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Old 22nd July 2011, 07:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hiring trends in S'pore slowing down: Hudson Report

Hiring trends in S'pore slowing down: Hudson Report

By Qiuyi Tan
Posted: 21 July 2011 1825 hrs


SINGAPORE: After aggressive hiring in the last two years, companies in Singapore are being a little more cautious in their hiring, said human resource firm Hudson on Thursday.

Out of over 400 executives polled for the latest Hudson Report, 56 per cent said they plan to grow headcount in the July to September quarter.

This was a slight drop from the 61 per cent reported in the previous quarter.

Hudson said the levelling off in hiring expectations was widely anticipated.

Reporting the highest hiring expectations was the Healthcare and Life Sciences sector, staying at 67 per cent.

Consumer, Advertising and Retail saw a substantial jump to 66 per cent, from 59 per cent.

Manufacturing saw the biggest drop, from 59 per cent to 44 per cent, while Banking fell to 49 per cent from 59 per cent previously.

Info-communications and Telecoms saw a slight fall to 61 per cent.

However, another HR firm, Randstad, said companies will hire just as aggressively for the second half of the year, if not more.

Its research showed some 75 per cent of companies experiencing what it calls "a critical skills shortage".

Both firms, however, said Singapore is still an employee's market and companies will continue to face the challenge of retaining staff.

Hudson director Craig Brewer said: "If you're given an open cheque book, then a lot of the time, in a good environment, it's very easy - good bonuses, good salary increases keep the troops happy.

"But in a changing and challenging environment where you can't do that, all of a sudden the pressure is on. How do we make sure that you can continue to attract and retain the right people?

"So organisations need to look at a whole range of things - looking at work-life balance, looking at the culture they're creating in an organisation.

"A lot of the most popular organisations globally aren't the best payers - some are, some aren't. But organisations known as terrific places to develop your career will be able to attract candidates."

Investment from foreign companies is also keeping employment up.

Karin Clarke, regional director, Singapore and Malaysia, Randstad, said: "Asia's very diverse and each country has its unique circumstances. What we definitely do see is huge intentions in hiring in China and we're talking about companies looking to hire in the thousands.

"India continues to be very aggressive in hiring intentions and both those markets are globally recognised as the next big hubs.

"Hong Kong and Malaysia - very similar to Singapore - you have huge wage pressures, low unemployment and quite aggressive investment coming from both government and local initiatives, but also from offshore interests.

"There's some consistency in the region. Japan would be the exception - obviously a result of the tsunami. Asia is the emerging market, so if you talk to any (of the) multinationals, whether based in the US or Europe, they have strategies and distinct plans on how they will grow and market to the emerging markets like Asia.

"There is a lot more aggression in terms of establishing a footprint in Asia whilst they're in a position to be able to do that. And I think the uncertainty in both Europe and America is, almost in a sense, fast-tracking some major companies' investment in the region."

As for what companies are looking for when hiring managers and above, the report said cultural fit was the most sought after attribute, far more than other qualities like flexibility or even people management skills.

Cultural fit was mentioned by almost 60 per cent of the employers surveyed, exceeding by a significant margin the 36 per cent for flexibility and 32 per cent for people management.

Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...142212/1/.html

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