So 2015 is well and truly underway and from a recruitment perspective whether you are a manager or a consultant the quarter one target will be filling your thoughts going forward into what hopes to be another strong year in the recruitment world. A new year of course means new challenges, new targets, new hope and new aims for the year ahead. So what does lie ahead for the world of recruitment in Asia?
Going forward into 2015 I believe it will be a strong year for recruitment companies but I also believe it will be a very competitive year, where many smaller companies may struggle to stay afloat due to the competition they will face from their more established competitors in attracting new talent to their company and retaining their top talent. There is no doubt in my mind that there are huge gains to be had across Asia - but the candidate pools across all industries are dwindling fast and there is no sign of any easing of the newer stricture labour policies.
In a recent poll 67 per cent of employees in Singapore said they are likely to leave their current role in 2015, the same poll stated that 73 per cent had attended job interviews in the past year and the main reason behind these potential moves was the desire for a salary raise. It is evident from this that recruiters are going to have a lot of recruitment companies are going to have to do their best to incentivise and reward their current staff - or risk losing them. Additionally some sectors maybe more appealing than others which although cyclically is often the case reality can be unexpected e.g. we haven't seen a slowing till now within the oil and gas vertical. However other international markets may say the salaries are already inflated in this geographic.
Despite the willingness it seems to move to a new employer in 2015, there is still a widening skills gap across all areas. In Singapore the employment landscape has undergone some big changes in the past year and this has created many challenges for employers and recruiters in all markets. With the introduction of the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF), the National Jobs Board (jobs bank) and the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) the changes have affected how recruitment companies are able to recruit local talent even higher on nearly all recruitment companies' agendas.
One of the biggest challenges facing not just the recruitment industry but every industry is where to find this local talent. At the end of last year the job vacancies in Singapore alone had climbed nearly nine per cent in two years and are now at the highest level in over six years. If you consider this alongside the ever tightening employment pass regulations for foreigners then the search for talent is not going to be an easy one at all.
More and more recruitment companies last year turned to recruiting graduates or salesy youngsters from the services industry to be fully trained into the recruitment mode of operandi - this is proving popular already in 2015 - especially if the requests for the McCall Academy is anything to go by! What is certain is that if the rising skills gap in the market continues then companies are going to need to attract younger talent early and as the competition grows between industries they are going to have to put an attractive and compelling proposition together to attract the new generation to recruitment.
There are certainly many challenges ahead in Singapore and across Asia for the recruitment market but what these growing staffing obstacles are doing is helping to grow the quality of the market plus the quality of the options for clients as a whole. Companies now realise that in order to be ahead of the competition and to sustain the growth they desire they need to be better in every department. Companies are focusing more on client service levels, staff retention, staff culture and corporate image. These improvements alone are making this recruitment market one of the highest quality and that can not only be good for our industry's reputation and growth - but for all the industries we in turn apply.
2015 in Asia according to the Chinese Zodiac will as of Chinese New Year on the 19th of February say goodbye to the year of the Horse and be replaced by the year of the Sheep (Goat). A year when I believe further strides forward will be made in our industry.
Have a great year of the Sheep ahead!