Talent Market Drivers Since the Start of COVID: Singapore Report
LinkedIn data on what talent wants, what employers need, and what we’re learning in the Great Reshuffle
The global talent market has never changed this much, this quickly. Call it the Great Reshuffle: a time when everyone is rethinking everything.
As employees reconsider where they work and why, employers are recalibrating their talent needs and company culture. It’s a learning process for all involved, and this report is here to help you understand the biggest changes since COVID began.
We’ve pulled together our unique data set to capture how trends are driving changes in people’s attitudes, what employers are looking for, and the skills needed to unlock success in Singapore’s talent market.
What talent wants from employers
Candidates are rethinking how they choose an employer.
Top priorities when considering a new company (SEA)
June 2021, LinkedIn’s Talent Drivers Survey
1. Excellent compensation and benefits
2. Good work-life balance
3. Colleagues and culture
4. Open and effective management
5. Job security
Priorities growing more important since the pandemic began (SEA)
April 2020 vs June 2021
1. Employees autonomy +26.2%
2. Flexible work arrangements +14.8%
3. Good work-life balance +10.4%
4. Inclusive workplace +8.7%
5. Convenient commute to work +7.6%
Growing priorities for Southeast Asia talent include having control of their time, flexible work arrangements, and better commutes likely reflecting the upsides discovered during periods of working from home.
Culture changes need to follow policy changes so that employees don't feel burned out from a never-ending digital workday. When flexibility isn’t an option (e.g., for in-person service jobs), employers should consider increasing compensation as a key lever to bring in talent.
Global data shows companies are falling short where it matters the most.
Burnout signals have spiked by 9% in recent months, while employee happiness fell by 3%, according to global Glint data.
That may be because companies aren’t delivering what talent wants. While work-life balance and compensation are the most important priorities for candidates, employee surveys reveal that companies score poorly on those priorities relative to other factors measured.
Companies are doing well when it comes to flexibility — but for all the benefits of remote work, there’s a dark side: employees are more likely to struggle with work-life balance.
What employers need from talent
Employer demand for digital roles is rising fast.
Jobs with the fastest-growing demand
Q2 2021 vs Q2 2020 (Singapore)
1. Software Engineer +3x
2. Product Manager +2x
3. Business Development Manager +2x
4. Full Stack Engineer +2x
5. Business Analyst +2x
Most in-demand jobs in Q2 2021
April 1 - June 30, 2021 (Singapore)
1. Software Engineer
2. Project Manager
3. Business Analyst
4. Full Stack Engineer
5. Product Manager
Digital investment is accelerating
Digital transformation was accelerated by the pandemic as all companies had to adapt to survive. While digitally native tech companies were likely ready to use tech solutions to facilitate remote work, many others in sectors like retail, travel, and entertainment had to rapidly evolve and adopt new technologies and skills just to keep their businesses running.
Across Southeast Asia, 70% of the region’s population are now online and it’s rapidly growing. In 2020, there were 40 million new digital users, as people turned to digital solutions, ranging from essential goods, healthcare to education and entertainment.
In Singapore, a survey of businesses found nearly three in four organisations had sped up their digitisation. Of course, this digital push has fuelled demand for digital talent, such as software engineers and full stack engineers.
Top skills being learned by talent
People are learning skills to meet market demands.
Singapore’s commitment to lifelong learning and upskilling, including initiatives such as the SkillsFuture agency, have kicked into overdrive in response to the pandemic. The National Jobs Council has supported talent looking to strengthen their skills through LinkedIn Learningcourses. Meanwhile, workplaces are thinking how to maximise the opportunity of ongoing remote work, including upskilling workers to tackle emerging, hybrid jobs.
Click the tabs below to explore how these skills connect to market demands.
Most popular courses on LinkedIn Learning: Singapore
July 2020 - June 2021
Critical thinking skills
The ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic has underscored that those who can adapt quickly and pivot to new solutions are the ones most likely to succeed. Knowing when to try out new approaches and when to sit tight requires strategic and critical thinking, as well as confident communication to get people to buy into your solution.
The headline over the past few years has been that digital skills in fields like data science and software engineering are in hot demand and on the rise. And while that's true, what's floated perhaps under the radar is the growing need for communication and soft skills to help effectively navigate an increasingly hybrid workplace.
Courses such as strategic thinking, communicating with confidence, speaking confidently and effectively, and unconscious bias all reflect talent looking to find new skills to identify change and adapt with confidence.
Looking forward to a post-pandemic future
The Great Reshuffle is here: employees are rethinking their priorities, companies are reconsidering their needs, and everyone is learning to “build the plane as we fly it.” We’re all adapting to constant change, making decisions amid uncertainty, and exploring new opportunities.
And although the talent market always ebbs and flows, many of the changes we’re seeing today are unlikely to be undone. Hybrid work is here to stay, digital transformation is only accelerating, and people are building durable new skills for the future.
We’re just beginning to understand the full impact of the Great Reshuffle. But once the dust finally settles and the pandemic is far behind us, those companies who rose to meet this moment will reap the rewards in the talent market.
For the full methodology, see the notes on the global edition of the report. All insights on this page are specific to Singapore, with the exception of the graphic comparing top candidate priorities against company performance, which is based on global Glint and LinkedIn data.
1. Harvard Business Review - "The endless digital workday"
2. LinkedIn Talent Blog - "The critical hybrid work issue that companies should tackle now"
3. Google et al. - "e-Conomy SEA 2020: at full velocity - resilient and racing ahead"
4. Business Times - "73% of Singapore businesses speeding up digitalisation amid Covid-19: study"
5. SkillsFuture - "About SkillsFuture"
6. LinkedIn Talent Blog - "LinkedIn to Pilot Skills Path in Singapore, Helping Companies Hire for Skills and Broaden Talent Pools"
7. Channel News Asia - "Commentary: Going back to old jobs as restrictions ease not straightforward for some"