Hays' ten talent trends for Singapore in 2016

Recruitment firm Hays highlights mergers and acquisitions activity, retention and wage pressure as key HR themes for 2016 alongside increasing workforce localisation.

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According to Hays' analysis, tighter restrictions on foreign workers, which make it harder for employers to take on new staff from overseas and renew visas, will see multinational companies (MNCs) focus increasingly on workforce localisation.This is likely across the skills and salary spectrum, explains Lynne Roeder, Hays Singapore's managing director."As the Ministry of Manpower targets not only those foreigners with low salaries, but those higher salaried roles, localising the workforce will become a focus for many companies in 2016 to sustain their growth in the local and regional market."Rather than recruit at the mid to senior level we will see more recruitment at the junior to mid level. With support teams top heavy, this shift in hiring focus is the result of cost control remaining a primary concern."This focus on cost complements the second key talent trend the worldwide recruitment firm indentifies. Hays anticipates companies will emphasise talent retention and internal mobility programmes. This follows increasing wage pressure – the third trend – and competition for skills.Alongside merger and acquisition (M&A) consolidation in the commodities sector, greater focus on compliance and internal controls and the quest to deliver innovation, a further top trend is the importance of Singapore itself amid the wider Asia region's new normal of lower revenue and national economies' growth.Hays believes the depressed commodities market seen in 2015 is giving Singapore a competitive edge in the region, which will fuel recruitment activity following the M&A upswing. According to preliminary data for 2015 from business information provider Thomson Reuters, Asia-Pacific M&A totalled $1.2 trillion, up 46 per cent on 2014."In 2015 the weak global commodities market ushered in a new wave of M&A deals in Singapore as big MNCs took advantage of the slumbering sector to acquire smaller businesses," says Lynne Roeder. "Powerful international firms now need to invest in human capital to consolidate their footholds here in Asia's leading financial and commodities trading centre."Hays believes Singapore will continue to remain important as a gateway to South East Asia, anticipating that many positions, particularly within the professional services sector, will be created thanks to the increasing trade and investment relations between Singapore and its emerging market neighbours (particularly Myanmar, Indonesia and Vietnam). Candidates with regional experience will therefore be at a greater advantage to those who have more of a domestic focus, according to the recruiters.Hays top ten talent trends in Singapore for 2016
  1. Localisation of the workforce
  2. Increased focus around talent retention/internal mobility programmes
  3. Wage pressure
  4. Shift in hiring focus from mid-senior to junior-mid level positions
  5. Consolidation within the commodities sector
  6. Focus on internal controls/compliance
  7. Innovation
  8. Digital demand
  9. Infrastructure investments
  10. Importance of Singapore.

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