HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

10 talent trends you should watch out for in 2018

Technology and artificial intelligence are shaping the recruitment game.

Singapore firms' recruitment and talent handling are expected to change in 2018 due to technological improvements, recruitment firm Hays Plc revealed.

“Companies in Singapore want to position for growth in 2018. In our conversations with employers, we are hearing that they plan to invest in talent and technology while also keeping a close eye on costs,” said Hays Singapore managing director Lynne Roeder.

Flexible workforces
Contractual employment continues to be an attractive option for employers, particularly within high-cost industries like banking, life sciences, and manufacturing. It is also desirable for firms looking for flexible staffing.

As contracting becomes more prevalent in the market, organisations are increasingly improving the benefits they provide to attract the best talent, Hays said.

Soft skills
As automation and AI are transforming work processes, candidates with strong soft skills who are able to communicate changes and work with technology will be highly prized.

As firms look to ensure gender balance, they will look to implement strategies to ensure job advertisements and hiring processes are gender neutral and attract people based on skills rather than gender.

Parental policies will be increasingly implemented to encourage a gender-balanced workforce.

Regional hubs drawn to Singapore
As one of the best cities to do business in Asia, more multinational corporations (MNC) are establishing or moving regional hubs to Singapore to access quality leadership talent and take advantage of business-friendly policies, especially in the life sciences and technology sectors.

"Employers in these sectors want to utilise regional teams in order to maximise their headcount capacity and leverage the full value of teams across the region," Hays said.

Talent management
Talent management professionals are expected to take over traditional learning and development (L&D) roles in some MNCs throughout 2018. More employers are looking for candidates with broader experience.

"We will see much greater use of digital solutions and this is driving up requests for talent with e-learning experience. Companies want employees to take more responsibility for their own development and online learning makes this possible," Hays said.

Regulatory change candidates
Hiring regulatory change professionals remains high on the agenda of many employers in Singapore but also across the Asia Pacific. Banks need to catch up to compliance with new local and global regulations, such as the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) 9.

Finance becomes a business partner service
Accountants are no longer required just for their number crunching abilities, but also to provide advice to all areas of the business. In fact, almost every hire in the finance team in 2018 needs to demonstrate their ability to engage with the business to help drive decision-making where appropriate.

The prevailing trend is for the responsibilities of the finance function including accountancy to evolve into a business partnering service.

Process improvement
More candidates will be asked to list their achievements in improving processes and gaining efficiencies. Hays said firms in Singapore are continuing to look for a competitive edge against their rivals.

AI candidate screening
Whilst automated screening of resumes and communication with candidates is a complex Artifical Intelligence (AI) challenge, Hays said firms will work on "training" ontology to make their recruitment formats consistent.

A new technology-driven recruitment model
A "find and engage" recruitment model could replace the conventional "advertise and apply" model.

The "find" element involves using digital technology and data science analytics to dive through candidate pools. The "engage" element then allows firms to understand candidates' priorities and aspirations. 

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