How Singapore’s recession may impact HR teams

Stella Soon
Stella Soon
July 29, 2020

The Singapore recession and its effect on HR

Singapore is officially in a recession. From April to June, our gross domestic product fell by 41% as compared to the first quarter of 2020. Here’s how this recession may impact human resources (HR) teams.

New focus on internal HR strategies

Companies need to reevaluate their business processes during this economic downturn. So a more effective HR strategy may be in order.

This new strategy should focus on performance management and leadership development for existing employees. It’s best if it spans short and long term

Why? Managers with good people management skills develop talent better.

Strong, visible leadership will inspire employees in these tough economic times. And employee engagement keeps employees motivated and reassured about job security.  

What HR can do: 

Check out some of Glints’ articles to learn tips on performance management, leadership development, and employee engagement. Then apply them to your company.

Performance management: 

Leadership development:

Employee engagement:

Smaller internal HR budgets

Companies may freeze or decrease their yearly HR budgets. So employees will have fewer opportunities to upskill through company-provided training programmes.

Plus, HR teams may need to cut down their spending on recruitment and HR systems. 

What HR can do

HR teams can compile a list of free online courses relevant to their industry and email them to the company. Learning goes on!

For some inspiration, check out LinkedIn courses, Coursera, and Google Digital Garage. Bonus points for self-improvement courses or those about soft skills in the workplace.

Regular training makes sure employees stay relevant. That’s especially if job reshuffles are needed. Plus, it ensures HR fulfills its purpose of developing people and talent. 

New recruitment strategies (external expansion)

It’s common for companies to freeze hiring or rescind job offers in a recession. But that doesn’t mean HR teams have nothing to do.

Instead, figure out skills needed in the new normal. Then create job positions based on these skills.

What HR can do: 

To adapt to smaller HR budgets, teams need a new and updated recruitment strategy that will strengthen their company’s market position.

To develop this, monitor the industry landscape and how competitors are changing their hiring strategies. 

Also, strengthen relationships with your company’s clients. Understand their hiring plans and changes in business strategy to predict where future demand will be.

Then headhunt people who have the necessary skills through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Impacts of the Singapore recession

HR teams, take heart and remain forward-looking. The economy will eventually recover and the situation will improve, no matter the industry. In the meantime, HR teams should build up their company’s human resources so they are ready to ride this upturn.

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