Despite the pandemic, the global economy is still fast-paced, and their demand for talent never stops. However, many countries in the world, including Singapore, are dealing with an aging population. This poses an extra obstacle in scouting for talent. To maintain a skilled workforce, companies recruited foreign workers and enhanced their training and development programs.
But as we all know, the pandemic hindered those strategies as well. It hasn’t been necessarily easier for remote companies either. No matter how dependent we are on technology, the option of experiencing things in person was always available. When the pandemic took that away, many companies found themselves struggling with people management, and of course, many workers lost their jobs.
Thankfully, 2021 has been promising so far. Vaccinations are rolling in quickly, and some schools and offices have already reopened. This will restart the career development and talent mobilizing operations of many companies. Let’s see what they’ll likely have in store for 2022:
Technology Will Change Careers Forever
Long before the pandemic, companies already utilize technology to develop new careers. The pandemic just accelerated this trend. Technology can provide humans the tools to be emotionally and socially connected even while in physical isolation. What’s more, it was found that working remotely has extended working hours by 10-20%. Even better, it reduced work-related stress, increased confidence and well-being, and improved communication with close collaborators by 40%.
More jobs can become tech-based and remote if industries continue following this trend. However, Singapore struggles in finding tech talent. In the third quarter of 2019, a whopping 900,000 IT jobs in the country were unfilled. This stemmed from Singapore’s aging population, declining birth rate, and unprecedented economic growth.
Singaporean companies focused on hiring foreign workers to fill their job vacancies and offered exceptional career development programs. Singaporean candidates, in particular, can take SGUS programs, a short-term, full-time training program that will enhance their industry-relevant skills and knowledge. And, of course, the training program can help develop the tech talents the country lacks.
Work Will Follow Talent
Before remote working was possible, companies relocated to expand their talent pools. Now, work will follow talent, thanks to technology. Even the pandemic can’t close virtual borders. This can help countries with low employment rates provide more jobs. Plus, it won’t just be IT companies that will recruit virtual talent. Banking and consumer goods will follow suit.
As a result, many employees will no longer be tethered by their locations. They can live anywhere they want and choose to work where they are qualified. This will be particularly beneficial to people living in provinces. Like metropolitans, they can receive generous paychecks and be suitable for many, if not all, industries.
New Skill Demands
As technology continues to develop more sophisticated jobs, the demand for skills will also change. By 2022, more companies will look for cognitive flexibility, emotional intelligence, coordination, people management, creativity, critical thinking, and complex problem-solving from candidates. Of course, the typical in-demand technical skills will still be essential. But the candidates possessing the skills relevant in today’s age can enjoy higher pay and a faster-paced career path.
Emotional intelligence, for example, allows people to be more empathetic leaders. This is crucial nowadays because of the personal challenges we’re experiencing. Their impacts can last for a few more years. If we have empathetic leaders, employees can feel understood in their struggles rather than judged, which tends to be the case with authoritarian or “bossy” leaders. Now, with leaders acting as mentors instead of bosses, all employees can have the opportunity to advance in their careers, no matter what they’re going through personally.
Focus on Strategic Sourcing Rather Than Purely Talent Acquisition
Sometimes, companies struggle to develop their employees’ careers because they’re too focused on acquiring new ones. Instead of helping their existing employees gain new skills, they find those skills from someone else. While recruiting new talent helps reduce unemployment, it could also increase costs and turnover rates.
Companies with competent employees should consider talent mobilization over talent acquisition. They should realize that the best talent could be found in-house. Only roles that cannot be filled internally should warrant acquisition. And when they recruit, employers shouldn’t just focus on technical skills or even the new skills mentioned above. They should also consider hiring for attitude and soft skills like comfort with ambiguity and willingness to challenge the status quo.
Times are changing fast. Not even the pandemic could decelerate the emergence of new trends. This period may be grim for many employees and businesses, but there’s a silver lining to their hardships. By 2022, if the world has mostly recovered from the pandemic, career-pathing and talent mobilization will reach new heights. They will forever redefine how we work.