Hiring in Singapore is projected to shoot up by 40 percent in 2021, according to the latest talent trends report by Michael Page. Most of the activity will come from the technology and telecoms sector, consistent with the general trend around the Asia Pacific that started last year as companies rushed to digitalize, and with the report's other finding that 68 percent of companies in the region plan to increase investment in technology and digital tools. Banking and financial services, and health care and life sciences, will also see increased hiring.
The forecast almost reverses the job market slump that the city-state saw last year as companies froze head count and salaries, and the government rushed to push reskilling and cross-sector mobility to get people back into jobs. It is also matched by job seekers' own aspirations. 56 percent of employees, according to the report, anticipate themselves looking for new job opportunities this year, and the numbers skyrocket to 93 percent for those in the technology sector, with the other top hiring sectors not far behind. In fact, there has already been “a surge in opportunistic hires by companies”, according to Nilay Khandelwal, Managing Director of Michael Page in Singapore.
Salaries are also likely to trend up, with 80 percent of job seekers stating that pay and benefits are their top considerations when accepting a job offer, and 42 percent of companies making compensation and benefits a major part of their talent attraction strategies.
There is, however, a possibility that a significant amount of the hiring might be for contract or temporary jobs. Contract work had already been booming by the last quarter of 2020, according to figures that Khandelwal shared last year, and for 2021, over 22 percent of companies across the Asia Pacific—20 percent in Singapore—are apparently planning to hire short-term staff just to deal with the skill gaps arising from digitalization and restructuring.