Industry Trends Jobseekers Need to Know

The pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives, and our job search is no different. So if you’re looking for a new job in this climate, it’s a good idea to stay on top of current trends and hiring practices.

We’ve compiled a short list of “must-knows” for the current job market, and how to capitalise on them during your job search:

  1. A long job search is the norm

    Ministry of Manpower (MOM) reported that retrenchments in the three months to end-June more than doubled to 8,130 compared with the first quarter, and a total of 11,350 people were laid off in the first half of the year, making it the worst showing since the global financial crisis of 2009.

    These numbers mean that many more are in search of jobs, and the competition is tough. While some experts predict exponential hiring when all this is over, there is no precedent and change will take a while to happen.

    In this situation, it’s important to stay the course and stay positive. Aim to be a resilient jobseeker – weather the course, know yourself, and take breaks when you need to. Also, don’t be passive in your job search – explore networking opportunities outside of the traditional apply-and-reply practice. Interact on LinkedIN, upskill yourself via SkillsFuture or attend a virtual career fair. Don’t just search for jobs – strengthen your CV as well with courses and volunteer work.

  1. The rise of automated recruitment processes

    Singapore is going digital – and hiring processes are too. Two key parts of the hiring process that have becoming increasing automated are candidate sourcing and tracking through the use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) creating specialised value propositions that make job-matching easier.

    This means that you no longer have the assurance that a human being is reading your resume – you have to get it through the robots first! Make your resume stand out in the system by including Knowledge, Skills, and Attributes (KSA) required from the job descriptions. Make sure to use actions words (e.g., “motivated”, “led”) and precise descriptors (e.g., use “social marketing manager” rather than “marketing manager”). The systems will pick out these words and flag your resume as worth attention.

    Our last tip: Make sure to use both full names (e.g., “Search Engine Optimisation”) as well as acronyms (e.g., “SEO”). Older ATS may track for only one of the two, and you want to be visible to both!

  1. Video, phone and chatbot interviews are becoming common

    Linda Teo, ManpowerGroup’s Singapore country manager, recently noted that applicants in today’s job market “need to be familiar with the digital technology being used in the hiring process and learn how to capitalise on it to position themselves as candidates of choice.” Great Eastern made the news for committing to an entirely online recruitment process, and many other companies are doing the same.

    Brush up on your phone and video interview skills with our tips. Remember to smile and remain professional at all times, as companies may use facial recognition software to record your expressions and behaviour. And let your genuine character show through in your gestures and attitude as you want the interviewer to gain a honest impression of you.

    Chatbot interviews should also be treated seriously, like a formalised interview. Just because it is a chatbot doesn’t mean you can use emojis or ask redundant questions – maintain a calm and confident demeanor as though speaking to a human interviewer.

  1. Hiring skills over experience

    As certain sectors have taken harder hits than others, many retrenched employees are moving industries. In this climate, companies have taken to looking at skills over experience. In other words, they prioritise someone with the correct mindset and ability, applicable over a wide range of tasks, over someone with industry knowledge that can be taught.

    For example, many former cabin crew have taken up nursing, as their existing customer service skills are as relevant in the hospital as they were on the airplane.

    Therefore, we recommend you tailor your resume to suit this new emphasis. When researching the company, take note of what it values in its employees and its corporate image. Add in relevant skills with hard facts backing them up, and develop your soft skills to stand out from the crowd.

The first step to landing your next job is knowing the job market today and adapting to it. Get started on tweaking your resume and apply now!