Employment Trends You Might Observe in 2020 and Beyond


Written by Jovan Lee

Changes in the world happen so fast and so frequently; another decade has passed and we’re plunging into 2020 full of optimism carried over from a successful 2019. Employment is always a talking point when heading into a fresh year, and the start of a new decade amplifies it’s focus tenfold. 

In 2019, the first nine months saw Singapore’s highest employment growth in five years, so there’s plenty of reason to be excited about the prospects of the new year. With that in mind, we’ve done the research so that you can be better informed of the upcoming trends set to kick off in the employment landscape of Singapore.

1. Culture at the Top

Many of the world’s top companies are starting to place a heavier emphasis on their organizational culture and how their employees react to it. This growing focus on company culture is shifting the way that employers present their organization to jobseekers. What was once an afterthought and rare privilege is now a major factor for active jobseekers looking for work.

Creating and sustaining a positive company culture increases employee retention and attracts better talents. These effects of a good culture help drive better results from employees and improve financial performance, enhancing the productivity of employees and keeping them happy. 

Policies in a company with a good work culture are not set in stone - opportunities to facilitate discussion with employees on how things can be improved are ever-present. 

2. Soft Skills are as Relevant as Ever

In the modern working landscape, automation and digitalization are the main catalysts behind making non-executive, customer-centric jobs easier and more efficient. Operational, day-to-day processes are now streamlined and simplified with the help of technology, such as production lines or retail management. Although this would, in turn, reduce the importance of hard skills, it further emphasizes the need for soft skills as a way to separate the best from the rest.

Soft skills are the one thing that machines cannot replace. Skills such as creativity, innovation, critical thinking - will become the defining factors that would take one far into his or her career. An ideal employee should have a combination of essential soft skills relevant to the job in addition to the hard skills that harness the advantages of digitized work processes.

3. Flexibility

Having strict on-site attendance policies for workers has traditionally been an effective way of maintaining high staffing levels, but in recent times, these strict guidelines have only served to become relics of the past.

The working world has changed over the years, and so has the wants and needs of employees across all industries. Flexibility in the job has emerged as a crucial benefit that makes any company more attractive to work for. For example, with traditional attendance policies, workers would have to resort to taking a sick day just to run errands or honor appointments - making it hard for a company to allocate manpower in order to compensate. On the other hand, flexible companies would have provisions for workers to take a period of time off in a day, which makes it easier for work to be rerouted and reallocated.

Most importantly - it works. Many companies have shown that providing flexibility has improved attendance levels, enhanced employee retention, and increased productivity. It’s a win-win situation for both employer and employee - and thus, many companies have started to adopt practices that encourage flexibility.

Summing It Up

Over time, trends may come and go, but the need for employment will always remain. The new year is already upon us, which signifies a good time for a company to refine and adjust what can be improved in terms of employment for the year ahead. It is essential that you evaluate these trends in order to take advantage of the ever-changing job market and make your company attractive to jobseekers out there.