Talent gap features among Asia Pacific exec worries says Robert Half.

Causes for concern.

A report from Robert Half has found 45 per cent of Singaporean business leaders feel technological change is an area of primary external concern for their business.

“From improving customer experience through big data to leveraging AI for enhanced productivity, business leaders have the opportunity to enhance nearly every aspect of their organisation through technology,” said Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, managing director of Robert Half. “However, it is not simply about implementing new operating systems and processes. They must first drive organisational change, cultivate a workforce who can leverage the potential of the emerging tech, and shore up their organisation against the evolving threats and restrictions specific to their industry.”

Geopolitical and economic challenges are also keeping proving taxing for this level of staff. Concerns include global economic volatility, regional political tension, and uncertain trade policies underpinned by the US-China trade war. In total, 47 per cent of Singaporean business leaders cite economic uncertainty as one of their top challenges in 2020.

Executives are also questioning how to manage change while optimising growth. CIOs are most concerned about AI and machine learning, as well as cybersecurity, while CFOs are concerned about managing and delivering growth as well as regulatory issues. The talent gap is also proving a cause for concern among Singaporean executives.

“With demand for technical capabilities continuing to outpace supply in the local market, Singaporean businesses run the risk of falling behind due to a deepening talent gap that will impede business growth,” Imbert-Bouchard said. “The perfect pedigree of technically skilled, highly experienced candidates with excellent interpersonal skills is scarce, so employers need to think longer term about hiring for strong cultural fit and subsequently developing their workforce through training and skills development.”

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