Insights on Employment Market under COVID
On 8th May, AIESEC Singapore continued our ‘Thrive in Adversity’ initiative with our second networking session. We were privileged to have Jimmy Sia from Grab, Anastasia Pavlovic from Facebook, Edwin from Searce, Andrew from Wantedly, as well as Jasmine and Jovan from FastJobs. The theme for the session was ‘Employment Trends in 2020’, where Jasmine shared a lot of valuable insights based on her experiences in dealing with the job marketplace in Singapore directly. We would like to share some of our main takeaways from the learning topic sharing and networking space.
General trends in the Singapore employment market in 2020
- Jasmine mentioned the Hospitality/F&B, Business Administration, Sales & Marketing, Logistics and Customer Service have been the trending industries. On top of that, Singaporeans are usually keener towards job scope related to Administration and Customer servicing, where there are usually around 60-65 applications per job posting.
- COVID-19 has indeed shifted the dynamic in the employment market. Based on the needs of the society under the current situation, industries like Healthcare, Logistics, FMCG as well as Facilities/Environmental Maintenance are increasing their hiring volume.
- Andrew added that sectors like the transportation industry will recover very quickly after the crisis, as demand will come back immediately once things go back to normal.
Any tips on how youths can better equip/prepare themselves in the current job market
- Under the fast-changing employment market, equipping yourself with various soft skills is more important than ever. Soft skills, such as communication, problem-solving and adaptability, are useful across all industries. It is also what recruiters mainly assess candidates for during the interview.
- In times of adversity, companies are mainly continuing their operation in terms of Business Development, Restructuring and Redeployment as well as Customer Engagement. It would be great for job seekers to equip yourself with related skills and knowledge to brand yourself as a value-adding asset to the company.
Tips for Youths Uncertain about their Future Careers
- Edwin suggested that youths should approach their careers as small ‘baby steps’ towards their ideal jobs – likely, they will not achieve the ideal scenario right away, but with steady effort and progress, they eventually will. He added that often, the first job would most likely end up as just a stepping stone towards your ideal job, however, youths should still take it as a means to gain experience and take up opportunities to learn.
Important Skills Employers are Looking for
- Jimmy emphasized that adaptability is especially important for working in start-ups. There, employees are expected to be comfortable dealing with ambiguity. Besides this, youths can expect to communicate with people of different ages and cultures. Work these days is no longer in silos, hence teamwork is important.
- Edwin added that in general, employers are looking for people who can help them solve problems, instead of giving them more problems. The hard skills for the job can often be taught very quickly to any newcomer, but the ability to independently solve problems is rare and hard to teach.
Steps to Stand out in the Application Process
Anastasia provided some key points to take note during job applications:
- Understand clearly why you are applying for this job – the why is important
- Believe in yourself and your abilities
- Get the career advisors to help proofread your CV, whenever possible
- Understand the company’s mission statement and values – take note of the vocabulary they are using on their website
- Study the job description/requirement, understand the underlying skill sets and think about an actual situation that exemplifies the skills. The STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Results) is a good framework to structure your stories during interviews.
- Reach out to people in the industry/company to understand the role that you are applying for. This will also show that you are passionate about working in the company.