Several factors have converged to create an employer-driven market, with employees and job seekers in the Human Resources & Business Support space taking a more cautious stance in 2023.
The cost of living in Singapore rose significantly following the recovery from the pandemic. Monty Sujanani, Country Manager at Robert Walters Singapore, observed that employers have taken a more conservative and mindful approach to expansion over the past year to save on costs.
The layoffs that happened across various tech giants have also contributed to a surplus of job seekers on the market. However, there are limited roles available to provide replacement employment for those who were impacted.
“Given the volatile market now, employees are taking a more calculated approach when considering new opportunities. They want to avoid being caught in a ‘last one in, first one out’ employment situation. Unless they are offered an above average increase in salary to cope with the potential recession and increase in cost of living, they tend to stay put in their current positions where possible,” Monty says.
Read on to find out more about Monty’s expectations of the labour market and hiring trends for Singapore’s Human Resources & Business Support professionals in 2024.
In the year ahead, employees will continue to ask for the benefits that were normalised during the pandemic. Most professionals will continue to demonstrate a preference for flexible and hybrid work arrangements, and companies will also promote better employee well-being through various initiatives. For example, companies will continue to offer benefits such as a mental health day, or grant extra time off to let employees switch off from work.
Monty also points out that ED&I has been embedded into the workplace culture, with many organisations forming specialist teams to drive initiatives that promote equity, inclusion and a sense of belonging for all employees.
Despite the tech layoffs, hiring remains steady across the FMCG, retail, professional services, banking, industrial and manufacturing sectors. Furthermore, Monty also anticipates that talent management positions will continue to be in demand.
Some of the most sought after roles include officer managers and executive assistants, talent management and acquisition, as well as HR business partners. Companies seeking HR business partners will look specifically for talent with strong strategic experience and skillsets who can help organisations spearhead succession planning, change management, leadership and learning and development programmes that line up with business needs.
As always, soft skills are extremely important for the Human Resources & Business Support space. Candidates with leadership and people management skills, a solution-oriented and strategic mindset, strong communication and stakeholder management skills, and strong adaptability will stand out. Roles that are hybrid in nature will call for technical skills in data analytics, merge and acquisitions or project management.
“In the current market, candidates are looking for progression in terms of job scope, learning new skills, and gaining exposure to regional remits. Of course, as always, they are also looking and an increase in overall compensation,” Monty explains. “My advice to employers would be to provide employees with a stable environment and strong workplace culture, and benefits for better work-life balance. Employees are generally more loyal to companies with leaders that set a great example in terms of values, inclusivity and recognition.”
Always invest in the development of your employees and provide them with measured goals to achieve greater milestones in their career.
Salaries are expected to increase by 15% to 25% across most Human Resources positions.
Request access to our 2024 Salary Survey to benchmark salaries and to find out more about key hiring trends in the Human Resources & Business Support industry in Singapore.
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General management, Singapore
Monty has 12 years of recruitment experience, including 7 years in general management, across various markets such as Australia, China, Philippines, and Singapore.
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