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Top 10 HR trends in Singapore



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With more HR leaders increasingly included in high-level organisational strategic discussions, Adecco predicts 10 trends that will see the HR function influence and shape the business they work for in 2011.

Not only have HR leaders been tasked by the CEO to do more, they have also become a vital part of the company’s overall success as the war for talent intensifies in Singapore. HR professionals will continually be challenged to reduce cost, increase productivity and to ensure that their organisation is seen as an “employer of choice”. With these challenges in mind, Adecco has identified 10 trends that will influence HR professionals, talent strategies and the workplace dynamics in Singapore.

1. Understanding and appreciating Generation Y

While Generation X and Y make up the majority of employees in the workplace, Gen Y workers have very different aspirations and needs from Gen Xs and Baby Boomers. Gen Ys want to work in dynamic organisations and be led by inspirational visionary leaders. This is a demographic that thrives in environments where morale is high and colleagues are engaged in their work. Retaining Gen Y talent will be key to every organisation – especially during talent crunch times.

2. Talent retention strategies

As Singapore’s labour market improves and the pool of available talent reduces, HR professionals and managers will have to do all they can to support employee retention – especially for high performers and those in highly-strategic or traditionally difficult-to-fill roles.

3. Creative candidate sourcing

Over the past 15 years, online recruitment has widened an organisation’s ability to reach out to potential job candidates that previously may have not been possible by conventional job advertisement methods. Social media has taken hiring to even higher levels as employers connect with talent across many virtual platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and corporate blogs. Companies need to continue embracing online recruitment technologies to attract talent.

4. Outsourcing

Outsourcing continues to grow in popularity for companies that either want to focus on core business activities – leaving specialty areas to be outsourced – or for those that understand the cost savings and process benefits that can be achieved from utilising outsourcing partners. Adecco predicts that strategic Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) programmes will become more widely implemented by companies in Singapore next year.

5. Productivity and performance measurement

Employee productivity has been widely debated in Singapore this year as it has become crucial for organisations to measure workforce performance to achieve better business results. HR professionals will have to find effective ways of measuring employee performance and facilitating improvements where required.

6. Greater support for worklife balance

Employees are being tasked to do more than ever before – often in situations following a downsizing or elimination of a business function. The risk of workplace burnout continues to be high in many industries and types of job as many employees work longer hours than they previously did. HR has to ensure that companies have strategies in place to identify situations detrimental to an employee’s worklife balance or to the company in general. Health and wellbeing is now playing a key role in tomorrow’s metrics-orientated world.

7. Strategies for mature workers

People are living longer and subsequently working later in life to either cover increased retirement costs or for personal reasons. Adecco predicts that organisations will need to continue developing ways to attract and retain older workers – while ensuring that this demographic can be utilised in a mentoring and “passing on knowledge” capacity for younger, less experienced peers. Organisations that previously shunned older workers’ job applications will think twice and recognise the importance of this valuable talent pool.

8. The emergence of “Internal Recruiters”

As qualified talent becomes harder to identify in many sectors and job disciplines, recruiting will likely become a standalone function within more organisations. HR alone will be unable to effectively manage this function in addition to the many other areas in their portfolio. Organisations will increasingly look at outsourcing the hiring function to firms that can provide onsite staffing services and effective management of all hiring related activities.

9. Expansion of contract and flexible staffing arrangements

As many organisations move forward with “caution”, contract and temporary staff will continue to be a notable trend in Singapore. The key to successfully using contingent staffing arrangements would be how non-permanent employees are treated within the company – both from a work environment and respect perspective, as well as from performance expectations. Singapore currently lags behind North America and Central Europe with regards to utilising flexible workforces but it is fast realising the benefits of such arrangements.

10. Further development of home-grown talent

Singapore has almost a million foreign workers active in the workplace. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has made it clear in his recent 2010 National Day Rally speech that the country cannot continue its open door labour policy due to restrictions on space and resources. With immigration curbs now in place, it is essential that Singapore can independently develop the talent it needs to drive commerce forward. Adecco predicts that academic and government institutions will have greater responsibility in identifying and developing local talent.



Boost your team morale and showcase your team's achievements at the HR Excellence Awards. Benchmark yourself with the industry. View the categories and find out more.

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