Singapore recruiters hit hard by hiring costs, onboarding challenges: report

Employers urged to adopt 'holistic approach' to address problems

Singapore recruiters hit hard by hiring costs, onboarding challenges: report

Employers across Singapore are being urged to take a "holistic approach" to recruitment and retention amid growing challenges faced by hiring managers.

A new report from Employment Hero found that expenses related to the recruitment process is starting to weigh heavily among hiring managers across the city-state.

The challenges also don't stop at recruitment, as employers also report a significant number of new hires who don't make it past the initial six months after hiring.

Ben Thompson, CEO and co-founder of Employment Hero, said the report shows the "complexities" of hiring across Singapore.

"Rising costs, longer hiring cycles, and the struggle to retain talent during the crucial probationary period are hurdles hiring managers face daily," Thompson said in a statement. "To address these shifts, businesses need to adopt a holistic approach to hiring and retention – one that includes using technology to streamline and improve the hiring and employee onboarding process."

Long recruitment cycle

According to the report, businesses across Singapore are suffering from extended recruitment period, but short retention time among new hires.

It found that Singapore takes an average of 41 days to fill a position, the lengthiest recruitment period among the nations involved in the report.

This length is also just days short of the global average of 44 days, an all-time high according to the Global Talent Climate report from Josh Bersin Company and the AMS.

But even with an extended recruitment period, the Employment Hero report found that 19% of successful candidates pass probation or remain in their roles beyond the initial six months.

Nearly a quarter of Singaporean hiring managers (23%) said this contributes to the escalating costs related to recruitment.

Yuan Rui, Talent Acquisition Specialist (SEA) at Employment Hero, said reducing this turnover starts at the interviewing process.

"Nothing beats a clearly defined job description that matches with what the candidates are seeking for," Rui said in the report. "The relationship and cultural touch points with the hiring manager also sets the foundation of a healthy work relationship, which translates to a better onboarding and training experience."

"This leads to a better new hire experience and overall employee happiness."

Growing recruitment costs

In addition to onboarding challenges, hiring managers said key factors driving increasing recruitment expenses include:

  • Higher salaries driven by the rising cost of living (52%)
  • Labour shortages (37%)
  • Escalating expenses of job board postings and recruiter fees (32%)

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore are most affected by such factors, where 81% agreed that expenses related with job boards are a significant barrier for them.

Nearly all hiring leaders from SMEs added that their recruitment challenges include their inability to match competitive salaries (97%) and provide comparable perks (96%).

These rising costs of recruitment are creating a "significant disadvantage" for local SMEs, according to Kevin Fitzgerald, Managing Director, Asia, at Employment Hero.

"SMEs contribute to 70% of Singapore's labour force – so it is crucial to ensure they have access to seamless recruitment processes and equal opportunities to attract and retain the best candidates," Fitzgerald said in a statement.

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