Finding it difficult to find the right talents? You are not alone.

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In a recent survey of SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) business leaders across Asia to analyse how SMEs are responding to global challenges and opportunities almost two years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, SMEs in Singapore are echoing a similar sentiment that it is challenging to hire or find replacements compared to just a year ago. Nearly half of the SMEs in Singapore find it difficult to deal with the Great Resignation, a recently coined term to describe an unprecedented wave of resignations in the labour market and enduring shortages of workforce.

This acute shortage of workforce for SMEs in the recovery phase post pandemic has a snowball impact on the ability for the SMEs to digitally transform and thrive, and puts SMEs on the backfoot of recovery.

On the talent acquisition front, the stats are equally bleak ; Based on the latest job vacancy report published by the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore hit its 10 year high in terms of unmet manpower demand, with the job vacancy to unemployed person ratio at 2.42.

Job vacancy statistics, Ministry of Manpower, 17 June 2022

Wait, but why?

The top internal challenge in the immediate term echoed by the SMEs was retaining and attracting talents.

The impact of the Great Resignation on digital transformation in APJ SMEs, SAP Apr 2022

Credit source: The impact of the Great Resignation on digital transformation in APJ's SMEs, SAP Apr 2022

On the surface, the Great Resignation may befuddle many; Jobs are plentiful, even for sectors previously hard hit by the pandemic, but instead of meeting with a wave of applicants, you see an avalanche of resignations. Where are the talents going and why are they leaving in droves?

Is more money simply the answer to talent retention? Not quite, either!

In a recent survey of Singapore-based professionals and their bonus expectations for 2022, while 50% of the surveyed respondents have positive expectations of receiving a bonus this year, and 80% of the surveyed respondents have already gotten a salary increment this year. Clearly, there is strong effort put in by organisations to retain their workforce, despite the challenging double headwinds of global uncertainty and rising costs.

Perhaps the most surprising fact revealed through the survey, was that nearly half of the surveyed respondents would gladly trade in a bigger bonus for remote working arrangements to stay. In addition, as perhaps a foreshadowing of the bonus effectiveness in retaining the workforce, only 2/3 of respondents said that they are satisfied enough to stay with the company for the next 6 months. Meanwhile, Indeed Singapore, has also recently reported a 72-per-cent increase in searches for positions based overseas from jobseekers based in Singapore.

Clearly the grounds of what constituted as an ideal job and job satisfaction have shifted tectonically over the course of the pandemic, and throwing more money at the problem isn't the right (or sustainable!) solution either.

Credit source:

So what gives?

In the face of these disturbing revelations for talent acquisition professionals, what are some actions that you can take?

While it is probably futile to attempt reversing the twinned trends of job expectation shifts and worsening shortage of skilled manpower, it might be a far better bet to equip your talent acquisition team with the right tools in anticipation of some serious hustling in the talent marketplace.

TLDR; You might not be able to stem the flow, but you can build up a talent pipeline for your organisation and here are some battle-tested tips garnered from some of the best mavericks in the industry.

Show Up Where It Matters

When jobseekers embark on a new job search, you want to be rightfully represented and reminded of (in a positive light of course) wherever their job search takes them. So, where do jobseekers typically go when they are zoning in on job opportunities and researching the job scope, remuneration, culture fit in relation to the job role and the organisation?

No prizes for guessing, especially if you are on a job search yourself (***Shhhh****) :

Glassdoor + Indeed ; The go-to for inside information about salary and jobs

Glassdoor is the worldwide leader on insights about jobs and companies, and promises an inside scoop on companies with employee reviews, salary benchmarking and more. In Singapore, the combined reach of Glassdoor and Indeed clocks an impressive 2.5 million visits per month, an unparalleled reach than any job portal. Indeed is the World's #1 job site as well, and perhaps a lesser known fact is that the two platforms are actually integrated to maximise and craft targeted outreach to the right talents.

Be omnipresent, in a good light

The discovery process of having the jobseekers with the skillsets you need to be aware of the job opportunities available in your organisation is a science, with factors that you can actively tweak in your favour, of course. The general idea is that at any possible corner of the internet world where the ideal jobseeker is, your organisation (with its glorious job opportunities of course) are right there in waiting. But how could you achieve this level of omnipresence, if you are a very lean talent acquisition team (read: Lone Ranger)?

Uh… Can it be automated? Yes, there's an app for that and you are at the right place.

Can the thankless job of having your job postings on popular portals be automated?

We hear you, and the answer is : Absolutely (and you should, even if you are a member of a large talent acquisition team)!

RecruiterPal, as your recruitment management system, is crafted to empower you to do exactly that. We enable you in a matter of clicks, syndicate your job opportunities to reach out to your target job communities and job portals effortlessly through our job portal partners. :)

If you would like to see this in action, you can easily get a free trial with us here.

'Any publicity is good publicity' doesn't apply to talents

Of course, attention can cut both ways; Your organisation could be viewed by millions of jobseekers, but if the reviews by your ex or current employees are less than savoury, then there is a good chance that applicants would shy away from applying to your organisation. Just how important is a good employer score on Glassdoor anyway, you say? Well, quite - More than HALF of the jobseekers who came across a negative Glassdoor review of the organisation would not apply.

Make Your Employer Brand work for you

Here are some tips from Shannon Pang, Indeed, on creating a winning employer brand:

Know your competition

In today's world, there are few competitions for talent that are as fierce or intense as it is for technically-skilled professionals. If your talent acquisition efforts are also focused on getting technically skilled professionals and you find yourself squarely in the midst of a boxing ring, it would help to know your competitor inside-out to stand a chance at emerging victorious in the war for talent.

Embarking on talent attraction efforts without a clear view of the competition is like throttling into a minefield blindsided; The recruiters need to keep abreast of the latest trends, remuneration packages , job opportunities that are out there, and benchmark actively to ensure that the organisation's job opportunities / offerings remain attractive to prospective talents.

But insights like these would be hard to come by, isn't it?

A typical conversation between hiring managers and HR

Intel that you need to suss out the competition - Indeed Insights (Powerful, yet free)

Imagine all the things you were curious about ; What are the keywords that your target job seekers search for when they look for a job, which organisations do they tend to look at, how well do the target jobseekers respond to your job opportunities as opposed to the key competitors, and recommendations for your next job ad campaign laid out neatly for you in a data report that you could submit directly to your management team. Other than sounding like you are submitting your homework done by someone else, you get this difficult piece of homework done for you at absolutely no cost. Yes, you read that right. Free.

As part of the RecruiterPal's partnership with Indeed, clients that advertise on Indeed job portal (which also syndicates the job postings to Glassdoor at no additional cost) are also supported by a dedicated client success team that can generate the data insights for you (monthly / quarterly) when you review your job ad campaign effectiveness. Get data insights on the jobseekers you are interested in easily and data-backed recommendations to enhance your job ad campaigns easily.

This article is crafted specially for you in partnership with Indeed

Indeed is the #1 job site in the world with over 250 million unique visitors every month.