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Remote work addresses Singapore’s talent gap and is a permanent solution

Charles

“Many companies are now raising salaries as their key talent retention strategy. However, the ongoing global reassessment proves that money is no longer the only driving factor for employee retention.”

Charles Ferguson, General Manager, Asia Pacific at Globalization Partners

Like most of the world’s leading economies, Singapore, too, faces a serious economic risk brought about by the diminishing supply of talent. According to Korn Ferry, a shortage of highly skilled workers could reach 1.1 million by 2030 potentially stunting the country’s growth by 21 percent. For a thriving economy of 5.5 million people, relying on the existing talent pool is not sustainable.

The Singapore government has continuously invested in workforce upskilling and reskilling over the years, and with the new work visa rules to attract top foreign talent, Singapore is set to remain competitive.

While Singapore has enjoyed great success in foreign talent attraction in the last three decades thanks to various government programmes, COVID-19 has seen many foreign talents leaving the local workforce. Post-pandemic, the much-dreaded “Great Resignation” and “Quiet Quitting” have put the global and local talent crunch under further duress.

Government initiatives do play a significant role in talent attraction on a macro scale, it is, however, only part of a bigger puzzle. To effectively tackle the talent crunch, businesses need to examine and address the cause of the “Great Resignation” and “Quiet Quitting”.

Many companies are now raising salaries as their key talent retention strategy. However, the ongoing global reassessment proves that money is no longer the only driving factor for employee retention. After lengthy lockdowns, the world has changed, with work arrangements evolved and employees’ values shifting. Gone are the days when pay raises and promotions are the yardsticks for career success. Employees now prioritize freedom and flexibility, with hybrid and remote work arrangements being the preference. Globalization Partners’ 2021 Global Employee Survey revealed that employees are more likely to stay at companies that are making remote work a permanent fixture. 

Technological advances and work process automation coupled with two years of the pandemic-induced Work-From-Home situation have proven that remote work arrangement functions just as well as the traditional model. Employees now expect the same – they demand flexibility around when or where they work as long as they deliver results. Remote hiring has become a practical alternative to address the talent gap, and it is a permanent solution.

Furthermore, employees choose companies that resonate with their own values and culture. Leadership style, work-life harmony, and career progression rank just as high, if not higher than financial rewards in job selection. It is, thus, imperative that while Singapore can rely on our government to implement great talent attraction strategies, businesses also need to work alongside adapting and realigning themselves to the new set of values to retain talents and remain competitive for a holistic talent attraction and retention approach.

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