HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Check out the top trends in Singapore's hiring movements

There is a growing sentiment in favour of flexible working options.

Remote working, infrastructure and cyber security demand, and contract professionals are amongst the top trends set to influence Singapore’s hiring scene as the pandemic ushers in a new era in the world of work affecting both jobseekers and hiring organisations, according to Hays Singapore.

Hays Singapore’s regional director Grant Torrens notes that there is a growing sentiment in favour of working from home or flexible working options even beyond the crisis.

“Whilst some critical roles may still require a physical office space, the work life balance offered by flexible working has set a precedent for the months to come,” he adds, expecting more businesses to these options on a permanent basis, or implement hybrid working models where 50% of staff can work remotely and the other in the office on a rotational basis.

Businesses have also adapted to new ways of working with companies quickly adapting to move away from the face-to-face model and into remote meetings and ways of working through emails and video conferencing tools.

“More businesses are also looking into offshoring and moving their call centres to regions with low overhead costs like Malaysia or India,” says Grant.

Contracting activity has remained largely normal, with completed contracts coming up for renewal as per usual, Hays added. Alongside healthcare, medical, manufacturing and professional services, the retail sector is also seeing an increased demand for contractors as they attempt to recover their losses.

Meanwhile, network engineers or technical support, as well as system integrators and those with experience in migrating systems, are in high demand as more companies ramp up remote working capabilities for the long-term. The demand for cyber security job roles has also surged as more companies move to cloud-based systems and servers that require digital protection.

Grant notes that despite the growing demand in these industries, the market remains candidate short, making this an opportune time for professionals in this sector to make a move. Life sciences sectors, such as supply chain, nutrition and pharmaceuticals, have also continued to see sustained hiring activity, alongside affiliate manufacturing companies dealing with medical equipment or latex gloves.

In addition, the telecom industry sees an increased hiring demand across the board, including the engineering, marketing, IoT, analytics and cloud technology functions, as the pandemic proves the telecom sector as critical in enabling businesses and individuals to stay connected. The e-commerce space also saw a boom through the crisis, resulting in continued hiring activity.

Further, the education sector has seen significant movement and development in online learning as a result of social distancing measures. This has been further accelerated by the Singapore government’s announcement that secondary school students will receive personal laptops or tablets by next year.

On the other hand, banking and finance services have seen a large wave of internal realignment, with many organisations taking a cautious ‘wait and watch’ approach across all business activity.

Hiring for critical roles still continues but with a renewed focus on local candidates as borders are likely to remain tightly controlled for some time to come. Fintech also continues to grow, with current hiring activity focused more on IT or data security related roles.

Grant notes that whilst the recent period of crisis has been challenging for both job seekers and organisations alike, the direction of its resulting changes remains definitively positive.

“A key strategic priority for businesses in Singapore at this time should be to ensure their employees and managers are equipped with the right skills to not just adapt but thrive in the new world of work,” he concludes.

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