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8 in 10 Singapore companies struggle attracting 'critical-skill' employees

And 77% can't find high-potential employees.

According to a new survey conducted by global professional services company Towers Watson, a vast majority of companies in Asia Pacific and Singapore continue to struggle with attracting and retaining the high-potential and critical-skill employees necessary to increase their global competitiveness.

The Towers Watson 2012 Global Talent Management and Rewards Survey, a study of 1,605 companies globally, out of which 796 were from Asia Pacific, found that 79% of employers in Asia Pacific said they have problems attracting critical-skill employees, while more than seven in 10 employers (73%) have  difficulty attracting high-potential employees, compared to global figures of 72% and 60% respectively.  

The figures for the 63 companies from Singapore that participated in the survey are slightly higher, with 82% of employers saying that they have problems attracting critical-skill employees and 77% saying that they have difficulty attracting high-potential employees. Companies from Singapore fared better when it comes to attracting recent university graduates however, with only 8% facing such problems, compared to 24% in Asia Pacific.

Employers across Asia Pacific also encountered retention challenges with close to three quarters of respondents experiencing difficulties retaining critical-skill and high-potential employees (70% and 67% respectively). Employers in Singapore encounter retention challenges to a slightly smaller extent, with 67% and 59% of respondents saying they have problems retaining critical-skill and high-potential employees respectively. Employers in Singapore also fared better when it comes to retaining recent university graduates, with only 13% facing such problems, compared to 26% in Asia Pacific.

“The demand for key talent is as strong as ever, in spite of challenging economic conditions and heightened global competition. We find that many employers are not taking advantage of opportunities to attract, retain and engage key talent by offering a value proposition, work environment and the total rewards programs that are most important to them,” said Dhritiman Chakrabarti, Asia Pacific Leader of Rewards at Towers Watson. 

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