6 feature THE 2008 WHO SGOINGWHERE Analysts predict significant staff movements

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6 feature THE 2008 WHO SGOINGWHERE Analysts predict significant staff movements Powered By Docstoc
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         Analysts predict significant staff movements and new appointments across almost all industry
       sectorsin the yeaxof the Rat. With such continued demand- the questfor talent looks set to remain

                                             By SheenahHamid

             ISS E                    

            ingapore employers continue to aggressively seek           on most employer of choice score cards, and no strangers to
            new talent into 2008.And if any proof was required         putting their money into their comp & benefits packages, the
            you need not look far for reports to substantiate          sector ranks highly as a desired industry for many potential
            what many of us are experiencing and know all too          employees and fresh graduates alike. Commenting Annie Yap,
well already. The l atestManpower EnlploymentOutlook Suntey            CEO of the GMP Group/ says/ "ln recent years, as Singapore
(Q1/2008) revealed that, ot t}:..e   736 employers interviewed,        steadily retums to pre-Asian crisis economic highs, the banking
a substantial 45% aim to increase their headcount during the           and finance sectors have seen the best pay rises and bonuses.
first quarter alone.                                                   Coupled with their association with prestigious addresses, the
    Employers in the public administration and education               sector impresses upon job seekers a certain brand of glamour,
sectors report the biggest hunger for new talent, with                 especially amongst fresh graduates, who have more liberty
70% looking to expand staff numbers in Q1. An inevitable               of choice. A graduate survey done by JobsFactory earlier this
consequence of having to meet the demand caused by increased           year showed that among the top 10 most preferred employers,
enrolments in training institutions and leaming centres. Next          seven were barlks or financial institutions. The sector's higher
on the talent hunger list is the finance, insurance arld real estate   pay rises and bonuses are an effect of fimrs trying to attract and
sectors(67%plan to gobble up new recruits in Q1). Even54% of           retain employees in an environment fuelled by high demand
manufacturers stated they were aiming to increaseheadcount             and expansionary exercises."
in the Q1 short term.                                                     But not all industries are able to attract candidates in a
                                                                       similar fashion. For example, the manuJacturing industry faces
Industry Employment Outlook                                            a completely different set of recruihnent challenges. "We are
Although high on the hunger list banks are one of the best             experiencing many job candidates for manufactudng moving
equipped to meet their talent requirements. Ranking high               to the services sector. Manufachrring companies that operate

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      on a smaller scaleare becoming more open to nor-tJocals fill to        Evelvn Teo, managing director, Headstart tells HRM that
      positions in a bid to reduce turnover rates," she shares.          while they have seen banking and finance sector enjoying
           CK Goh Rosa, country manager, Manpower Staffing               tremendous growth the past year, the manufacturing
      Servicesagreeswith Yap. "Compared to the banking and               sector may not necessadlv be a big loser in terms of career
      finance industry, manufacturing appears lower in hiring; this      opportunities compared to the banking and finance sector.She
      trend can be seen from previous quarters of the Manpower           says,"Therewill alwaysbe demand for caldidates with specific
      Employment Outlook Survey (Q407:Finance,Insurance& Real technical expertise or skill setseven witltin the manufacturing
      Estate: 70% to Manufactudng 39%; Q108: Finance, Insurance sector. In addition, candidates who are mobile and open to
      & Real Estate:67% to Manufacturing 54%). However, that             relocation to other countdes, will find wider career options
      does not equate to manufacturing losing out in the market, as and better job oppodunities. This is frue for the banking and
      manufacturing will continue to play a vital role in Singapore, linance candidates as well. We have been helping our clicnts
      especially in the biomedical industry and ir.rthe R&D area of      source candidates from Southeast Asia, such as Singapore
      exDertise,"she feels.                                              and Malaysia to take up positions in North Asia, especially
           Exp ar . r ding f ur t her o n
      the concern, Pernille Storm,
      director,Accounth& Banking
      & Fi n a nc e, S ingapo re ,
      Hu d so n, s ay s , " W it h th e           "We are experiencing        manyjob candidates manufacturing
      Si n g a p or e      ec onomy
      e xp a n d ing by m or e th a n
                                                  movingto the servicessector.Manufacturing                   companies      that
      7% 1n 2007 and estimated to                  operateon a smallerscaleare becomingmoreopento non-
      expand by around 5% in 2008,                    localsto fill positionsin a bid to reduceturnoverrates"
      it is clear that throughout the
      different industry sectors                                      AnnieYap,CEOof the GMPGroup
      t h e re w ill be m ov eme n t
      of talent. The fact that the
      banking and finance sector is
      expanding its workforce by
      thousands of jobs, the additional manpower - especially HR         China ar.rdHong Kong. As candidates with certain required
      staff - to handle everything from resourcing to onboarding to      qualifications and experience are in short supply, those who
      compensation and benefits,etc.,will have to be recruited from      have the relevant skill setsare highly sought after, particularlv
      other industries."                                                 if they have the relevant language skills (e.g. Mandarin)."
          She adds it is difficult to predict whether or not most of the     However, some like Victor Lai, head of BusinessDevelopnent,
      supply will come mainly from the manufactudng industrv.            Achieve Croup of Cornpanies seemsto think both Banking &
      However, it is likely to be more attractive for employeesin this   Finance and Manufacturing sectors have been very active in
      sectorto look outside their industry for opportunities. Therehas   terms of staff expansionin 2007.He believesgaowth is expected
      beena trend that labour-intensivemanufacfuring industries are to continue into 2008but likely to be at a slower pace.
      moving their plants to other regional countries a]]d thus, over        He offers the following analysis, "Within the Banking &
      the coming years, there may be a job shortagein that sector.       Finance sector, Equity Capital Markets, M&A and Private
          FlorenceNg, managing director, Micl.rael   PageIntemational,   Bankir.rgwill experience stronger growth. The shortage of
      Singapore affirms, "December is usually a quiet month butwe        talent in these areaswill be made up by the increaseint1or,r,  of
      have seer.r lot of hiring activity in banking and finance, and     banking ar.rdfinance professionals from the US / Europe or
      we seeit progressively stepping up inJan after bonus payout."      even China / lndia where Mandarin and Hindi speakers are
      On the other hand, Ng feelshiring in the manufacturing sector required in the private banking / wealth nanagement related
      continues to slow down and agrees with Storm on rrore              ope{ations." Adversely, observes Lai, Debt Capital Markets
      manufacturing activity lnovint out of Singapore into low           and Credit related business operations are expected to slow
      cost countries such as China. "However, there are also some clown quite significantly. He savs some financial institutions
      new entrants irl Singapore in the area of high-end, value-add      are already cutting credit staff while others are trying their
      manufactudng, for example in areas like phanna/healthcare          bcst to convert theln into other areas such as equities. Lai
      and technology/electronics."                                       explains for the manufacturing sector, the major growth

HRM :;UP Fi\'l:l{IllSll i 8.1                                 w w w

driver for 2008 will come from the Pharmaceutical, Medical       unemployment to 7.7o/' as reported. Job seekers are more
Devices and Biotechnology companies. "This year, global          selectivewithjob offers and are more den.unding in negotiating
companies including Abbott, GSK Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis, salary packages. It will be a good time to invest in training
and Genentechhave already openedplants here.The conthued         the mature workforce to narrow the gap of talent shortages,"
growth will be supported by a strong base of electronics and     says CK Goh.
precision engineering companies, as well as world class air and     The employment crunch that peryades almost every industry
seafreight logistics services.                                   makes hiring an arduous task. The situation in the banking and
   I^hile the growth prospect for Electronics Manufacturing      financesectoris further exacerbated the fact thatjob functions
will remain sluggish, in the long rurl Singapore will facefierce within the industry are highly specialised."Ctossovets even
competition from China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia          amongst specialisation in different genres are generally not
mainly due to their relatively low labour costs and aggressive preferred becauseof retraining that is needed.For example, an
government incentive programmes."                                employer who is looking to fill a position of commodities broker
   He adds that the scarcity of talent is forcing employers      will have more reseryatlons about hiring an equities broker.
in Singapore to go global in
search for middle and senior
executives. This also means
companies have to come up                 "Manpowerhas beenplacingthousandsof candidates year                     a
with more aggressive and                   in the Bankingand Financeindustry,in-countryand cross
innovative staff development
and retention schemes.
                                         borderas well.Thesejobs rangefrom professional contract             to
                                          positionsnfrom front end to backend.Therehas beenan
Talent Crunch - The                   increasein hiring in 2007- almosta 40%increment compared
Challenge of Keeping                      to 2006- and we expectthis growthto continuein 2008"
Them at Home
S o w h a t a r e s om e of t h e                           CK Goh Rosa,country manager,       Manpower
measures headhunters and
c onsu l ta n ts ar e us ing to
resolve the mobility issue?
According to Storm of Hudson, the talent short market is           The nature ofbanking and financerequiresspecificexperiential
no longer a local challenge but a global one. This is maidy        knowledge that takes time to accumulate," saysYap.
created by foreign MNCs and SMEs setting up and expanding             To address this, an immediate remedy that companies are
inSingapore increasing the demand for talent which strips the      using is increasedsalary cost - the reason for the sector'shigh
rnarket and in hrrn makes it more competitive for companiesto      salary and high bonus. Yap says, however, it will not solve
hire. Shebelievesorganisationsneed tobe creative in attracting the problem in the long-run, as competitors are poaching
talent and cast a wider net, and be flexible in customising        frorn every direction, and partly, creating the environment
remuneratron packages that truly reflect what the candidate        for job seekersto fleet around. On a concluding note she says,
wants. "It is becoming more important for ernployees to            "Companies mustcomplete a good remuneration packagewith
have a worklife-balance and other benefits such as holidays,       good retention strategies like holistic benefits and improved
gym memberships, restaurant vouchers and other perks. In           HR policies. They must offer something extra to boost their
general, a culture of appreciation and constant career and self    en.rployerbranding." HRM
development for employees are likely to make their employers
an'Employer of Choice'."
   The challenge faced by the Banking and Finance industry
is then how to retain the best talent. With the high cost of
labour, land (office rental) and capital, the competition to stay
ahead of the rat race will require companies to have forward
looking attraction and retention plans as well as a fresh thinking
approach to successionplanning.
   "Manpower Singapore is expecting the talent shortage
to become even more evident with vet a further drop in

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