4 Tips to Hire and Retain Talent in Singapore [For Small Businesses]

With the pandemic having disrupted the flow of the economy, it is a crucial time to rebuild lost infrastructure for many businesses. It is important for many to take stock of how exactly the pandemic has impacted their business and devise a plan of action to help recuperate the losses. Companies have incurred losses in many areas, be it inventory, contacts, or profits. The most important one, however, is probably the workforce that encountered debilitating cutbacks during the pandemic. As the world moves towards normalization, it is time to attract lost talent and get things back up to scale.

For a dynamic market like Singapore, hiring practices are an important avenue to explore, especially if you’re looking to retain talent. In order to explore new options, it is essential first to understand that the pandemic has not only affected business trends but has also shifted dynamics as far as the workforce is concerned. In 2021, some sectors faced challenges in attracting potential employees to fill high-demand jobs, with 3 percent of the workforce voluntarily quitting. The “why” is a loaded question and one that a layperson cannot answer. There are many factors at play here. Understanding employee trends is too lucrative a task for even the best of entrepreneurs. You could make things easier with a quick search for an “Employment Agency Singapore” and availing of expert services. Doing it on your own would be a drain on the resources of your small business and not very effective.

What needs to be understood is that a lot has changed, and, as a result, a lot needs to change. There are new realities and dynamics to get used to as a business owner in the post-pandemic era. Hiring and employee retention is tricky business nowadays with the advent of remote jobs and a shift in the workforce’s mentality. However, there are some strategies you can employ to make your hiring process more efficient and improve employee retention.

In this blog, we will explore four strategies to improve onboarding and retention.

1. Be Open To Remote Positions

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges the workforce has had to adapt to over the past two years is the introduction of the work-from-home model. Employees have had to integrate their home lives with their workplaces in an unprecedented manner. Surprisingly, this change was actually well-received. In a study conducted by the Police Psychological Services Division Singapore, most participants were found to have been greatly satisfied with their work-from-home arrangements, appreciating the flexibility it offered in terms of their work-life balance. Moving forward, it is likely that many potential employees will be searching for remote positions that will go hand-in-hand with their newfound routines. That is why it is important for you as an employer to explore this avenue seriously. And in doing so, you will probably find that certain full-time positions were a drain on your resources anyways!

2. Consider Internal Promotions

As your small business evolves, it will naturally need to grow around its newfound challenges. This is expected of any budding organization. But employers do not often apply this same logic when it comes to their workers. Employees can only be retained when their organization grows around them, offering them new challenges and avenues of development as time goes on. That is how employees are retained. Your organization should have plenty of room for internal growth. When creating a job post on LinkedIn for a new position, consider whether or not this is a role that an existing employee would show potential for. You need to center your hiring practices around employee potential rather than around finding the “best match.” What’s likely is that while an existing employee may not be the best match, they will eventually learn to be. And you will save time and money by not going outside the organization to hire for a new position.

3. Take Career Development Seriously

It is perfectly fine if you do not have a formal career development program in your organization. Small businesses rarely do. What you need, however, is some mentorship within your organization centered around employee potential, as discussed above. Assigning senior employees as mentors to your entry-level hires will go a long way in terms of career development and the betterment of your organization. By assigning a mentor, you will make sure that your employees are getting constant training. Plus, on the flip side, this is a great way to have a stronger and more integrated team from the get-go.

4. Formalize Your Job Postings

It is no secret that a large chunk of the highly-skilled local staff in Singapore gets picked up and hired by large multinationals. While this may be a sore spot for many small business owners, you would do well to learn why this is the case. According to Micheal Smith, the Managing Director of Randstad Singapore, this choice is attributed to better work-life balance and job security. The fact of the matter is: small businesses in Singapore can offer both of those things, but potential employees do not recognize this due to a lack of branding. Your job posting should be like that of an MNC. Do not have it written out as a generic list of requirements and responsibilities. Attempt to be as transparent as possible about what it means to work at your company. List out some of the benefits your organization offers in terms of growth and job security. Market the job to the worker as you would a product to a customer.

If you’re looking for employee retention, your job posting should read more like a pitch for a long-term and mutually beneficial business engagement rather than a superficial and transactional employer-employee relationship.

Change of Perspective

After coming out of a global event like the pandemic, change was inevitable. Many areas of business have recently experienced paradigm-shifting changes, the workforce being one of them. Potential employees have had a change of perspective. Employers used to have the upper hand in setting the terms of employment pre-pandemic. But now, for better or worse, there seems to be more of an equal footing between employer and employee as many people crave a better work-life balance. Therefore, it is your job to recognize these changes and adapt your organization to the world as it exists now. As has always been the case, a business that adapts is a business that survives. To an SME, this principle should be taken to heart.

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