In Singapore, a survey of 1,500 employers and workers by recruitment firm RGF International Recruitment have found that most employers expect a talent crunch this year, even as employees polled said they expect pay rises when switching jobs that are 10 percentage points higher than average expectations last year.
Interestignly, on the other hand, employers' top cooncerns include lack of candidates with necessary work experience, skills and knowledge (58 percent), increased competition from other employers (38 per cent) and a lack of candidates who will fit their corporate culture (36 percent). These cooncers are not that surprising and could be because of smaller hiring budgets, with 44 percent of them citing this as their biggest challenge this year. Their next biggest priorities are building a stronger brand (41 percent) and building a more capable human resource or talent acquisition team (32 perent).
The report advised: "With the onset of COVID-19, some employers may find the talent market brimming with potential candidates, especially if key competitors have had to make significant cuts. If this is the case, employers would be wise to jump on these key talent quickly and find budget to hire those with specific, niche skills that can help them endure the pandemic, and thrive beyond it."
What is the talent looking for?
But the employers have to be aware of the employees' perspectives as well. As they look to bounce back from crisis with a better talent pipeline, it is key to note what the talent itself is looking for. As per the report, the opportunity for career advancement (43 percent) and salary considerations (42 percent) remain top priorities for Singaporeans who are considering new employment.
Despite the general economic malaise, Singaporeans on average said they expected their pay to rise this year by 27 percent when switching jobs, up from an expected pay rise of 17 percent last year.
It could be because, while hiring for most roles has slowed during the pandemic, the need for niche specialist roles such as data scientists, cyber security experts and software developers has continued to increase.
RGF International Recruitment Singapore managing director James Miles said, "Due to the lack of this type of local specialist talent, we have seen the salary expectations rise based on the increased demand and lack of supply, thus contributing to the overall increase in pay rise expectations since last year."
Given the current economic situation and continued uncertainity, how do businesses keep up with the employees' expectations is to look forward to.