The Future of Work: Top Market Trends to Note in 2019

The job market is ever-changing for both businesses and workers. In the first of a three-part series, industry experts delve more on Singapore’s outlook. 

Technology has revolutionised how businesses function and new concepts are being introduced into the workplace. And these changes continue to grow.

This was the topic of discussion at The Future of Work: Winning the Talent Race webinar held by HRD Asia and Workforce Singapore in May. Experts Luke Clark (Senior Content Manager, PageGroup), Nicole Scoble-Williams (Leader of Global Future of Work, Deloitte) and Dr Christopher Fong (Principal Consultant, Psych.Line) share their insights.

Skills – the new workplace currency 

Currently, hiring conversations are shifting from job-role centric to skills set-based, leading to the workplace quickly becoming a market for skills. However, the longevity of a skill is steadily decreasing, with Ms Scoble-Williams estimating that each skill will have a 2-year expiration date. To remain relevant, workers are encouraged to upgrade both their hard and interpersonal skills as part of their continuous learning process.

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If employees are undecided on what skills to pick up, firms are actively seeking candidates who possess expertise knowledge like: 

  • Ability to interpret and showcase big data
  • Proficiency in presenting predictive numbers 
  • Aptitude for cybersecurity 

Although machines have replaced knowledge-based work, interpersonal skills remain integral to the workforce and should not be neglected. For interpersonal skills, businesses are increasingly scouting talent who have capabilities such as: Intuition, creativity, conflict resolution, diplomacy and ability to influence. 

Renewed Hiring Practices

HR managers have switched up their recruitment practices to hire candidates with qualified skills. Face-to-face interviews are no longer enough to land candidates a job. 

Now, HR has introduced multiple phases of assessment, including behavioural tests with activities like: 

  • Role-play scenarios, 
  • Psychometric tests
  • Personality questions.  

Read Also: Want to Grow Your Career? Here Are Some Tips to Stay Ahead in the Workforce

Flexible Employee Experience 

Dr Fong shared that employee wellness is becoming one of the emerging trends in the Asian Pacific and Singaporean markets, as it not only benefits workers, but businesses too. 

Employers can establish a clear work-life balance for employees by introducing work-free weekends, flexible working hours and work-mobility initiatives. Giving workers ample time to recharge ensures they’re not overstressed and fatigued to the point of burning out, which boosts productivity.

By having satisfied and efficient workers, companies are able to save on the financial and productivity costs of hiring and retraining a new employee. 

Read Also: SMEs and the Talent Battle: Attracting and Retaining Gen Zs

Tapping on the Gig Economy

Aside from introducing flexible working conditions, employers should capitalise on the burgeoning trend of contract workers and freelancers by systemising how they utilise temporary workers. 

Companies can further entice exceptional candidates by offering accommodative and attractive contracts. And as these employees’ contracts are finite, panelists encouraged firms to maximise their gig workers’ tenure to amplify company productivity. 

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