40% of companies surveyed plan to increase headcount

Photo by Mimi Thian

Michael Page Singapore has launched the Talent Trends 2021 Report, with a keen eye on Singapore’s job market. While hiring activities dipped 35% in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, 40% of employers cited their plans to increase headcount numbers this year – indicating an optimistic recovery path.

Nilay Khandelwal, Managing Director of Michael Page Singapore, says, “Singapore’s economy has turned a corner and remains a stable, secure and trusted hub, with seamless connections.

“As the economy recovers, investment into the market will flourish, and that would drive the demand for talent amid the business recovery climate.”

In view of the economic demands, the sectors earmarked for highest hiring activity are technology & telecommunications, banking & financial services, industrial & manufacturing, FMCG as well as professional services.

According to the report, job creation in Singapore’s technology sector is driving the uptick in employment. Many businesses in Singapore were not ready for the new normal when technology capabilities had to ramp up quickly to ensure business continuity during the pandemic.

To that end, Singapore’s fintech and e-commerce sectors became role models for everybody else. These sectors, in particular, remained buoyant throughout 2020, thus becoming good examples for non-technology businesses to follow suit.

2021 will see further drive to upgrade and digitise businesses where technology professionals skilled in data engineering, data visualisation, software developing and cybersecurity will see the most demand.

According to the report, 80% of technology professionals state renumeration and benefits as their top consideration when accepting a job offer.

Considering the increased competition for high-potential professionals, Nilay Khandelwal advises, “Tech professionals are currently in great demand, hence it is pertinent for employers to ensure they are not a part of a talent auction process and are paying in line with market standards to attract the right talent.”

As a viable option to bridge skill gaps arising from increased investment in digital tools, 20% of companies in Singapore cited prioritising short-term contractors/temporary employment in their 2021 hiring strategy.

This spiked in the back end of 2020 particularly across digital, procurement and technology, since travel and borders remain closed. This is likely to continue in 2021 as businesses in Singapore make more strategic recruitment plans and hire for the future.