SINGAPORE (July 2): The Asia Pacific region is suffering the most acutely as global talent shortage approaches a 12-year high, according to the ManpowerGroup 2018 Talent Shortage Survey.

Out of the top 10 worst-affected markets in the survey, Japan tops the regional list at 89% followed by Taiwan and Hong Kong at 78% and 76%, respectively, and Singapore on par with India at 56% each.

Among the 360 employers surveyed in Singapore, nearly a third of employers cite a lack of necessary experience as a main reason for not being able to fill open positions – while another 27% say applicants expected higher pay than offered.

13% of employers in the city state say applicants lack either the hard skills or human strengths required to fill the role, while another 22% report hiring troubles simply due to a lack of applicants.

In a Monday release, ManpowerGroup highlights a trend of growing demand for mid-skilled roles in Singapore that require post-secondary training, yet not always a full university degree.

The workforce solutions company also attributes strong hiring demand for drivers and customer service roles to the “rise of consumerism”, specifically increasing online retail trade, logistics, and last-mile delivery – roles which are now requiring new skills and training as their functions continue to evolve from how they were a decade ago.

Based on the survey findings, sales representatives, engineers, drivers, professionals and technicians make up the top five hardest roles to fill this year.

“The increasing prevalence of e-commerce in Singapore has driven up demand for drivers and customer service professionals to address companies’ rapidly growing logistics and last-mile delivery needs. Companies providing on-demand transportation and delivery services such as Grab and foodpanda further contributed to the demand,” comments Linda Teo, Country Manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore, of the survey’s findings.

“Employers need to buy skills where necessary, borrow from external sources and help people with adjacent skills bridge from one role to another. We need to value potential over performance. Above all, we need to be builders of talent, rather than consumers of work to create a workforce with the skills companies and individuals need to thrive today and tomorrow," she adds.