Recruitment Challenges in Singapore – How Technology Can help

Recruitment, by all accounts, is an overwhelming process, riddled with barriers and complications. Lack of competent candidates, time and space constraints, industry-specific nuances and requirements, etc., are among the issues that prevent organisations from hiring quality people.

Singapore’s highly competitive and dynamic market, a landscape rife with opportunities, serves to highlight the need for employers to stay ahead of the curve. Faced with a high demand for talent and low supply, firms are in this race against the time – in search of the perfect candidate. But how do they go about achieving this goal?

Technology seems to be the answer.

What does technology bring to the table? What benefits can it yield for organisations? How can it level the playing field and ensure that companies get what they desire in times of need? Questions like these are driving an unprecedented change in the recruitment industry and how employers conduct their business.

Recruitment Challenges in Singapore 

With a view to offering some answers, this article embarks on an analysis of recruitment challenges in Singapore. The following sections discuss the nature of these issues and examine how technology can help alleviate them.

Lack of Gender Diversity

As per the data released by Council for Board Diversity, women’s participation on boards reached 19.7% on Jan 1, 2022. In December 2020, participation accounted for 17.6%, which is undoubtedly an encouraging sign for inclusivity and gender equality. 

Further examination of the figures reveals that the developed countries average 27% for the representation of women on boards. It’s noteworthy, though, that the small sample size might plague the above figures. 

However, female participation across hierarchies in Singapore still lags far behind the figure for men. Many factors such as misconceptions about gender roles, a lack of equal work opportunities, societal prejudices, patriarchal tendencies, and so on contribute to this gap. 

Such hindrances prevent organisations from tapping into the otherwise highly untapped talent pools. However, the good thing is that companies quickly realise how diversity helps fuel innovation, tackle challenges, and boost overall performance.

In fact, the Singapore council has set targets to improve the number of women on corporate boards to 25% by 2025 — definitely something to look forward to. 

Getting Hold of Competent Candidates at the Right Time

This, by far and large, is the biggest hurdle that companies face when recruiting talent. Recruitment, in most cases, follows a scouting-based approach, where employers focus their attention on specific industries, markets, or sectors. 

But what happens when the talent pool gets shallow? 

Typically, at this point, companies take a very different approach to the problem, which invariably involves widening the scope of their search, leaning on more human resources, and paying premium fees for their services. 

Then there’s competition. For example, candidates often have multiple offers to choose from, and organisations need to put their best foot forward. Employers have to figure out what qualifications or skills the talented individuals seek and work on aligning their position with these requirements.

Pandemic’s Impact

When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in Q1 2020, recruitment practices changed drastically. Hiring freezes, reduced compensation, and uncertainty among employees in Singapore became the norm. 

The short-term impact of the pandemic on businesses included high retrenchment and unemployment. “As organisations went into survival mode, recruitment activity was almost non-existent,” says Nurhuda Syed, former editor of HRD Asia

The long-term impact of the pandemic can be easily gauged from the fact that organisations had to wholly rethink their recruitment strategies and approach them in a completely different manner. 

The new recruitment model involves employers and recruiters engaging with candidates at a much deeper level than before. They need to set their policies straight about the nature of work (remote, hybrid, full-time) and how to manage the engagement process. 

A positive thing that has come out of this episode is that it has helped organisations understand the importance of career nurturing and developing talent. The emphasis is now more on the “potential” of the candidates than it has ever been, and institutions are taking strides to ensure that all professionals are upskilled.

Rules and Regulations 

In recent years, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has made it imperative to adhere to a certain proportion of local talent employment. In order to adhere to this quota, companies have been forced to go through stringent processes. 

The local talent shortage compounds the problem. A survey of 1,500 businesses across APAC by Persolkelly revealed that Singapore’s biggest recruitment challenge is the lack of local talent at its disposal compared to other developing nations. 

Often, companies want to hire foreign talent, but that isn’t without its complications. The employers need to take care of the visa challenges and also work towards employment passes. All in all, the process is considerably time-consuming and doesn’t complement the idea of maintaining the required ratio of local talent.

The Solution Lies in Technology – X0PA’s AI Recruiter

All the challenges mentioned above call for a change in recruitment practices — and the answer can be found in AI. Here’s more elaboration on how this technology can help overcome the multi-faceted hurdles. 

  • Inclusive Hiring: X0PA AI Recruiter curbs biases by 80% – thanks to its ethically charged algorithmic and analytical approach to candidate vetting. It takes a scientific approach to understanding candidates and creating a pool of competent and compatible hires. 
  • Swift Hiring: By standardising and subsequently improving workflow automation, the AI Recruiter can expedite and streamline decision-making processes. The technology automatically accelerates recruitment workflows, which further boosts hiring efficiency. This, in turn, reduces the overall recruitment cost and opens avenues for companies to acquire the right talent at the right time. 
  • Candidate Recommendations: Pushing up the “strong fits” candidates as recommended hires, the X0PA AI Recruiter seamlessly brings together the best candidate profiles and talent pools. This is possible thanks to its AI-powered retargeting.

Liked what you read? Try out X0PA AI Recruiter and see for yourself.

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