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back to index backASIAtalk April,  2017


Two-thirds of Singapore employers struggle to attract talent

Key challenges include skills shift, low engagement, and poor retention.

More than 65% of Singapore's employers are finding it hard to attract talent, whilst 28% struggle to retain the talent they already have, data from the Willis Towers Watson 2016 Global Talent Management and Rewards Survey showed.

The survey, conducted from April to June 2016, covered more than 2,000 companies across the globe, including 695 from the Asia-Pacific region.

Rapid technology developments are dispersing work across a virtual workspace, forcing organisations to shift their focus to be more flexible and open to digital age. In Singapore, employees are experiencing difficulty attracting critical-skill employees (66%), top performers (74%), and high-potential employees (69%).

"Many of today's most sought-after specialities, such as cloud computing and mobile app design, did not exist a decade ago," said Maggy Fang, managing director for Talent and Rewards - Asia Pacific at Willis Tower Watson. What results then, according to Fang, is a deficit in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields and a surplus of low-skilled workers in other sectors, such as administration and manufacturing.

Compounding this problem is the apparent disconnect between employer and employee views, as revealed by Willis Towers Watson's 2016 Global Workforce Study.

The survey, which covered 31,000 employees with 12,868 from Asia-Pacific, showed that most employees in Singapore consider fair pay (61%), opportunities to learn new skills (42%), and job security (41%) as their most important reasons to join a company.

However, whilst employees in Singapore consider the physical work environment and healthcare and wellness benefits as important factors when deciding to choose a job, employers do not place priority on these.

The survey also found out that only 25% of employees are highly engaged, with only 44% of employees having trust and confidence in senior leadership, and 39% believing that company leaders have sincere interest in employees' wellbeing.

Only 65% of employees said their immediate manager treats them with respect, and only 38% said the management helps them with career planning and decisions.

"Leadership, including the role played by supervisors, managers, and senior executives, plays a critical role in driving engagement among their employees," said Fang.

Source: Singapore Business Review - GAI





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