Attracting talent the biggest challenge family businesses in Singapore face: Survey

SINGAPORE - The biggest challenge family businesses in Singapore face is attracting talent, according to a new survey.

PwC and the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) said in a new report released on Thursday that 64.7 per cent of family businesses here find talent attraction a difficulty. The next most commonly cited challenges were succession planning (54.1 per cent) and company reorganisation (50.5 per cent).

The survey polled 112 companies from July to September last year. The turnover of majority of the participating companies was from $10 million to $50 million, across varying industries.

A third of the survey respondents said that they intend to hand over management of the business to the next generation of the family. To interest the new generation, 61 per cent of them provide internships and 50 per cent allowed diversification into new areas in an attempt to interest the next generation.

The survey also found that 77.1 per cent of family businesses cited commitment and passion as top attributes that they would like to see in their successors. Having vision for the business ranked second (59 per cent) while age and gender were least important.

More than half of the respondents (54 per cent), however, are open to bringing in more non-family talents to professionally manage the business.

PwC and SCCCI said in a statement that not enough was being done on the front of conflict resolution mechanisms. Only 10 per cent of companies said they leveraged on a third party mediator to manage disputes while a greater number (44 per cent) attempt to come to a resolution through informal channels.