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Experts Weigh In: The Truth about Employer Branding in Singapore

The latest Employer Branding Report says it all… Top Organisations in Singapore are lagging behind when it comes to nurturing a compelling Employment brand.

Are we surprised? Absolutely.

Dubbed as Asia’s best country to work in by the World Economic Forum, Singapore is also well-known for its major commercial and financial hub. As organisations in Singapore race to hire the brightest and the best in light of the recent changes to employment law, a compelling Employment Brand might just be the winning trick to lend organisations a head start in the pursuit of talented workers.

We asked local experts Steven Yeong, Talent Evangelist and HR entrepreneur Adrian Tan what they thought of the report findings. We also had a chance to speak to China Gorman, Global Consultant and Chair of WorkHuman Advisory Board to share her views on Employer Branding as a Talent Acquisition strategy.

Read on to find out what they think and click to tweet if you agree!


Responses to the 2015 Employer Branding Report

"The findings are surprising as I expected higher growth! It clearly shows that organizations in Singapore are slow in embracing new technology and social media as a means to attracting talent. This is surprising when you consider the fact that we are often told in Singapore that the only natural resource we have is people; but it seems that firms are slow to use new tools to tap on these "natural resource"  - Steven Yeong


“Employer Branding efforts in organizations are well meaning and show a focus that is supported by the C-Suite. Unfortunately, many organizations are putting together strong employment branding campaigns that are not reflective of their real corporate culture. Employment branding only works if it tells the truth about the employee experience within the organization. By creating expectations for a Google-like culture when the culture is far from it may have the unintended consequence of creating higher turnover rather than lower turnover. We know that the younger workers in the economy are already more prone to job movement than their predecessors. And they have a strong focus on doing well while doing good. If they are promised a human and people-centric culture in the recruitment process and join the organization only to find that the culture is anything but human, tenure will plummet, hiring costs will go sky high, and the employment brand will be significantly damaged. This will make talent acquisition even harder." - China Gorman



"Companies in general still do not really have a clear understanding of the impact a good employer branding or image can have on their company. A lot of companies I know of have not heard of sites like Glassdoor and PayScale…so until they have a basic understanding of what Employer Branding entails, they won’t be able to progress to the next step. Typically, HR is managed by people with legacy and baggage – too comfortable with the way they have been doing things, as they are feel they have been fairly successful in hiring people so that they happy with status quo, and Employer Branding has never been considered as a strategy." - Adrian Tan


Is the ‘War For Talent’ real?

"The term ‘War for Talent’ has been around for a very long time. I don’t consider it as ‘war’ because it never ends. There is no end point where you win or lose, you will just be moving along the spectrum. For any organisation of any sector or industry, there is always a shortage of Talent they need to help them grow their business. " – Adrian Tan



“I actually prefer "The Competition for Talent". But "War" definitely sounds sexier. Singapore is no different from developed cities around the world where there is a premium for knowledge-skilled workers. Let's take the example of social media consultants or data scientists. 10 years ago, there was no such job. But fast forward to Sep 2015, organizations are falling over themselves to hire such people but there is just not enough of them primarily because universities are not churning the workforce with the right skills. And it’s tough for universities too as technology tends to be one-step ahead. To be fair, organizations will always be in a competition for talent especially in certain jobs.” – Steven Yeong


“The War for Talent is a reality in nearly every geography, every industry, and most functions. As Baby Boomers all over the world are retiring from full-time employment (not necessarily retiring from work completely), and as the Millennials and Gen Z are struggling to make their educations relevant to employers, most talent acquisition professionals report increasing difficulty in finding the right talent to fill openings when and where they need it. In North America, part of the challenge is the perception that the education infrastructure and systems are ill-preparing students to join the economy. Additionally, youth unemployment rates are the highest ever reported, so young people face a steep climb into the world of work. The War for Talent is real.” – China Gorman


Upcoming Employment Brand trends

"Candidate experience is extremely disconnected and every touch point should be cared for. Companies could be focusing too much on social media and on employer brand but essentially, they are neglecting the fundamentals. No matter how good your employee testimonials is, candidates just want a good job application experience. They want a simple job application process, for employers to call them, and if they are not suitable, tell them why and allow them move onto another opportunity quickly." – Adrian Tan


“Definitely career page and social media presence (especially Links to Social Pages/Sites).  I also think companies that train their hiring managers how to interview smarter through being more professional and better EQ will gain more traction in Employer Branding. That human touch (interviewing) is still important. You can have all the nice bells and whistles in using technology to enhance your brand but without smarter interviewers who treat candidates with respect and creation of faster interview processes, firms will use lose their preferred candidates fast.” - Steven Yeong



“For employment branding efforts to be successful, more attention will surely need to be paid to organization culture efforts. It will not be effective to grow the social media investment to sell a culture that is dysfunctional or unappealing to the talent that is being targeted. And spinning the truth about your culture to lure in unsuspecting potential employees will surely do more damage than good. Leaders in the C-Suite need to understand the challenge and be on board with creating a strong and positive employee experience through their commitment to clear organizational values, trustworthy leadership and visible appreciation for hard work.”  - China Gorman


About the experts


Steven Yeong 


Currently Talent Evangelist & Human Resources Coach at Hof Consulting, Steven Yeong has 15 years of experience in recruiting from both coporate and agency work. He has worked in global firms such as Oracle, Sun Microsystems, 3M, Adecco and many others.

To learn more about what Steven does and Hof Consulting, go to


China Gorman

China Gorman is a successful global business executive in the competitive Human Capital Management (HCM) sector. She is a sought-after consultant, speaker and writer bringing the CEO perspective to the challenges of building cultures of humanity for top performance and innovation, and strengthening the business impact of Human Resources. Well known for her tenure as CEO of the Great Place to Work® Institute, COO and interim CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and President of Lee Hecht Harrison, China works with HCM organizations all over the world to enhance their brands and their go-to-market strategies.

Additionally, she serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Jobs for America’s Graduates as well as the Advisory Boards of RiseSmart Inc.,the Workforce Institute at Kronos, and chairs the Globoforce WorkHuman Advisory Board. China is the author of the popular blog Data Point Tuesday, and is published and frequently quoted in media properties like Fortune, TLNT, Huffington Post, Inc., Fast Company, U.S. News & World Report and many others.

To learn more about China, go to


Adrian Tan

Adrian is HR entrepreneur who co-founded 2 recruitment and 1 career coaching business. With more than a decade of experience, he is currently a public speaker and co-author a career guide book ‘Everything You Wish To Ask a Headhunter‘.
A recipient of the Leading HR entrepreneur at Singapore HR Awards 2013, he writes frequently in publication such as The Straits Times Recruit, Singapore Business Review and major job portals.
To find out more about Adrian, visit