Majority of Singapore firms hiring despite pandemic worries

More than half (56%) of companies in Singapore has been recently hiring or intending to hire new talent to meet their current business goals, even if three in five (61%) express pessimism about the current job market, according to a new survey report from NTUC Learning Hub.

The New Normal of Sector Skills report covered the views of 367 business leaders — senior managers or directors and higher — and 567 full-time employees working in Singapore.

The top three functions employers have been hiring or intending to hire for are IT and digital (45%), business operations (39%) and sales (29%).

When asked about their recruitment activities, 72% of employers say that it has been challenging to fill roles due to shortage of talent with the required skill set.

This was most apparent in those in the built environment (77%), manufacturing (76%) and essential domestic services (75%) industry clusters.

To plug skills gaps, employers say they have been upskilling employees with complementary skill sets (55%), reskilling employees (40%) to take on newly created roles, and proactively attracting local talents (40%) to join their workforce.

When asked about the functions which employees are looking to move to in order to secure a stable job and career, the Top 3 functions were leadership and management (39%), business operations (32%) and administrative (30%).

Also, two-thirds (66%) of employees feel the need to upgrade their skills to move to another industry that may be more resilient.

About one third (31%) of the respondents are open to moving into the healthcare industry, while 23% are open to moving to biopharmaceuticals manufacturing and 21% are open to moving to infocomm technology. Among this group of respondents, employees from the built environment and trade & connectivity industry clusters feel the strongest need to move to another industry.

“Digital adoption and business transformation will continue to accelerate across industries, prompting employers to actively re-assess the talent pool they need in order to navigate the new economy,” said Eugene Wong, Chairman of NTUC LHUB.

“It is heartening that more employers now see the value in upskilling and reskilling their employees, and many are also ramping up their efforts to attract our local talent pool, said Wong. “This signifies a bright spot for individuals who are reassessing their career paths, and they can leverage upskilling and reskilling resources to capture opportunities in these areas.”