The talent landscape in Singapore and the wider Asia Pacific region is shifting dramatically.

A lot of the change is being driven, and will continue to be driven, by the requirements of businesses now and over the longer-term.

One of the buzz phrases of the moment is ‘future skills’ – ensuring your organisation has the right people with the right skills in line with the rapidly evolving nature of the workplace.

The World Economic Forum Future of Jobs Report says that by 2020 over a third of the desired core skill sets of most occupations will consist of skills that are not yet considered vital to the jobs of today.

What we do know from our work with senior HR / Talent Acquisition managers is that while technical skills remain highly valued, there is an increasing desire to identify and recruit talent with broader skills such as creativity, critical thinking and sociability.

For employers in Asia Pacific, the changing talent requirements provide challenges. Substantial changes in mind-set will be needed, something businesses and education providers in the region are starting to build into their training and learning and development programmes.

Such an approach will help to ensure local talent is best equipped to take on senior and scarce roles requiring the kind of future skills outlined earlier in this blog.

Data, and its growing importance in every aspect of our business and personal lives, is playing a pivotal role in determining the talent that is in most demand.

As the amount of data continues to grow exponentially so the need for talent capable of interpreting and making sense of this information also grows.

Dr David Deming, associate professor of education and economics at Harvard University, believes that social skills, or the ability to ‘play well’ with others, will be crucial in the modern working environment.

This includes the ability to collaborate, negotiate, build strong relationships and empathise on many different levels.

Singapore’s PSB Academy – also known as The Future Academy – is playing a key role in helping to ensure APAC talent is best equipped to meet the needs of employers in the so called New Economy. At any one time, the Academy will host 12,000 students from over 50 countries.

Derrick Chang, a Director of the PSB Academy, says: “It is time to relook the effectiveness of basing students’ competency on how they fare in written examinations and instead consider placing more emphasis on project work that tests a student’s ability to network, collaborate, think creatively and make sense of data and apply these skills to solve real-world problems.”

This change in mind-set will not happen overnight. The best talent is highly sought after. Finding the talent to fill senior and scarce roles in organisations needs a strategic approach. There is a growing need to look out of sector. Armstrong Craven’s services of insight, mapping and pipelining give businesses the competitive edge now and into the future.