Market Update: Q2 2024 HR Market in Singapore

4 mins

As we conclude Q2 and the first half of 2024, I wanted to provide an update on the HR market...

As we conclude Q2 and the first half of 2024, I wanted to provide an update on the HR market in Singapore. Recent trends and survey data reveal significant shifts and market headwinds that may affect your hiring needs and approach to people management.  

Overall, hiring sentiment in Singapore remains cautious. The latest ManpowerGroup survey indicates a net employment outlook of 20% for Q3 2024. Despite this general softening, 44% of employers plan to increase their headcount in the coming months, demonstrating a continued demand for talent across various sectors.  

In Q2, optimism persisted with a focus on upleveling HR teams amid "HR Transformation," emphasizing quality in confidential searches. Low attrition rates continued as candidates were cautious about lateral moves. 

Specialist roles like Benefits, Compensation, HR Operations, and HR Technology (HRIS, people analytics) were in high demand, supported by innovative Total Rewards offerings. Thorough interview processes reflected client priorities, while skill-based talent management and embedded HR Business Partnerships gained traction. Hybrid work norms (3-4 days in-office) evolved, though candidate commitment remained cautious. 


Sector specific Insights:  

Finance and Real Estate:  

The net employment outlook for the Finance and Real Estate sectors has dropped by 30 percentage points to 15%, as employers exercise caution due to subdued growth and cost challenges. 


Transport, Logistics, and Automotive: 

The transport, logistics and automotive sectors demonstrates strong hiring optimism with a net outlook of 47%, the highest among the nine sectors surveyed. This represents a 22-point increase from the previous quarter and a 28-point rise year-on-year. 


Communication Services: 

The communication sector remains the most challenging, with a net outlook of -33%, down from -29% in the previous quarter. 


HR Roles in High Demand:

At Elliott Scott HR Singapore we are witnessing a notable increase in demand for Center of Excellence (COE) roles, specifically in: 

  • Compensation, Benefits, and Rewards 

  • HRIS / Analytics 

  • Talent Management and Talent Development 

  • HR Business Partners (mid/senior) 

Additionally, companies are actively seeking strong strategic HR Business Partners (HRBPs) to either fill newly created roles or upskill their existing teams. 


Strategic Shifts and Trends:  

Operational Streamlining:  

Companies are strategically streamlining their operations by offshoring and adopting flexible work arrangements. This trend is expected to persist as firms seek to balance cost efficiency with the demand for specialized skills.

Growth in Smaller Firms:  

Smaller firms (10-49 employees) report the strongest hiring outlook at 46%, signalling a vibrant growth phase for startups and SMEs. 


Challenges for Large Organizations:  

Conversely, very large organizations (1,000-4,999 employees) have experienced a significant decline in hiring sentiment, dropping to 6% from 44% in the previous quarter. 


While the overall hiring sentiment may be cautious, there are significant opportunities within the HR market, particularly for specialized roles in COE and strategic HRBPs. We encourage professionals and companies alike to stay agile and adapt to these evolving market conditions.  


If you have any questions or need further insights into the HR job market, please do not hesitate to reach out to Paul Watson at We are here to support you in navigating these changes and finding the right opportunities