employees fear for job security due to lack of digital skills in Singapore, Hong Kong SAR and Malaysia: Randstad WorkmonitorThe world is fast transforming into a digital one with consumers changing their purchasing habits, as well as organisations adopting new digital strategies to grow their business and maintain a competitive edge. This seems to have hit the confidence of employees in Singapore, Hong Kong SAR and Malaysia with many stating that in order to guarantee employability in the future, they need to acquire more digital skills.

When looking at the regional average across Singapore, Hong Kong SAR and Malaysia, 84% of employees stated they needed additional digital skills to guarantee future employability compared to a lower global average of 64%.

58% of employees across the three countries went on further to explain that their current roles involved large amounts of repetitive tasks that could be automated, compared to the global average of 44%. 

Employees in Malaysia held the highest concern for their job security with nine in ten (91%) stating that they needed to acquire digital skills. In addition, seven in ten (74%) stated that their current jobs involved a lot of repetitive work that could be automated, a major reason for their concern over their aptitude for digital work.

Singapore employees were slightly more optimistic - five in ten (49%), stated that their jobs involved less repetitive tasks that could be automated compared to their counterparts in the region. Despite this, eight in ten (84%) Singapore employees still felt the need to learn more digital skills, surpassing the global average by 20%.

Hong Kong Millennials, aged 18 to 34, were the only respondents among Singapore and Malaysia to feel a stronger need to digitally upskill than their older colleagues, aged 35 to 54.

Need to acquire more digital skills to guarantee future employability

Performs repetitive work that can be automated

While many feel that their organisations in the region are prepared with digital strategies, 84% of employees in Singapore, Hong Kong SAR and Malaysia also feel that the skillsets required to drive these strategies forward are lacking in their respective countries. In comparison, only 58% of employees mirrored these sentiments on a global level.

Digitisation needs different skillsets than what is currently available in the workforce

Managing Director for Randstad Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, Michael Smith noted, “The region has been undergoing rapid development to boost digital strategies, and hiring trends have supported this. Organisations across various industries are snapping up talent with digital skills to support their digital strategies, which has led to a gap within the talent pool for candidates with these skills.”

“The Workmonitor results have clearly shown that employees understand that there is a strong lack of digital talent in the region and that they need to upskill for the future. Government agencies in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia are all looking to address this issue with initiatives to upskill their respective workforces. Employees would also need to be open to learning and constantly update themselves in terms of technologies and skill sets to stay relevant for the future workplace,” added Mr Smith.

The Randstad Workmonitor  
The Randstad Workmonitor was launched in the Netherlands in 2003 and now covers 34 countries around the world, encompassing Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas. The Randstad Workmonitor is published four times a year, making both local and global trends in mobility regularly visible over time.

The Workmonitor Mobility Index, which tracks employee confidence and captures expectations surrounding the likelihood of changing employers within a six month time frame, provides a comprehensive understanding of job market sentiments and employee trends. In addition to measuring mobility, it provides insights into employee satisfaction and personal motivation, as well as explores sentiments around key trends shaping the world of work for employees each quarter. 

The quantitative study is conducted via an online questionnaire among a population aged 18-65, working a minimum of 24 hours a week in a paid job (not self-employed). The minimal sample size is 400 interviews per country, using Survey Sampling International.  

About Randstad
Randstad is one of the world’s largest recruitment and HR services providers, with Asia Pacific operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong SAR, China, Australia and New Zealand. Randstad Singapore specialises in permanent and contract recruitment, placing high calibre mid to senior level professionals in companies across key industry sectors. Since 1993, Randstad Singapore has been shaping the world of work for 20 years, and continues to help organisations recruit the best talent in accounting & finance, banking and financial services, corporate & secretarial support, engineering, human resources, IT, life sciences and sales & marketing.