Tech Circle #1 – Recruitment: Key Takeaways

Tech Circle 1 Nbas Key Takeaways

On January 26th, NBAS hosted the first Tech Circle event. This is a new monthly event series focusing on cross-industrial topics of value for our members. Recruitment was the topic for the first session. We had invited recruitment experts Martin Garnes from Sephora and Magnus Grimeland from Antler to share their insight and expertise to kick off the discussion. During the session, our members shared their views and thoughts on recruitment, and it turned out to be a great and insightful discussion. Read on for insights and thoughts shared during the session.

Pandemic changing the hiring landscape

Few events can flip the world upside down, and the COVID-19 pandemic has been one of them. When the pandemic hit in 2020, unemployment was at an all-time high across the globe, with Singapore being no exception. According to the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore’s unemployment rate rose to 2.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 – the highest level in more than a decade. Companies went into survival mode, and recruitment activity was almost non-existent. However, recruitment did eventually begin the healing process towards the end of 2020. In September 2021, Singapore hit an all-time high of 98,700 job vacancies. This was as a result of border restrictions and manpower in demand in growth sectors, according to the Ministry of Manpower.

Tech talent in demand, but finding the right people is challenging

While the pandemic has taken a toll on many industries, it has welcomed a whole new era for technology. Companies are investing heavily in digital transformation. This has resulted in a surge of demand in the technology recruitment scene. According to the job listing portal Indeed, tech jobs hit an all-time high in Singapore as postings increased by 76 per cent by the end of October 2021 compared to February 2020. However, the message from the market is loud and clear: there is a surge in demand for tech talents. But finding the right people for the intended roles is challenging.

The scarcity of tech talent is well felt in Singapore. The competition is accelerating, the ever-changing border control rules and tightening of Work Pass requirements are shrinking the talent supply even further. The tech talent war has no end in sight. So, how do you beat out competitors and win the battle?

Employer branding to attract tech talent

With fierce competition, and without the promise of benefits and a great working environment, candidates will look elsewhere. So, why should a highly-skilled candidate choose your company?

During the session, Martin Garnes highlighted the value of strong employer branding to attract the best talents in your industry. He emphasised that recruitment is becoming more like marketing and sales, and not only HR. According to Relevant, about 92% of employees would consider switching companies if offered a role in a company that has a stellar corporate reputation. While offering competitive salaries is a common way of attracting top talents, the company’s reputation and values, and giving opportunities for career growth and continuous learning can get your reputation right and improve your chances of finding and retaining the best employees.

In today’s tech market, it is no longer a case of applicants competing for jobs, it is jobs competing for applicants. Developing a strong employer brand is an ongoing process. However, companies that are willing to invest in their employer brand will benefit from accessing, hiring, and retaining top talent.

Norwegian software player Kezzler expanding in Asia

Norwegian technology company Kezzler recently joined NBAS as a company member. Innovation has always been at the heart of Kezzler. The company empowers brands to provide a safe, transparent, and enhanced product experience through connected digital products. Kezzler deploys its patented serialisation technology to help clients meet challenges from counterfeit goods and unauthorised distribution, to track- and traceability concerns and consumer engagement. In 2021, they launched in Asia, with Singapore as a natural first step.

At the first Tech Circle session, we met Marie Pettersson, the General Manager & Partner Sales Director of Kezzler in Singapore. It is her second time living in the Red Dot. Last year, she came back to Singapore to bring new technology to customers and enable product digitisation in a whole new way. Having entered the Asian market, Marie and Kezzler are looking for people with a creative and entrepreneurial mindset to be a part of their journey. Kezzler is currently looking for customer-facing presales resources and software engineers, who love to solve problems for large enterprise customers across Asia Pacific. If you or someone you know is looking for an exciting opportunity in tech, please feel free to connect with Marie at

Tech Circle #1 - Recruitment: Key Takeaways Marie Pettersson 2

Marie Pettersson, General Manager & Partner Sales Director of Kezzler in Singapore

“Sharing is caring”

After reading this article, you are probably well aware of the strong competition for the best tech talent. How can Norwegian companies overcome this? During the session, Marie Pettersson highlighted the importance of the Norwegian network and community in Singapore. Close to 200 companies are established in Singapore, and the Norwegian community is strong and well connected. Norwegian companies should tap into this network by sharing talent to build strong brands. By finding a common ground and working together, Norwegian companies can offset costs, leverage talent, and fill skill gaps in ways that can benefit everyone.

Upcoming Tech Circle #2 – Partnerships between Start-ups and Enterprises

We would like to thank everyone for attending the first session. We always appreciate your feedback on our events, so please let us know if there is anything we can improve, or if you have a topic you would like to focus on for upcoming Tech Circle events.

Remember to mark your calendar for the next edition of Tech Circle on the 24th of February. The event is focusing on Partnerships between Start-ups and Enterprises, hosted by Cocoon Capital at Antler. Partnerships between start-ups and enterprises can be fruitful for both parties. What characterises good win-win cooperation? When should start-ups and enterprises collaborate – and when should they not? How to create platforms and structures to create synergies?

For this session, we have invited Investment Director of Cocoon Capital, Ine Jacobsen and Senior Vice President, Head of External Relations Asia, Håkon Bruaset Kjøl from Telenor to contribute. They will share their expertise on the topic as a lead up to an informal discussion among our members.

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, we have a maximum of 20 participants for this professional event. We will close the sign up on the 23rd of February.