A Future Forecast for Talent in 2022

We spoke to our global business leaders about the business changes they have witnessed and what challenges lie ahead…

The repercussions of the pandemic have lead to historic changes in the way we think about talent.  Not only has demand fluctuated but the whole recruitment process has been turned on its head.

Any business with the drive to survive has had to rethink their staffing strategies over the past 18 months. Whether a business is striving for stability or growth – staffing is at the heart of the matter.

The way we search for, and onboard new talent has evolved. Does it work? Yes? But do we feel like it is as effective?

The wants and needs of clients and talent has also changed – whether it be based on be salary, culture or development. Expectations now are very different to what they have been.

Built for change

The past year has established major trends, most notable in remote working and hybrid business models. But also in diversity and inclusion as well as movement into AI and experience management and technological developments.

We spoke to our business leaders across the globe about the business changes they have witnessed, and what challenges the talent market is facing as we step into the future.

Lisa what have you seen in the market in the past 12 months in Singapore?

The demand for local talent is still incredibly high and this is driving up the salaries for particular roles in Singapore. UX, Product & Engineering roles are still incredibly in demand. We are constantly being asked for top talent in these specialties.

With a large number of expats leaving Singapore in 2021 and a limited amount of new foreign talent coming into the market (due to visa and travel issues) there has been a steady increase in companies taking on candidates remotely and this is proving to be successful for businesses who can adapt to these models.

What do you expect 2022 to look like?

With travel restrictions slowly lifting there will be more opportunities for new talent to come into the market.

Tech start-ups, super apps, e-commerce platforms, CRYPTO companies and the unicorns will still be the desired companies to work for in Singapore.

We also expect to see a continued increase in flexible working and remote roles and candidates choosing to leave old fashioned work cultures and move to companies with a more modern approach to work.

UX, Product & Engineering roles will still be in demand as well as positions focused on social media & app development. Roles that were scarce or unknown a few years ago will steadily increase in demand: AI, AR, Influencer Marketing, Social Listeners, Sustainable Tech Consultants, and anything Cloud related.

Chris what has the past year been like for markets in Japan?

2021 has picked up significantly with companies investing in eCommerce, performance marketing and analytics.  It has been a busy time for consulting firms in Japan as they deliver projects to help companies evolve to new ways of working and to create new digital platforms and business models, I expect this will continue into 2022.

What do you expect to see from the job market in the year ahead? 

I’m expecting the job market in Japan in 2022 to be busy.

On the hiring front, finding people with progressive digital skills remains challenging,  finding those who are also bi-lingual even more so.  This situation is made harder by the boarders in Japan having been closed to new work visas for 18 months,  with no end date in sight we expect the same challenges in 2022.

In 2021 we’ve seen companies take more flexible approaches to where their team are based, hiring people who are working remotely throughout Japan or based anywhere that as a similar time zone in APAC, this is another trend that will continue into 2022.

Liam what have you seen in the market in the past 12 months in UK and Europe?

2021 saw an incredible rebound in the design and product sector, driven by ideas and innovation in all sectors, with demand outstripping supply of skills significantly. Naturally this impacted rates as the battle for talent became as intense as we have seen it for many years.

There are some very exciting design and tech projects in the year ahead and flexible working is here to stay.

What are your predictions for 2022?

It’s hard to predict 2022 in the UK and Europe against the backdrop of alarming political trends – especially in the fields of science and ethics.

Perhaps it is the lack of political courage and balanced leadership which could threaten not only business confidence ahead of 2022 but more importantly could overshadow human well-being. We have always been about the future, so it is vital that we work to protect and nurture our next generation’s ‘present’.

What changes have you noticed happening in the market over the past 12 months Selma? 

Ecommerce business is still booming in China with some new market places emerging such as Douyin Ecommerce, Live Streaming Ecommerce, thus Ecommerce talents are in great demand

Digitalization was officially included in the government economy development policy and thus became a hot topic and a necessary trend for most companies across difference business sectors

Chinese government is strengthening business regulations striving for collective prosperity and encouraging second or third child, the commercial training and education business are almost completely shut down, and some leading internet companies are potentially impacted due to anti-monopoly#

What do you expect the Chinese Markets to look like in the new year? 

Video social media (Douyin, BiliBili, WeChat Video Channel etc.) will keep growing and play a more pivotal role among China social ecosystem in 2022. Jobs related to this will be in demand in 2022

Digital transformation will be sped up and applied to a wider scope to cover branding, channel, R&D, production. Digital tech and digital design talents are both areas if high demand in both digital agency and brand companies especially in the sectors of logistic service, automotive, consumer goods, tech, and retail.

The job market will be expected to resume in 2022 given a high level of business confidence from China CEOs in 2021, and the 3rd child and carbon neutrality policies will also boost thriving of some particular industries such as healthcare, maternal & child, new energy related consumption etc. Chinese boarders will remain closed in 2022, but domestic travelling is allowed to the majority of people.

China’s manufacturing and social consumption will be the key forces leading economic recovery in 2022.

Mark what trends have developed in Hong Kong in 2021?

The pandemic opened huge opportunities for tech companies across the world. From food delivery to e-commerce and home entertainment, tech companies have flourished over the last two years. This creates demand for experienced tech talent and professionals that find ways to gain market share.

Hong Kong is traditionally known as the financial capital of Asia and has made strides in the last years in digitizing their banking infrastructure and even opening up licenses for digital banks. Besides that, investment and crypto apps are booming and offer ways for people to have control over their own wealth. To bind and maintain customers in this sector, clarity and speed are crucial. So all companies realize that top notch UX design is crucial for a healthy and future proof business. Especially when digital interfaces are the only ways for the customer to interact with their company.

What are your predictions for Hong Kong in 2022?

Some of the most strict covid measurements are applied in Hong Kong, making travelling and doing business internationally very challenging. Similar to what we see in Singapore, it also makes foreign workers decide to move out of Hong Kong, going back to their home country. With little talent coming in from abroad, I believe that talent will mainly need to be found from within the city and Mainland China, as it’s expected Hong Kong to open up its borders north before the rest of the world.

Ray what trends have developed in the German market in 2022?

The digital marketing market in Germany has shown significant growth, not only in Berlin, but all the other major cities across the country with digital hubs and clusters forming in most regions. Berlin is still the dominant location for digital start-ups and for overseas companies to gain a digital foothold in the country.  However, in other regions traditional companies of all sectors are embracing digital transformation helped and supported by government initiatives and a strong education sector supporting the tech industry.

In terms of the German market for digital advertising, spending has been dominated by the retail industry closely followed by the auto industry. Due to the pandemic like most markets in Europe, there has seen a sharp decline in travel advertising spending due to the covid pandemic. The market for Programmatic Advertising spending has rapidly increased due to German consumers’ demand for detailed product information which is mirrored by the advertisements in German media.

What do you predict for 2022 across German markets?

Next year is predicted to be an exciting year with much more competition in the market with significant growth and evolution in SaaS products and new platforms and technology coming in terms of AI benefiting companies looking to sell their products online.



We have learned a lot during the pandemic. As individuals, businesses and communities we have had to adapt in ways we never thought possible.  Developments in tech have been unbelievable and it has been exciting to see how platforms and apps evolve so quickly in order to keep up with the landscape. We can not predict what 2022 will bring for us or for our vast marketplace – but we can be sure we will rise to the challenge.


We would like to thank our incredible leadership team for their insights.

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