it's time to take a bold and creative leap in sourcing

June 18, 2015 Jim Stroud


Randstad Sourceright's Jim Stroud shares his views on sourcing and finding talent in Singapore’s tight labor market

Randstad Sourceright’s global sourcing expert Jim Stroud recently visited Singapore, where he spoke at Sourcing Summit Asia. In this Q&A, he shares his thoughts on why HR and recruitment leaders must take a bolder and more creative approach in sourcing to find the best talent for their business.

What are some key trends in the Singapore recruitment and HR space that you noticed on your recent trip?

Singapore’s low unemployment rate of 1.9% makes the local labor market an employees’ market. Companies in Singapore are also faced with high talent mobility, an aging, workforce and, as with companies all over the globe, are now having to revise their recruitment and retention strategies to manage a more diverse multi-generational workforce as Generation Z enters the workplace. I also see a trend in conservatism across most industries as it relates to innovation in recruitment. It seems that most companies are grasping to caution despite the pains of complacency. I think everyone is waiting for someone else to make the first move so they can have the safety of a proven model, rather than taking a leap of faith. Whoever has the boldness to do something different will be the de facto leader in recruitment, setting the standard for others to follow.

How can Singapore employers capitalize on the tight labor market?

Particularly in a tight labor market, a strong employer brand differentiates companies from their competitors and helps them stand out as an employer of choice. It also makes employers more attractive, particularly those that do not offer the highest salaries but can offer other benefits that employees want, including better work-life balance, training opportunities or fast-tracked career pathways. Companies can also seek talent outside of their industry by considering what skills are transferable and training candidates. For example, some key skills required to be successful in banking are intellect, ability to work under pressure, a global outlook, language skills, and a talent for diplomacy. These are also attributes that an ESL teacher working abroad would have. Why not recruit such a person based on these transferable skills, then fund their education under the condition that they agree to work with you for a period of time?

What recruitment strategies could Singapore companies adopt to find the best talent?

Asian countries including Singapore need to catch up with their global counterparts in terms of utilizing social media and mobile apps to attract talent. Singaporeans spend more than two hours each day using social media, so it is a missed opportunity if HR is not including the following channels as part of their sourcing and recruitment efforts.

It’s important to tap into rapidly growing digital platforms such as YouTube to promote employer brands and source talent, particularly as Gen Z starts to enter the workforce. The numbers speak for themselves: people are watching six billion hours of YouTube videos each month, and this number is soaring by 50% annually.

Mobile recruitment apps
Poachable, Poacht, and Switch are some of the apps taking off in the U.S. There is an opportunity for companies to develop and use these types of mobile applications here.

LinkedIn allows its users to embed videos, PowerPoints and documents into their profile. Companies could leverage these options to make the LinkedIn profiles of their recruiters into a mini-career site, sharing employment brand information and bulk job opportunities with anyone who visits their LinkedIn profile.

Data analytics
Companies also need to expand the talent pool by tapping into passive talent – those not actively looking for new employment opportunities who make up a massive 70% of Singapore’s labor market. Utilizing data analytics is one way to identify passive talent. With data analytics, companies are able to build a competitive intelligence database on their rivals and help them personalize every approach for better candidate engagement.

What are some opportunities for HR and recruitment professionals in Singapore?

Data analytics will play a critical role in future sourcing, enabling employers to analyze the hiring habits of competitors, identify talent, and predict their future behavior. With data analytics, companies can plan ahead, find the best talent, and fill their roles with the right fit in the shortest time. In addition, as employees increasingly value international experience in their portfolio, employers can use this as a talent engagement tool and incorporate it into their employer brand, with assignments in different geographies being a big motivator for employees looking to develop skills and boost their careers. Employers will also benefit from the new skills and experiences their internal talent gains across different geographies and cultures.


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