Regional recruitment analysis in Singapore undertaken by global recruitment expert Hays has suggested Singapore is seeing an economic slowdown that has brought cost cutting to the forefront of its supply chain industry. With vulnerable trade sectors hit by the ongoing US-China Trade War, the labour market is seeing a rising preference for hiring contracted workers over permanent staff, increasing demand for forecasting and demand planning roles, and a generally job-short market that has left candidates without much bargaining power for remuneration.
The shifting industry landscape and focus on cost cutting have also made fundamental functions like demand planning a priority in Singapore’s supply chain market, but appropriate candidates have historically been hard to fill owing to the in-depth industry knowledge and cross functional working required for their success. The corresponding skill sets most in demand are direct industry experience, along with soft skills and IT knowledge, which are a must-have. However, the job-short market has left suitable candidates with little leeway to negotiate competitive remuneration.
Most supply chain companies use or require SAP, a crucial software tool in demand, supply, and production planning, making knowledge of it almost a necessity for hopeful candidates. Apart from SAP, operational excellence methodology Lean Six Sigma is also becoming an increasingly popular choice for upskilling, which can then assist in better justifying higher pay packages.
Grant Torrens, regional director at Hays Singapore commented: “While the economy may be slowing, Singapore’s position as a regional and digital hub is likely to help build a bounce back. Technological advancement is currently a huge trend in the industry, with many companies seeking transformation and ways to incorporate more tech into their daily activities. Candidates could benefit from taking courses covering the latest software and upgrading their digital skills, as well as focussing on building their networks as referrals could be the path to their next big break.”