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Singapore struggles with attracting and retaining talent

Anuradha Shukla | March 31, 2017
Challenged due to global digital transformation, according to two surveys by Willis Towers Watson.

Tug of war

Employers in Singapore and Asia Pacific are challenged by problems associated with attracting and retaining top talent.

These challenges have appeared due to global digital transformation, according to two surveys conducted by Willis Towers Watson.

More than 65 percent of Singapore employers are struggling to attract talent and 28 percent have had issues retraining their own talent with critical skills.

Labour market activity has, however, increased with about half of organisations in Asia Pacific saying that hiring has increased over the last year.

"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, Talent and Rewards - Asia Pacific, Willis Towers Watson. "This disruption is causing a skilled worker deficit in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields and a surplus of low-skilled workers in others, such as administration and manufacturing."


Wait-and-see approach

A large number of businesses are cautious and taking a wait-and-see approach regarding recent economic and political developments.

In Singapore, employers are experiencing difficulty in attracting critical-skill employees (66 percent), top performers (74 percent) and high-potential employees (69 percent).

More than half (52 percent) of employers in Singapore are having difficulties retaining high potential talent, as well as holding on to top performing talents (56 percent) and critical skill talents (28 percent).

Singapore employees consider fair pay (61 percent), opportunities to learn new skills (42 percent), and job security (41 percent) as their most important reasons to join a company.

Only 44 percent of employees in Singapore expressed having trust and confidence in the job being done by senior leadership, while 39 percent feel that the company's leaders have a sincere interest in employees' well-being.

"In addition to attracting and retaining talented employees, employers need to focus on engaging employees in order to achieve better business results. Leadership, including the role played by supervisors, managers and senior executives, plays a critical role in driving engagement among their employees," said Fang.


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