COVID-19 has driven demand for digital and technology talent globally in 2020, beginning with candidates that could enable remote working, such as professionals with IT infrastructure and cloud-based skills, and moving into demand for data and cybersecurity skillsets.
Similar movement has been noted in Singapore, where digital transformation has become a priority for organisations across industries, leading the demand for cloud professionals and dev-ops as more companies move to rapidly develop new applications and software. With technology talent currently in shortage, organisations in Singapore must refine their attraction strategies now more than ever if they are to hire top tech talent in this competitive market.
James Milligan, Global Head of Technology for Hays, commented on this by saying, “Organisations need to understand what their value proposition is. It is key that they are transparent and can clearly articulate what they want. They also need to make the process easy and as quick as possible, and ensure they haven’t created barriers in there, because that quite often leads to candidates, particularly those with technical skills, dropping out.”
Writing for the latest issue of the Hays Journal , he outlines three key areas that organisations should consider when recruiting technology talent:
1. Recruitment processes need to keep evolving
“To be successful in their hiring in this highly competitive market, businesses have had to evolve their processes quickly. Most companies had some sort of video platform, but adoption was poor, generally speaking. COVID-19 made it a necessity because everyone was working remotely, so you had that accelerated transformation, which increased adoption very quickly,” says James.
“The next challenge was around onboarding. Many companies don’t have a cohesive remote onboarding process where they can bring somebody into a business in a non-physical way. Luckily, technology companies, or technology departments, move in quite an agile way, they are almost always the early adopters of these changes. They’re familiar with the technology and they’re advocates of it. On the whole, though, COVID-19 has accelerated cultural change in non-native digital organisations.”
2. It’s worth searching outside of your usual talent pools
“Organisations have become much more flexible in the geographies they will hire from. We have helped a company recently that was willing to look for candidates within three time zones. They are tapping into a much broader pool of talent. We’re starting to see this trend more frequently,” says James.
“What remains to be seen is what will happen over the next six to 18 months, and whether this has become the norm or if these placements are outliers within the market. My instincts tell me that, in tech, we’re going to see an awful lot more talent placed that is not linked to the geography of the office that they’re ‘based in’.”
3. Organisations will need to take time to reflect
“Organisations have moved quickly and will want to go back and revisit what they did earlier in 2020 to make sure it’s robust. They are looking at a new hybrid world where employees work both from home and in the office. Strategically, they must make sure that they are in a position where they can continue to operate and thrive,” says James.
“This move to hybrid working is likely to mean an acceleration in digital transformation and that means that technology professionals with legacy skillsets will need to retrain to make sure that they have the skills required in this new world.”
“Finally, all organisations need to consider what this means for new entrants to the workforce. A large part of learning how to be effective in the world of work comes from observation, being mentored and getting real-time feedback. Organisations that have shifted to a remote model will need to consider how to manage this,” James concludes.
Adding to this in the Asian context, Edmond Pang, Regional Director, Shanghai & Suzhou, Hays China said, “Our annual salary guide survey shows that career progression is the number one factor for technology candidates seeking new opportunities. Having a vision and being able to articulate how a candidate’s role contributes to the bigger picture is important to share with them during interviews.”
Read the full article and other global insights on the ever-changing world of work in the latest edition of the Hays Journal.
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
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