Talent a top operational priority

Attracting and retaining necessary talent is a top operational priority to achieve growth in the next three years.

Two-thirds of CEOs globally (71%) and 60% in Singapore agree the ability to retain talent amid the pressures of inflation and rising costs of living are top of mind, as are the long-term impacts of the pandemic and geopolitical tensions on organisations. ESG approaches of businesses are seen as a key differentiator in attracting and retaining talent.

talent a top operational priority

As recession looms, hiring freezes

An expected recession is placing significant short-term emphasis on hiring and headcount reductions: 39% of CEOs globally have already implemented a hiring freeze, and 46% are considering downsizing their workforce over the next six months.

More caution has been observed by CEOs in Singapore with 48% having already halted hiring temporarily, while close to two-thirds (60%) are planning to reduce headcount in the coming months. However, from a long-term standpoint, 92% expect their organisation’s headcount to increase over the next three years. 

preparing for an anticipated recession

Source: KPMG 2022 CEO Outlook

Igniting a spirit of experimentation

Hybrid and remote working have had a positive impact on hiring, collaboration and productivity over the past two years. However, many multinational organisations are launching return-to-office plans to usher in a “return to normal” with 65% of CEOs envisioning in-office as the go-to office environment in three years. In Singapore, 60% of CEOs see in-office as the default mode of work.

As employee expectations of remote work shift, CEOs will have to focus on developing a better working structure that suits their people in what is still an emerging area.

Should the scope for in-office work increase, CEOs will still need to ensure that staff are able to engage in purposeful interactions. How do CEOs define what an optimal structure looks like? Active listening, empathetic communications and a commitment to finding the right balance over the long term will be key.

Ideal working environment over the next 3 years

Source: KPMG 2022 CEO Outlook