ensure maximum exposure in a crowded sea of postings.

The combination of all these factors will inevitably lead to a new market norm. It's time for businesses to recognise them and accept them, whether they like it or not. The continuation of their business depends on it!

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