Singaporean leaders' top concerns for 2020

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Singaporean leaders' top concerns for 2020

As we roll into 2020, managing change in a disruptive landscape remains a top concern for leaders in Singapore, based on the latest study.

Singaporean leaders will be facing plenty of challenges framed by the VUCA world, including global trade tensions, evolving challenges attached to digital transformation, and a highly competitive skills-short workforce.

Top on the list: Technology.

1. Technology continues to dominate
45% of Singaporean leaders highlight technological changes as one of their primary external concerns, according to Robert Half’s study.

As businesses go on a digital transformation journey, leaders say they face many hurdles in order to leverage the potential of tech opportunities.

This includes sourcing technically-skilled talent in a skill-short market and adapting and upskilling existing workforces to meet future business needs.

A failure to tap on tech’s potential will not only see businesses miss out on internal benefits, but also fall behind competitors.

READ MORE: Singapore leaders still unprepared for digital age

2. Volatile global business landscape
47% of Singaporean leaders consider economic uncertainty to be one of the top challenges that they will face in their role until 2020.

Global economic volatility, regional political turbulence, and uncertain trade policies underpinned by the US-China trade war have seen leaders take a cautious and wary view of their global growth outlook.

These concerns are made worse by uncertain forecasts for Singapore’s economy.

3. Managing change
As business leaders focus on leveraging tech advances, there is increasing pressure on organisational management to find ways to drive long-term change. The changes are also expected to be delivered quickly, with risks and regulations managed.

Leaders especially shared their concerns over the external threats of technological (45%) and regulatory changes (44%).

Leaders in different fields are faced with specific concerns. Robert Half found that:

  • CIOs most concerned over AI and machine learning (57%) and cyber-security threats (49%)
  • CFOs are concerned over managing and delivering growth (56%), and increasing regulatory issues (45%)

READ MORE: How to become a transformational leader

4. The worsening talent gap
Top concerns with talent management in today’s disruptive world include:

  • Improving productivity (40%)
  • Talent retention (32%)
  • Finding the right training for staff (32%)

“With demand for technical capabilities continuing to outpace supply in the local market, Singaporean businesses run the risk of falling behind due to a deepening talent gap that will impede business growth,” said Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director of Robert Half.

“The perfect pedigree of technically skilled, highly experienced candidates with excellent interpersonal skills is scarce, so employers need to think longer term about hiring for strong cultural fit and subsequently developing their workforce through training and skills development.

“Particularly in a skills-short market where competing companies actively poach talent, companies should continue to finetune robust staff attraction and retention programs.

“This should sit alongside a comprehensive professional development and training program to ensure their staff are equipped with the right skills to successfully tackle their company’s digital transformation efforts.”

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