International Friendship Day: What is happening in the recruitment market for our friends in Singapore?
As a global recruitment company we are not shy when making new friends. Over the past couple of years our operations have expanded out from the UK and you will now find the Sanderson brand in Hong Kong, Sydney, and Singapore. As our footprint, teams, and client lists have expanded, so too has our reach to pools of top-quality candidates.
As we edge into the second half of the year and still tackle the trials and tribulations of COVID-19, it’s become even more vital to nurture our friendships not only in a personal capacity but also from a business perspective. Firms that are able to join forces are able to support one another with resources, skills, and investment.
We checked in with our friends in Singapore to find out more about the Asia market and the unity of iKas International and Sanderson. Adam Davies, Country Director for Sanderson-iKas Singapore, told us about his journey to director and what the focus is for the Sanderson-iKas partnership going forward:
“I’ve been working as a recruiter now for about 20 years. I was doing technology recruiting from the UK originally. Then I flew over to Australia and spent thirteen years in Sydney, and then eventually moved to Singapore in 2013.
“I’ve been recruiting across all roles and verticles; software development, infrastructure, networking, DevOps, Cloud, security, support- the whole of IT basically for many many years now.
“Here in Singapore I’ve been with iKas for over seven years in total. We had a big structural reorganisation and I took the role of country director last August. Since then I’ve been gradually building the team up from scratch- slowly but surely. We have a small team but we’re planning to hire a couple more to join us later on in the year.”
What changes has the Sanderson-iKas partnership brought?
Since the partnership there have been a fair few changes, with a move to opening-up horizons for different industries to lend support to. Adam explained:
“Here in Singapore traditionally and historically iKas has been heavily focused on banking, fintechs, and technology hiring. So we supported all roles in technology for banks, fintechs, and insurance companies- asset managers, hedge funds, and consultancies; all of this in the finance space.
“The plan is to develop beyond IT and look at opportunities across RPO, transformation, change- the list goes on. So there’s going to be lots of different things happening going forward. We do permanent, contact, and statement of work- so the opportunities are endless.
“When Sanderson invested in iKas as a business they got a footprint in Asia and Australia- Singapore, Hong Kong, and Sydney. The Sanderson brand is expanding across the region, expanding its portfolio of services to its clients, and is providing a better service to all customers from different locations globally. Brand equity is hard to come by, and iKas is a known and trusted brand here. Under Sanderson iKas you get brand credibility and you get the wealth of services along with it.”
Tell us about the market in Singapore?
Whilst gazing at the stunning photographs of Singapore on Google images, we daydreamed about the potential of doing a roadtrip or office swap with the lucky Singapore team. Adam explained the Singapore office focus and why it’s the perfect location for companies looking to expand their Asia-Pacific (APAC) reach:
“Singapore is a real hub now for South East Asia. It’s a go-to location for any large corporates or multi-national corporation across any industry: banking, pharmaceuticals, services, IT, anything you could think of really. It’s a real safehaven for any large organisation to set up its Asia headquarters because Singapore is very regulated and very safe.
“It's also a really nice place to live,” Adam added, “It’s very clean and tidy and well-run. For companies it’s a great launchpad here to then build out into Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and for people living here it’s just a great all-round place.”
Although there have been massive changes for the region due to COVID-19, the partnership of iKas International and Sanderson showed the strength of both brands and the potential for the partnership when we return to calmer shores.
“During COVID-19 a lot of companies fell by the wayside, or they scaled back their operations, or they left the markets- so we have a great story to tell. Now was a great time for iKas and Sanderson to join forces- we’re in a place where we can expand from the traditional finance focus and can access different industries.
“It’s a great time to re-grow, re-brand, and start afresh in some respects; it’s going to be an exciting time for Sanderson iKas. We’re now also in a position to provide MSPs, RPOs, and other services to our clients. We’ve got big plans and big investment- it’s not just exciting for us, but for our clients as well.”
How is it on the candidate side of things?
“It’s definitely a market now for candidates across all different areas. Clients are facing a battle for talent here for sure. Making sure that Singapore residents are treated fairly is a main focus, so we make sure that the local talent pool is looked after and we do everything we can to make sure that locals have a fair access to jobs.
“But regardless of whether they are local or not, at the end of the day we do what we can to find the best person for the job. The shortage of talent in some areas means that seeing all candidates is more crucial than ever.”
So how are businesses in Singapore going to attract top talent?
The focus for Singapore firms is not only attracting the cream of the crop, but also making sure that their current talent is looked after, constantly progressing, and remaining agile. Adam opened up about the concerns that businesses globally are facing:
“Retaining talent is a big challenge right now for most people. It’s all about identifying top performers and how you go about retraining those that could perform better. Retraining, providing support, and getting more graduates are all big focuses at the moment.
“A lot of corporates in Singapore are going back to grassroots methods of finding and nurturing talent. They are looking at universities, offering incentives, training courses, and inductions. So there is a lot of focus on training, junior staff and diversity as a whole. The traditional way of looking for talent has opened up so we can look much farther afield at all areas of the population to fill those gaps.”
To find out more about Sanderson-iKas Singapore visit the website here: https://www.sanderson-ikas.sg/