The COVID-19 crisis has ushered in a new era in the world of work that is impacting both jobseekers and hiring organisations. Speaking on behalf of Hays consultants who are on the ground interacting with businesses and candidates every day, Grant Torrens, Regional Director of Hays Singapore shares 10 trends that are currently impacting recruitment in Singapore:

1)    Remote working is here to stay – In what is being called the world’s largest experiment in remote working, there is a growing sentiment in favour of working from home or flexible working options even beyond the crisis. “While some critical roles may still require a physical office space, the work life balance offered by flexible working has set a precedent for the months to come,” says Grant. It is likely that more businesses will explore these options on a permanent basis, or implement hybrid working models where 50% of staff can work remotely and the other in the office on a rotational basis. 

2)    Infrastructure sees hiring boom – “Roles that help to maintain critical infrastructure and networks such as network engineers or technical support are in high demand,” says Grant. “As more companies ramp up remote working capabilities for the long-term, system integrators and those with experience in migrating systems will also remain in demand.”

3)    Cyber security remains need of the hour – “The demand for cyber security job roles has surged in recent times as more companies move to cloud-based systems and servers that require digital protection. But despite growing demand, the market remains candidate short, making this an opportune time for professionals in this sector to make a move,” says Grant. 

4)    Businesses have adapted to new ways of working – When circuit breaker measures were first implemented in Singapore, many businesses went into crisis management mode with an internal focus on building tech infrastructure. “But now, businesses have quickly adapted to move away from the face-to-face model and into remote meetings and ways of working through emails and videoconferencing tools. More businesses are also looking into offshoring and moving their call centres to regions with low overhead costs like Malaysia or India,” says Grant. 

5)    Banking & Finance sees internal realignment – “Banking and Finance has seen a large wave of internal realignment, with many organisations taking a cautious ‘wait and watch’ approach across all business activity,” says Grant. “However, hiring for critical roles continues, with a renewed focus on local candidates as borders are likely to remain tightly controlled for some time to come. Fintech also continues to grow, with current hiring activity focused more on IT or data security related roles.”

6)    Continued demand for contract professionals – “Despite the economic slowdown, contracting activity has remained largely normal, with completed contracts coming up for renewal as per usual.,” says Grant. Alongside healthcare, medical, manufacturing and professional services, the retail sector is also seeing an increased demand for contractors as they attempt to recover their losses.”

7)    Life sciences continues to grow exponentially – “Apart from healthcare, affiliate life sciences sectors such as supply chain, nutrition and pharmaceuticals have continued to see sustained hiring activity, alongside affiliate manufacturing companies dealing with medical equipment or latex gloves,” says Grant.

8)    Internet giants expand across Asia – The e-commerce space saw a boom through the crisis, resulting in continued hiring activity. “Fast-growing China-based internet companies like Bytedance have also moved their headquarters to Singapore to continue their Asia expansion plans. This is a trend across internet giants who are hiring to supplement their expansion and investment into other regions across Southeast Asia,” Grant shares.

9)    Online learning on the rise – “The education sector has seen significant movement and development in online learning as a result of social distancing measures. This has been further accelerated by the Singapore government’s announcement that secondary school students will receive personal laptops or tablets by next year,” says Grant. The resulting buzz around the sector has it poised to see a hiring boom over the coming months. 

10)    Telecom industry solidifies growth – “The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in substantial growth for the telecom sector which has proved critical in enabling businesses and individuals to stay connected. This has resulted in increased hiring demand across the board, including the engineering, marketing, IoT, analytics and cloud technology functions,” says Grant. 

“While the recent period of crisis has been challenging for both job seekers and organisations alike, the direction of its resulting changes remains definitively positive. As we move towards a more digitalised workplace and expanded, hybrid ways of working, a key strategic priority for businesses in Singapore at this time should be to ensure their employees and managers are equipped with the right skills to not just adapt but thrive in the new world of work,” he concludes. 

For more information and tips on working or job hunting from home or managing teams remotely, please visit our Inspire Me Remotely content hubs or sign up for Hays Thrive, a free online training portal designed to help employers and teams in Singapore grow the skills they need to function effectively and thrive in the face of Covid-19.

About Hays Singapore

Hays Specialist Recruitment Pte Ltd, Singapore ("Hays Singapore") is one of Singapore's leading recruitment companies in recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people across a wide range of industries and professions.

Hays has been in Singapore for over a decade and boasts a track record of success and growth. We operate across the private and public sector, dealing in permanenttemporary and contracting positions in more than 15 different specialisms, including Accountancy & Finance, Banking & Financial Services, Digital Technology, Engineering, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Information Technology, Legal, Life Sciences, Marketing & Digital, Office Professionals, Procurement, Supply Chain and Sales. Hays Singapore was named the “Best Small Workplace” in Singapore in 2019 and 2018, and was ranked fourth “Best Multinational Workplace” in Asia 2020 by Great Place to Work®.

About Hays Plc

Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 30 June 2019 the Group employed 11,500 staff operating from 265 offices in 33 markets across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2019:

  • The Group reported net fees of £1,129.7 billion and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £248.8 million;
  • The Group placed around 81,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 254,000 people into temporary assignments;
  • 18% of Group net fees were generated in Australia & New Zealand, 27% in Germany, 23% in United Kingdom & Ireland and 32% in Rest of World (RoW);
  • The temporary placement business represented 57% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 43% of net fees;
  • Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA