59% of respondents said that they turned down a job offer because of a mismatch between the advertised job scope and the actual job requirements. This is despite the increasing current market demands for skilled information and communications technology (ICT) professionals in Singapore.
Commissioned by Randstad Singapore and independently conducted by YouGov, the 2021 Tech Talent Expectation Survey aims to highlight the nation’s tech candidates’ perceptions of current recruitment practices and their views on the skills shortage in the technology sector.
38% of ICT professionals say they only accept less than a quarter of interview requests they receive
With the imminent growth of the information technology industry and rapid adoption of digitalisation, highly-skilled IT professionals are highly sought-after across all industries.
While there is a high demand for tech talent in Singapore, only 48% of ICT respondents receive job interview requests at least once a month or more often. Fewer responded positively to these interview requests, with only 46 per cent of them accepting half or more of them.
36% of local respondents stated that they did not accept jobs during their interview processes as they were already comfortable at their current company.
Young tech workers are the most likely to accept job interviews. While 29% of them said that they accept interview requests 75% to 99% of the time, another 29% of the survey respondents accept interview requests 50% to 74% of the time.
Amidst the tech talent crunch in Singapore, IT candidates are highly selective about the types of jobs and companies they want to work in, especially if they have in-demand skills and plenty of options to choose from. New job opportunities have to be exceptionally compelling to candidates. Strong motivating factors for active job seekers include working for tech companies that are at the forefront of innovation and having abundant opportunities to trial new technologies.
If there are no compelling reasons for them to switch employers, IT professionals are quite likely to stick with their current companies where they can continue to stay engaged and upskill themselves.
singaporean tech workers are rejecting job offers due to poor candidate experience
41% of survey respondents said that they rejected job offers during the interview process because they did not have a positive impression of the hiring manager. Meanwhile, 39% of Singapore’s tech talent respondents rejected offers because the interviewer did not have an adequate understanding of the job scope or job role that they were hiring for.
An overwhelming 64 per cent of tech workers aged 18 to 24 said that they dropped out of the interview process because they “didn’t have a positive impression of the hiring manager”.
Having a meaningful human touch boosts the candidate experience and can help employers stand out, especially when they are trying to engage and attract the best tech talent. The interview process is a crucial time for candidates to understand if their personalities, interests and skills are a good fit for the company and the job opportunity at hand. It is also the best time for hiring managers to share some first-hand information about the business to make the candidates feel valued.
In order to close the disconnect between interviewers and candidates, companies will need to train hiring managers to clearly communicate job scope and team culture to potential candidates in their job advertisements and during the interviews. Not only can this help them engage candidates better, it will also improve their inbound recruitment strategy.
96% of respondents want to switch their specialisation if given the choice
Tech professionals are well aware of the skills gaps the industry faces. This is why they are always open and highly interested to explore other more interesting tech jobs specialisations, especially if they are young enough to make a career change quickly.
Regarding skills gaps in the ICT sector, 53% of respondents ranked “cybersecurity” as the top specialisation lacking in tech talent, followed by “AI, automation and robotics” (51%) and “data science/analytics” (46%).
One in five ICT respondents (21%) picked “cybersecurity” as their top choice if they were given a choice to restart their career, whereas another 21% of respondents picked “data science/analytics”, both being well-established, evergreen verticals that are hiring new headcount.
Despite the noticeable skills gap, only 15% of respondents selected “AI, automation and robotics” as their top choice if the option to reset their career is available. There may be less interest to restart a career in this specialisation as it requires in-depth knowledge of data science, which makes it more challenging for tech experts to switch jobs.
Tech professionals have to build the necessary skills and capabilities to stay competitive in an active job market. With the advancement of technology and digital transformation, tech employees need to ensure that they have adequate development and management skills to fulfil the tasks and responsibilities of their role, as well as drive new innovation opportunities for the organisation.
Concurrently, it is an opportune time for employers to offer upskilling and reskilling options to their tech employees. This is not only to retain talents, but also to further deepen and expand their IT capabilities to be more aligned with the company’s digital growth roadmap while also managing the tech talent gap.
43% of generation-Z IT professionals want to work at unicorn start-ups
43% of IT respondents aged 18 to 24 picked unicorns as their top choice of company to work for. Conversely, respondents in every other age group opted for Western and Asian global enterprises, where they would likely be able to find more stable careers.
Younger tech candidates are likely more keen to work at unicorns because of the perceived benefits such as working with peers of a similar age, or the opportunity to be at the forefront of exciting consumer tech. On the other hand, more experienced tech professionals may want to work on bigger projects and be able to manage a team, and they are more likely to find these opportunities in global tech enterprises.
This correlates to our survey findings where 57% of Generation-Z respondents said they would accept interview requests if “the organisation offers an interesting project scope and/or opportunity to upskill”.
ICT respondents in every other age group picked “the organisation is a strong and/or reputable brand” as their most valued employee proposition.
download the tech talent expectations survey for more data
The Tech Talent Expectations Survey was conducted in September 2021 across 3 markets in Asia Pacific with 260 respondents working in IT roles in Singapore.
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