There are four challenges that Singaporean C-level executives will continue to combat next year, said Robert Half recently when releasing results of a study that surveyed 225 business leaders in the country earlier in the year.
Tech skill shortage
According to Robert Half, 45% of Singaporean business leaders highlight technological changes as one of their primary external concerns, highlighting the continued dominance of technology on the business agenda, the recruitment firm said.
Challenges facing business leaders include sourcing technically-skilled talent in a skill-short market and adapting and upskilling existing workforces to meet future business needs, the firm added.
A failure to do so will not only see businesses miss out on internal benefits, but also fall behind competitors and risk losing a long-term competitive edge.
Aside from tech skills, improving productivity is cited as the primary concern by 40% of Singaporean managers when it comes to talent management, followed by talent retention (32%) and finding the right training for staff (32%), Robert Half said.
“Particularly in a skills-short market where competing companies actively poach talent, companies should continue to fine-tune robust staff attraction and retention programs,” said Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, managing director of Robert Half. “This should sit alongside a comprehensive professional development and training program to ensure their staff are equipped with the right skills to successfully tackle their company’s digital transformation efforts.”
Geopolitical and economic uncertainties
A total of 47% of Singaporean business leaders consider economic uncertainty to be one of the top challenges that they will face in their role until 2020, Robert Half said.
These concerns are exacerbated by uncertain domestic forecasts, with GDP growth stagnating alongside consumer confidence and expenditure, the company added.
“The global economic market has seen a deceleration, in part due to the US-China trade war and other geopolitical tensions, which have impacted the growth of Singapore’s major trading partners and in turn caused a contraction of domestic economic forecasts,” said Imbert-Bouchard.
External threats of technological and regulatory changes
Of business leaders surveyed, this is reflected in a shared concern over the external threats of technological and regulatory changes (45% and 44%, respectively), Robert Half said.
Business leaders in different fields are faced with unique internal concerns specific to their role, with CIOs most concerned over AI and machine learning (57%) and cyber-security threats (49%) while CFOs are concerned over managing and delivering growth (56%), and increasing regulatory issues (45%), survey results indicate.
“Strict new cyber-security regulations mean CIOs have a duty to continually evaluate their current security controls and reporting structures to ensure compliance while the introduction of virtual banking licenses has placed stringent regulatory, compliance, and security requirements at the forefront of many Singaporean CFOs minds, creating a shared demand for compliance and regulatory roles across both fields,” Imbert-Bouchard said.