Fewer Companies in Singapore Plan to Increase Headcount in 2017

December 22, 20161:31 pm607 views

In view of the current economic climate, very few companies in Singapore plan to increase headcount in 2017, according to survey on 2017 employment trends by Michael Page, an international recruitment consultancy.

Based on the survey, one in three employers in Singapore – or 36 percent – plan to ramp up hiring next year, down from 49 per cent in the 2016 survey. Meanwhile, 57 percent of companies indicated they plan to maintain headcount in 2017 while 7 percent said they will cut staffing.

To support the above, latest findings in the labour market report by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) showed that total employment expanded by just 14,500 in the first nine months of this year, the slowest growth since the 2009 global financial crisis. Jobseekers also continued to outnumber the vacancies available for the second quarter in a row.

Michael Page’s 2017 Asia Salary & Employment Outlook survey contained responses from nearly 450 employers in Singapore across various industries. The initial findings of the report to be launched in February next year, indicated that among those who plan to increase headcount in 2017, six in 10 are looking to hire at middle management level.

See: Are Jobs Slashed by Banks in Singapore Likely to Return in Future?

63 percent companies said that they are willing to offer employees a 1 to 5 percent salary increase, while 15 percent do not intend to provide employees with a pay raise. Hiring activity would increase in digital, healthcare and technology sectors.

“Digital, technology and healthcare are likely to be the country’s fastest-growing industries, due to Government’s pledged efforts to boost investment in these sectors. As a result, employers across these three sectors are likely to continue hiring actively, though recruitment efforts will largely focus on filling niche roles,” said Mr Anthony Thompson, regional managing director of Greater China, South East Asia & India at Michael Page.

Combining niche technical skill requirements of employers with industry experience and expertise would result in fierce competition for a limited pool of talent in 2017. According to study by Randstad earlier this month, it said that employees in Singapore are less optimistic than their global peers about how their employers would perform financially next year.

About 56 percent of employees in Singapore said they expect their employers to perform better financially in 2017, compared with the global average of 69 percent, Randstad’s Workmonitor research shows. This also compares with the 59 percent in Hong Kong and 70 percent in Malaysia.

“Employers may need to adopt a more open-minded approach, hiring a candidate that possesses a majority of the required skills and invest in further training instead,” a statement from Michael page said.


Also read: How different are Work-Life Demands of Millennials in Singapore from their Global Counterparts?

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