It’s been 2 years since the first wave of COVID-19 hit Singapore’s shores. Through lockdowns, travel restrictions, and vaccination rollouts, the country has adapted to the ever-changing situation and understood that what we once thought would come to pass is here to stay for the long run.
While COVID-19 has impacted almost every aspect of our lives, it has undeniably left an indelible mark on the healthcare industry. Coupled with Singapore’s newest Healthier SG plans to cater to an ageing population, the industry has undergone and is expected to continue seeing a change in terms of hiring practices and diversification of healthcare-roles.
Having brought to the forefront the importance of healthcare workers, the pandemic has emphasized the hard work and risk that these professionals put themselves in. As the world works towards new ways to combat the virus, it has become evident that healthcare is an industry that will always be in demand.
Contrasted with other industries that were forced to come to a standstill when the pandemic struck, many people are turning towards healthcare-related jobs because of an increased passion and realisation of its importance, as well as an understanding that the industry is not limited to just doctors and nurses, it also includes a whole host of ancillary and allied health professionals such as pharmacists, phlebotomists, therapists etc, that are as instrumental to a country’s healthcare system.
Singapore’s healthcare industry was quick to respond to changes in the DORSCON level and started making use of recruitment companies to begin hiring en masse early. An interesting point to note is the way the healthcare industry has influenced the increase in pay rates for temporary jobs.
During the height of the pandemic, when Safe Entry check-ins were compulsory and temperature screeners in high demand, the average salaries for hourly-rated roles rose to $15/ hour, due to the perceived risk that they carried. This caused employers in other industries to consider raising their hourly rates, just so that they could keep their salaries competitive. Some companies responded with a 50% increase in salaries offered, while those who decided to stick to the pre-COVID standards found themselves having to settle with choosing from a shrinking pool of candidates. Despite the decrease in COVID-related temporary jobs, candidates will continue to expect raised rates from all employers across the board.
Platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and Telegram have become the new job portals. Talents are drawn to roles that are marketed to them, much like how a consumer brand markets their products. The eye-catching visuals coupled with short, to-the-point messaging is aligned with how today’s generation prefers to consume information.
For fresh graduates or those early in their career, consider packaging a role as 360-degree Management Trainee Program if the environment allows for it. A role that provides a holistic space to contribute and learn could potentially attract promising talents who are looking for more than just a run-of-the-mill job.There has also been an increase in group, scenario-based, or ‘activity day’ interviews, which help companies understand a candidate’s thought processes and teamwork abilities more thoroughly.
While it is common for companies to prioritise hard skills as a requirement for hiring, it might be better to place the emphasis on transferrable skillsets instead. Work towards devoting time and resources to building technical skillsets from the ground up after an employee has joined the company. This ensures that incumbents have the right attitude and mindset to learn and grow, and might increase company loyalty as well once they see that their career growth is being taken care of.
Despite recent challenges, it is hard to deny that the job market is shifting to become one where job seekers now have a wealth of information and choices at their fingertips. Companies need to ensure that they stand out from competitors so as to attract the best talent.
A disciplined hiring process, as well as constant contact with other thought leaders, headhunters and prominent figures in the Human Resource field will help you stay abreast of trends in your industry. The past few years have taught us to embrace change, and we must continue to do so in order to build a team of highly skilled professionals who can work together to achieve organisational goals.
|JOB TITLE||EDUCATION QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS||YEARS OF INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE||SALARY (SGD)|
|Healthcare Assistant/Porters||PSLE||1-2 years||$1,300 – $1,800|
|Senior/Patient Service Associate||GCE N/O-Level to Diploma||1-2 years||$1,600 – $2,400|
|General Administrative Roles (Corporate, Operational – Admin & Ancillary)||GCE N/O-Level to Diploma||1-3 years||$1,600 – $2,400|
|Senior Level General Administrative Roles (Corporate, Operational – Admin & Ancillary)||GCE N/O-Level to Diploma||4 years and above||$2,400 – $3,500|
Admin & Ancillary Vacancies)
|Degree||1-5 years||$3,000 – $4,500|
|Senior Executive (Corporate,
Admin & Ancillary Vacancies)
|Degree||5 years and above||$4,000 – $5,000|
|Assistant Manager (Corporate,
Admin & Ancillary Vacancies)
|Degree||5 years and above||$5,000 – $5,500|
|Social Work Assistant||GCE A-Level, NITEC/Higher NITEC/Diploma||1-2 years||$1,700 – $2,500|
|Medical Social Worker||Degree||1-2 years||$3,300 – $4,200|
|Therapy Assistant||NITEC/Higher NITEC/Diploma||1-2 years||$2,000 – $2,400|
|Pharmacy Assistant/Technician||Diploma||1-2 years||$2,200 – $2,400|
|Pharmacists, Medical Lab Technologists||Degree||1-2 years||$3,300 – $4,200|
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