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Hiring expectations dip in Singapore

Anuradha Shukla | July 25, 2012
Latest Hudson Report shows most employers will maintain headcount in next quarter.

Hiring expectations have dipped in Singapore according to the latest Hudson Report: Employment Trends that indicates that most employers will maintain headcount in the third quarter of 2012. 

A third (34.7 percent) of those surveyed by the global talent solutions company said they want to increase headcount and 57.8 percent have decided to maintain it for the next quarter.

The survey of 567 Singapore employers in June for the July-September period shows that employers are planning to cut staff numbers in the coming quarter. 

Almost a quarter (22.9%) of employers were 'optimistic' about the Singaporean economy; 70.7 percent said they were 'cautious' or 'uncertain' and 6.4 percent feel 'negative' or 'pessimistic' about the nation's economy.

"The Singaporean economy is showing a slowdown as most employers are looking for greater stability in the U.S. and Europe before committing to significant expansion of their workforces," said Andrew Tomich, executive general manager of Hudson Singapore. "Current market sentiment is best described as cautious so it's crucial for companies to invest in people who can help them navigate these turbulent times."

Impact on hiring behaviour

More than three quarters (78 percent ) of those feeling cautious said this has had a tangible effect on their hiring behaviour. About 66 percent have adopted more stringent headcount approval processes; 38.4 percent intend to implement hiring freezes for non-core roles and about 36 percent plan to slow down decisions about new hires.

About 42.9 percent of the employers intend to hire people with consumer electronics and retail experience over the next quarter.

Forty percent of employers in the manufacturing & industrial sector also intend to add to their teams in the next three months; 39.5 percent of employers in the healthcare & life sciences companies also want to increase headcount this quarter.

Findings of the report also show that 7.4 percent of the respondents plan to reduce staff numbers over the next three months.

Almost a third (30.3 percent) of the companies in Singapore are using temporary and fixed term contractors more often since the global financial crisis.

"Employers are looking for people with specific attributes to help them thrive, not just survive, in this difficult climate," said Tomich. "They want people who are flexible, open to change and willing to embrace new responsibilities, who are resilient and not deterred by stress or setbacks. People with these qualities will be in great demand in the immediate and longer term future."


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