The impact of COVID-19 on hiring within supply chain and procurement in Singapore has been mixed. While sectors like Oil & Gas have turned cautious and paused their hiring and expansion plans, others like e-commerce have seen a boom and continue to expand aggressively. Overall, as companies resume work, demand for goods and services has gradually started to pick up alongside accelerated digital transformation, resulting in more hiring opportunities.

Hiring gradually resumes

These are some of the findings from The Inside Story of Singapore, a monthly regional recruitment analysis undertaken by global recruitment expert Hays. Focusing on the supply chain & procurement sector, the analysis found that while the COVID-19 crisis has severely disrupted the supply chain, the sector is recovering as Singapore enters Phase 2 of the circuit breaker and more businesses resume operations. Roles that were previously put on hold have also resumed hiring, but most hiring continues to be largely on a replacement basis.

Digital skills increasingly critical

A major trend observed has been a push for digitalisation and automation within supply chain and procurement. For supply chain this has translated into a demand for knowledge of how software like SAP and JDA work for inventory and prepare for demand in a more efficient way. Another skill in high demand is that of data analytics, with more companies looking for people who can process data and make the supply chain flow more efficiently.

Procurement has also seen increased automation, with most procurement companies, especially commercial ones like banks, fintech or tech companies, using P2P platforms for their suppliers. While this is cost effective in the long run, it is a form of automation that reduces the need for human resources. The need now is for professionals with experience using these systems and the ability to read numbers and data.

Upskilling is the need of the hour

Demand for supply chain optimisation competencies like Lean Six Sigma certifications, and KAIZEN are also on the increase as efficiency has never been more important to the manufacturing industry than now. This is especially true in Singapore, where higher costs of doing business place many manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage with global counterparts in places like China, India, and Indonesia. Another growing area of interest is that of edge computing, analytics and Internet of Things (IoT). Big data analytics is playing an instrumental role in improving supply chain management, while the rise of edge computing – where data is processed and analysed close to its collection point – coincides with the proliferation of IoT devices. Candidates would be more likely to set themselves apart in a competitive market by upskilling themselves and getting certified in these areas.

Grant Torrens, Regional Director of Hays Singapore commented, “As circuit breaker measures soften and more businesses resume work, impacted sectors like Manufacturing are starting to see more opportunities. However, companies are cautious about hiring the right fit who can help them stay prepared and equipped to deal with any further challenges down the line. This has made it more critical than ever for supply chain and procurement professionals top stay competitive and ahead of the curve. With the market expected to remain soft for some time, the government has been partnering with companies to help candidates upskill and remain employed through employer support schemes. I would recommend any professionals impacted by the pandemic to use this time to upskill themselves using these schemes and continue attending interviews so they can stay competitive in the market.”

To read the full Inside Story of Supply Chain & Procurement in Singapore, please click here

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 permanent, temporary 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

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 Australia and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe, Latin America and Asia. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 30 June 2020 the Group employed c.10,400 staff operating from 266 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2020:

  • the Group reported net fees of £996.2 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £135.0 million;
  • the Group placed around 66,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 235,000 people into temporary roles;
  • 17% of Group net fees were generated in Australia & New Zealand, 26% in Germany, 23% in United Kingdom & Ireland and 34% in Rest of World (RoW);
  • the temporary placement business represented 59% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 41% of net fees;
  • IT is the group’s largest specialism, with 25% of net fees, while Accountancy & Finance (15%) and Construction & Property (12%), are the next largest
  • Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, 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