18 April 2024

Trends in the Recruitment and Job Placement Market in Singapore, January-March 2024

Trends in the Recruitment and Job Placement Market in Singapore, January-March 2024

Singapore: Unveiling of Plans for Further Tightening of Employment Visa Requirements in 2025: Current Situation and Implications

Number of job offers YOY:55%
Number of job openings YOY (past 3 years):

2021年202220232024
Apr - JunJul - SepOct - DecJan - MarApr - JunJul - SepOct - DecJan - MarApr - JunJul - SepOct - DecJan - Mar
100%112%90%151%96%156%68%157%59%95%91%108%

< Market Overview in Singapore >

Singapore's economic outlook for 2024 appears stable. GDP growth is projected between 1.0% and 3.0%, and inflation is expected to moderate compared to the previous year. The upcoming leadership transition with the retirement of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the 2025 general elections raise questions about potential policy shifts under the new administration.

< Local Hiring Trends among Companies in Singapore >

Singapore's job market is experiencing its lowest activity level since 2017, with a low job-switching rate (only 14.7% of workers changed jobs in the past two years). This trend suggests that companies might need to adapt their recruitment strategies. 

Stricter work visa requirements for foreigners necessitate a focus on hiring local talent, particularly for Japanese companies. The new work visa assessment system (COMPASS) prioritises reducing nationality bias within organisations, making it even more challenging to hire permanent resident Japanese nationals. As a consequence, companies are fiercely competing for candidates, with some resorting to closing departments or relocating offices with a high concentration of foreign staff. 

However, there are also positive signs, with new job postings emerging from newly established companies entering the market.

< Job-Seeker Trends in SIngapore >

Despite traditionally high registration periods, the number of job seekers this year has been low. Difficulty in obtaining work visas has dampened job search activity among Japanese job seekers in Singapore, and pursuing opportunities abroad has also become more challenging. 

Traditionally, job searches would pick up after the year-end bonus season, but with stricter work visa requirements expected from January 2025, the job market is predicted to experience a slowdown. The pool of Singaporean Japanese speakers (who don't require work visas) remains limited, while demand is steadily increasing, leading to intense competition among companies to secure these candidates.

Fahad Farook

Managing Director of JAC Recruitment Singapore
Fahad Farook

■JAC Recruitment Singapore Overview
https://www.jacgroup.com/en/locations/country/singapore

■JAC Recruitment Singapore Website
https://www.jac-recruitment.sg/

【JAC Recruitment Asia: Job Listing Comparison Report (Previous Quarter and YOY)】

 Change from previous period(Oct-Dec)Year-on-year comparison
Singapore108%55%
Malaysia118%88%
Thailand108%68%
Indonesia122%134%
Vietnam86%97%
Korea76%57%
India110%96%
Japan(*)109%92%

*Recruitment Related to Overseas Operations of Japanese Companies
Note: The number of job openings in each Asian country may fluctuate due to deliberate strategies implemented by individual Asian companies (such as focusing on high-paying job openings or specialist positions). Therefore, changes in the number of job openings in each Asian country do not directly reflect the performance of each company.

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