The slow global economic environment has cast a somewhat gloomy outlook for mature workers as businesses strive to become more productive and adapt to the pace of technological change across all industries. Despite this, recruitment firm Randstad’s recent Workmonitor research points to a more positive sentiment amongst workers in Singapore, Hong Kong SAR and Malaysia.
Governments in the region have recognised the impact that mature workers could have on the workforce, as well as the economic value they could bring to businesses and the society at large. Past research has shown that hiring mature workers brings many benefits, which include the ability to leverage greater experience and knowledge, higher loyalty and commitment and a stronger work ethic.
Mature workers form a critical percentage of the local talent pool in Singapore, Hong Kong SAR and Malaysia. By keeping this segment of the workforce in employment, businesses are able to tap onto a much wider database of local talent to hire from.
In Singapore, businesses are being incentivised to re-employ mature workers through subsidies in the form of wage support for Professionals, Managers and Executives in certain age brackets. Hong Kong SAR and Malaysia respectively run the "Employment Programme for the Middle-aged" and the "Human Resources Development Fund" aimed at training mature and retrenched workers. Whilst in Singapore, the WorkPro scheme offers a number of support programs and incentives to retrain and retain mature age workers.
sentiment on future outlook of mature employees in the workforce.
Randstad’s Workmonitor research has revealed that employers in the region are beginning to feel the positive impact and are showing a stronger positive sentiment towards the future outlook of mature employees in the workforce.
Singapore (54%), Hong Kong SAR (54%) and Malaysia (52%) employees either strongly agreed or agreed that there were active policies set in place in their companies to retain mature workers, higher than the global average of 44%.
Sentiments around employment prospects increasing for mature workers over next five years were also substantially stronger with the highest percentage of employees in Hong Kong SAR (68%), followed closely by Singapore (66%) and Malaysia (63%) beating the global average of 44%.
Mature workers were also considered to be crucial for company success by 64% of those surveyed in Hong Kong SAR and 59% of those in SIngapore compared to the global average of 56%. Malaysian employees had a slightly lower positive sentiment at 52%, however, still representing an overall positive standing.
Employees in Singapore expressed a positive outlook for mature workers and training initiatives set in place by government parties, with 41% stating that they do not feel it is harder for mature workers to acquire new skills, compared to a global average of 32%.
Michael Smith, Managing Director for Randstad Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore noted, “Even with the less than favourable economic outlook across the region, general unemployment remains low forcing governments and businesses to look at all possible channels for hiring in the workforce. Good young talent remains hard to find and mature workers, with their strong experience and skillsets, are a talent pool that simply cannot be ignored."
When we look at other markets around the world, it’s no surprise that the global sentiment towards the outlook of mature workers is lower than in Singapore, Hong Kong SAR and Malaysia. We can see higher unemployment with much larger pools of newer workers looking for jobs. This places extra pressure on mature age workers to constantly upskill themselves to remain relevant in today’s dynamic employment landscape.”
“With training programmes targeted at mature workers ramping up in the region, we expect that the talent pool of mature workers will slowly become an increasingly attractive option for hiring businesses,” added Mr Smith.
about the Randstad Workmonitor.
The Randstad Workmonitor was launched in the Netherlands in 2003 and now covers 34 markets around the world, encompassing Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas. The Randstad Workmonitor is published four times a year, making both local and global trends in mobility regularly visible over time. The Workmonitor Mobility Index, which tracks employee confidence and captures expectations surrounding the likelihood of changing employers within a six month time frame, provides a comprehensive understanding of job market sentiments and employee trends. In addition to measuring mobility, it provides insights into employee satisfaction and personal motivation, as well as explores sentiments around key trends shaping the world of work for employees each quarter. The quantitative study is conducted via an online questionnaire among a population aged 18-65, working a minimum of 24 hours a week in a paid job (not self-employed). The minimal sample size is 400 interviews per market, using Survey Sampling International.
The Randstad Group is a global leader in the HR services industry and specialises in solutions in the field of flexible work and human resources services. Our services range from regular temporary Staffing and permanent placements to Inhouse Services, Professionals, and HR Solutions (including Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Managed Services Programs, and outplacement). By combining our human touch with technology-driven solutions and tools, we aim to offer both clients and candidates the best tools and solutions for increased efficiency and engagement, connecting more people to more jobs. Randstad has top-three positions in Argentina, Belgium and Luxembourg, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the United States, and major positions in Australia and Japan. At year-end 2016, Randstad had 36,524 corporate employees and 4,752 branches and Inhouse locations in 39 markets around the world. In 2016, Randstad generated revenue of €20.7 billion. Randstad was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands. Randstad Holding nv is listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam, where options for stocks in Randstad are also traded. For more information, see www.randstad.com.
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Matthew de Bakker