Hiring managers facing talent shortage: How are they plugging the gaps?

Skills shortage in Singapore means hiring managers are having to find new ways to fill vacancies

Singapore hiring managers are facing a challenge in finding skilled candidates to fill roles, as the gap between supply and demand widens – particularly in areas such as compliance and anti-money laundering, a new report has found.

Faced with the difficulty of finding skilled candidates, companies are increasingly moving staff across from other functions to fill roles that are in high demand as an interim solution, the Hays Quarterly Report found.

Companies are also stepping up training and development of current employees to improve skills and help plug the gaps.

“Moving existing employees from other functions provides HR an opportunity to gain insights from the ground, as these employees have deep knowledge of the organisation and business priorities,” Lynne Roeder, managing director, Hays in Singapore, told HRD.

“These existing employees would have assimilated well with the company culture, and have established a professional network with different functions while in their previous role, hence reducing the risk of potential turnover and shorten on-boarding training.”

While internal transfers may be a good way to retain key talent who are seeking new challenges, Roeder added that the strategy may not be ideal in the long term.

And the challenge in finding and retaining skilled candidates looks set to continue, Roeder said, explaining that the continued tightening of labour regulations in Singapore meant that the talent shortage was likely to remain in the long run.

In terms of opportunities for HR professionals themselves, the indications are that there is a good offering, despite the issues the market faces.

“We have also seen increasing number of contract openings from companies, and willingness from candidates to take up such role, indicating a healthy job market for HR professionals overall,” Roeder said.

Ultimately, Roeder explained, it is crucial for employers to look internally to develop and up-skill their existing HR function, given employees placing high value on such opportunities and progression.

“Hiring, developing and knowledge transfer from within will play a major role in alleviating such skills shortage in the long run.”

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