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Selecting Quality Talent a Significant Challenge for Singapore companies: Aon Talent Acquisition Southeast Asia Study 2017

2018 Employee Engagement Trends: Singapore Employees Least Engaged Among Major Asian Markets

 

Selecting Quality Talent a Significant Challenge for Singapore companies: Aon Talent Acquisition Southeast Asia Study 2017

  • Around 50% of companies use online assessments, but challenges remain in identifying and selecting the best talent.

  • Middle managers have the biggest skill gaps in interviewing capability.

  • Companies don’t assess for functional knowledge when selecting middle managers.

SINGAPORE, 20 MARCH 2018—Even as online assessments lead the way in hiring, Singapore companies continue to face an uphill battle in identifying the best talent for their organisations, according to the Aon Talent Acquisition Southeast Asia Study 2017 conducted by Aon, the leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions.

The study finds that around 50% of organisations in Singapore currently use technology-based assessments as part of their hiring process—compared to just around 30% across Southeast Asia—with cost savings, psychometric insights, and quality of analytics as the key reasons for implementation. However, while ‘Attracting Quality Talent’ is named as a top priority for Talent Acquisition professionals in Singapore, the success metrics set by organisations still focus on quantity (percentage of positions filled and time it takes to fill positions) instead of quality (employer brand perception, candidate’s skills and capabilities, and most importantly, job fit).

Personality assessments, competency-based interviews, and cognitive tests are the top 3 hiring assessments in Singapore, designed to lower the incidence of hiring on hunch—yet, Talent Acquisition professionals admit to a significant skills gap in the interviewing capability of mid-level managers who are responsible for hiring candidates in entry-level and junior roles. The study also found that there is a lack of functional assessment when hiring for mid-manager roles, even though ‘Functional Knowledge’ is the top characteristic identified by Talent Acquisition professionals for this level.

Despite high awareness of this capability gap, 66% of Singapore companies do not ask for candidate feedback after the interview process—which leaves them ill-equipped to address the issues in specific and tangible ways. This may be attributed to the fact that only 58% of organisations in Singapore have dedicated Talent Acquisition teams, compared to 70% across Southeast Asia. In Singapore, companies with fewer than 500 employees also have small HR/admin teams (no more than 4 people) and tend to outsource their recruitment process.

Vikas Verma, Director, Talent, Rewards and Performance, Aon Hewitt Singapore, says: “High performing companies use online assessments to screen applicants against the ‘Success Profile’ of their ideal employees. By utilising science and data, they objectively assess candidates for their aptitudes and attitudes, predict their behaviours, and hire those who are the ‘right-fit’ for their organisations.”

A recent survey found that 10.6% of recent grads are taking on freelance, part-time or temporary jobs as the digital economy creates an increasing number of tech-driven roles. More than ever, attracting the millennial workforce demands the capability to deliver an engaging, and technologically-savvy, assessment experience that sets clear expectations from the get-go.

Boon Chong Na, Managing Director & Partner, Aon Hewitt Singapore, says: “The top reason for early attrition is that the job didn’t match the candidate expectations. Forward thinking companies use Realistic Job Previews (RJPs)—an interactive, engaging, and tech-enabled assessment experience, which provides job applicants with specific examples and virtual simulations of typical on-the-job challenges. RJPs highlight the demands of the role and the culture of the organisation, enabling applicants to self-assess their own suitability and gain instant feedback while setting the right expectations before they apply.”

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2018 Employee Engagement Trends: Singapore Employees Least Engaged Among Major Asian Markets

  • Singapore employee engagement levels remain flat at 59%, while Asia Pacific rises by 3 points to 65%.

  • Engagement levels for Singapore millennials fall by 2 points.

SINGAPORE, 27 MARCH 2018—After a three-point drop in engagement last year, employee engagement in Asia Pacific bounced back to its highest levels at 65 percent, according to a new report from Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions.
Aon’s analysis found that while employee engagement in Singapore remained unchanged from last year, companies in Malaysia and the Philippines increased engagement by 4 and 6 percentage points respectively, while Indonesia improved by a whopping 15 points.

Only 59% of employees in Singapore are engaged, making them among the least engaged in Asia. Employee engagement is highest in Indonesia at 76%, followed by India and the Philippines (71% each), China (69%), Thailand (64%), and Malaysia (63%).

 

With the rise of internet platforms and the gig economy, a recent survey found that 10.6% of new graduates are taking on freelance, part-time, or temporary jobs. More than ever, engaging the millennial workforce is the need of the hour—and a growing challenge for Singapore employers.

Millennials At Risk

According to the Aon study, only 56% of the full-time millennial workforce in Singapore is engaged—a 2-point drop from last year. In addition, the number of actively disengaged millennials increased by 2%. Perception scores for millennials plummeted by 7 points in the area of ‘Work Tasks’—which refers to the organisation’s ability to fairly distribute the workload and an employee’s sense of enjoyment and accomplishment from the work they do. Perception scores also fell by 3 points in the area of Employer Brand.

‘Career Opportunities’ a Top Engagement Driver in Singapore

The Aon study finds that ‘Career Opportunities’ tops the list of engagement drivers in Singapore, with ‘Senior Leadership’ and ‘Enabling Infrastructure’ rounding up the top three. This demonstrates the significance of a conducive work environment to Singapore employees.

Top 5 Engagement Opportunities in Singapore

1. Career Opportunities

2. Senior Leadership

3. Enabling Infrastructure

4. Work/Life Balance

5. Talent & Staffing

Boon Chong Na, Managing Director & Partner, Aon Hewitt Singapore, says: “While there is no one-size-fits-all employee experience that will maximise engagement, forward-thinking organisations can identify the drivers that are most important for their employees and create a fit-for-purpose experience. What’s more, increasing engagement is a shared responsibility—senior leadership must encourage their team members to own their engagement levels, by creating an environment where employees are empowered to develop new skills, chart their career journeys, and maximise their potential.”

Across Asia Pacific, having a highly engaged workforce has never been more important to driving business performance.

Stephen Hickey, Partner and Aon’s Head of Employee Engagement & Culture, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, says: “Aon’s research shows that organisations with above average engagement levels see better employee productivity and higher customer satisfaction scores—factors that can significantly improve performance and decrease volatility in business outcomes. This is why many organisations are undertaking transformational change programmes as they manage their way through digital disruption, macroeconomic challenges, and needing to meet the ever-changing needs of their customers.”

In the 2018 Trends in Global Employee Engagement study, Aon analysed more than 8 million employees at over 1,000 organisations around the world. To learn more about and download the full report, visit: www.aon.com/engagement18

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