Singapore’s companies need to adapt to attract top millennial talent

According to Robert Half, the millennial generation is set to make a positive and progressive impact on Singaporean businesses.

  • According to Singaporean companies, the top three qualities brought to the workplace by millennials are a greater emphasis on soft skills (57%), increased flexibility (48%) and an increased emphasis on collaboration and transparency (44%).  
  • To adapt to a changing workforce, 59% of CFOs have increased collaboration among all generations in their workplace and 53% have refined their hiring processes.

According to new independent research commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half, the millennial generation is set to make a positive and progressive impact on Singaporean businesses. In trying to secure all the benefits brought by their tech-savviness and appetite for learning, Singaporean businesses are adapting their workplace and adjusting their hiring practices in order to attract top millennial talent. 

According to the research, more than half (57%) of Singaporean CFOs cite one of the top qualities brought by millennials to the workplace is an increased emphasis on soft skills, such as communication, problem-solving and interpersonal skills. This is followed by increased flexibility (48%), which refers to the growing acceptance of flexible working arrangements such as working from home and flexible work hours; an increased emphasis on collaboration and transparency to enhance sharing of best practices (44%) and increased mentoring programs to foster supportive work relationships (39%). 

Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore said: “Technology is changing businesses and the wider workplace more quickly and drastically than anticipated. In order to keep up in a heavily competitive and technology-based environment, companies need to attract the necessary talent who possess the skills required to move the business into the future. Having grown up with enormous accessibility to technology, millennial-aged professionals are more than capable of helping companies transform into more agile and responsive enterprises.”

“Singaporean workplaces are invariably multi-generational, however the workforce will inevitably be dominated by millennials as Baby Boomers gradually retire. In the midst of this transition, companies will need to adopt multi-generational collaboration and (reverse) mentoring programs as a way to share best practices and knowledge.”

When asked what measures they have taken to adapt to an increasingly multi-generational workforce, more than half (59%) of Singapore’s CFOs have increased their level of collaboration among all generations in the workplace – which includes a greater focus on teamwork, brainstorming and relationship building across all company teams. Other measures include adapting hiring processes to attract top candidates (53%), open lines of communication (48%), (reverse) mentoring programs (40%) and tailored retention and professional development programs (30%). 

“By utilising millennial talent as a catalyst for change, Singaporean companies can maximise their workforce’s full potential and face the changing demands of the market.”

“In terms of attracting and retaining top millennial talent, employers will need to adapt – and fast. Millennials thrive in a flexible and transparent workplace, and remuneration is not always their top priority, so employers will need to adjust their hiring practices and tailor their talent management programs to attract the workforce of the future,” concluded Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard.   


About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and was conducted in January 2017 by an independent research firm, surveying 100 Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and Finance Directors in Singapore. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]