10 Strategies to Alleviate Singapore’s Chronic Manpower Shortage

a store sign displaying a “help wanted” sign

The number of employers who experience manpower shortage in 2024 is almost double that in 2015, with 75% of employers struggling to fill job vacancies.

In today’s competitive job market, employees are increasingly seeking work-life balance, flexibility, and better working conditions. This makes it more difficult for companies to find talent who fit their requirements, and it is causing a manpower shortage. To deal with this challenge, here are some tried and true staffing solutions to help with your recruitment.

Utilize Hiring Platforms

Since the 1990s, hiring platforms and job portals like LinkedIn, Jobstreet, and Bossjob have connected employers to job applicants. With millions of profiles in their candidate databases, online job boards help recruiters attract applicants through job posts and profile filters to identify qualified candidates for their vacant positions.

As the world grows increasingly digital, online job boards have become mainstays in recruitment, and will continue to be among the top staffing solutions for most employers. After all, the majority (60%) of job seekers are looking for new career opportunities via job boards.

The challenge is choosing the right platform/s to utilize, with consideration of the size of the candidate database, quality of job applicants, and efficiency of the hiring process.

Seek Employee Referral

Most employers needed new hires yesterday. With speed as priority, employee referral is one of great staffing solutions that is low-cost and effective for hard-to-source roles. In fact, recruiting through employees’ networks can expand a company’s talent pool by up to 10x without additional cost.

Not to mention, employees likely know people who meet the requirements of your open roles. By seeking their referral, you can have candidates that are already vouched for by people you trust. At the same time, these referrals already know about your company, increasing chances of a great cultural fit.

Promote Internal Mobility

Did you know that employee turnover due to lack of career opportunities cost the average-sized organization an average of 49 million USD per year? It’s easy to underestimate the power of internal hiring, especially with high employee turnover.

But the long term solution to manpower shortage is reducing turnover by redirecting staffing efforts inwards rather than externally. 

When you look to promote internally, candidates are already tried and tested. You’ll also improve company culture and employee morale, which has a snowball effect of improving retention and increasing referrals, thereby bringing in more qualified candidates.

Send Recruitment Emails

There are 4 billion email users today, making email marketing one of the best staffing solutions used to target job applicants.

Through the course of hiring employees, recruiters build a database or talent pool of quality recruitment leads that can double as an email list. By nurturing these candidates using regular, relevant, and quality content, they’re more likely to engage with your brand when you send out job alerts, applying for the positions themselves or referring it to someone else.

Increase Job Flexibility

76% of Millennials, 69% of Gen Z, and 64% of Gen X expect flexible work arrangements from their jobs. This makes hybrid and remote work setups attractive to applicants, and by offering them, you can significantly increase the number of candidates applying for open positions.

Not only will flexible work setups attract more candidates, but remote work eliminates geographical constraints, thereby increasing the number of candidates employers can choose from. This can reduce hiring time and is a great way to fill urgent roles and hard-to-fill positions.

Leverage Staffing Agencies

On average, employers save 25% on hiring costs when they leave their recruitment to a staffing agency. This benefit is largely due to such agencies having extensive recruitment expertise and resources, as well as access to a large pool of ready-to-work talent.

Though the majority of employers maintain their own hiring efforts, it helps to outsource recruitment to staffing agencies when the company is short on resources or is in need of special talent that is difficult to find.

Another benefit is the flexibility offered by staffing agencies. When employers need temporary staff to fill in for positions or to work on one-off projects, staffing agencies can provide temporary employees to cover the manpower shortage.

Maintain A Talent Pool

What do you do to qualified and highly-capable candidates that don’t get hired for positions? Put them in a talent pool!

Companies actively pool candidates who have previously been considered for positions, have previously worked in the company, or have expressed interest in joining your organization. Doing this allows employers to readily tap candidates for open positions at no additional cost.

Train & Develop Underqualified Hires

This may sound counter-intuitive but consider hiring under qualified applicants! 

Hear us out: experience and skills matter, but they are not everything when it comes to finding top talent. Oftentimes, soft skills like problem-solving, communication, and leadership are more valuable as they are difficult to find. On the other hand, skills are trainable, and when great people are trained, you get amazing employees.

In a highly-competitive job market, finding the right talent within your budget can sometimes feel impossible. In these cases, lowering the expectations for these roles can attract applicants, helping you fill a role. Still, this doesn’t mean they will be productive from the get go. Dealing with the learning curve is the responsibility of the employer. However, if you find the right employee and you stick this out, you may just wound up with skilled and loyal top performers.

Take Advantage of Events

Virtual recruitment may be the new norm, but there’s value in going old school and participating in recruitment events. These can come in the form of job fairs, networking events, campus hiring, and so on.

While showing up in person sounds tedious, it pays to meet people through events as you get to know them beyond their resumes and you can also introduce them to your company’s brand through its ambassadors, the recruiters.

With in-person interaction, it’s much easier to build relationships and leave a lasting impression. Whether the candidate chooses to work with you or not, making them remember you and staying in touch with them post-event give you a larger pool of candidates to tap for your open roles.

Provide Value

In any lead generation campaign, offering value is key to attracting leads. The same goes for recruiting staff; when you provide value in the form of job search seminars, skills training, or job application guides, you attract job candidates!

Through blogs, social media, or in-person events, offering value, especially for free, attracts talent to you. The value you offer doesn’t merely attract job applicants, it also speaks a lot about your company culture, giving your organization a good reputation and attracting job seekers to you.

Although offering content may seem like a lot of effort, it offers long term rewards. By offering content to an engaged audience, you have better recognition and will increase trust for your brand, thereby increasing the likelihood of job seekers to apply for a position with your company.

Finding the right candidate for a role can take months. At Bossjob, we provide innovative staffing solutions, allowing direct and instant communication between employers and applicants from Singapore. Ready to meet candidates for your open positions? Hire top talent today!

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