Online hiring stalls; HR and finance jobs worst hit

November 2, 20161:39 pm409 views
Online hiring stalls; HR and finance jobs worst hit
TODAY file photo

Online recruitment activity remained at a standstill in September, with people in human resources (HR), finance and banking facing the greatest difficulty in landing a new job amid a dearth of career listings in these fields.

The latest Monster Employment Index — which tracks online job advertisements — showed that Singapore reported zero per cent growth in online hiring activity in September compared with the same month last year. It was the second straight month that online hiring growth had remained flat.

“Singapore’s job market continues to bear the brunt of the slow Chinese economy, on top of the Brexit shockwaves, causing overall hiring intentions to remain weak. Economic growth also fell below expectations during this time, and it is likely that the hiring dry spell will (be) prolonged,” said Mr Sanjay Modi, managing director of for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

Among the 12 occupational groups in the index, online hiring activity for HR and admin talent saw the greatest plunge of 12 per cent year-on-year in September, extending August’s 8 per cent decline. This was followed by finance and accounting jobs, which suffered a 10 per cent drop, and real estate positions, which fell 9 per cent.

The bright spot for online recruitment continued to be in the areas of software, hardware and telecoms, with those occupations recording an 18 per cent annual growth, up from 16 per cent in August and its steepest increase since December 2014.

In terms of industries, the banking, financial services and insurance group (BFSI) continued to fare the worst among the 14 sectors monitored by the index, dropping 11 per cent year-on-year and extending August’s 5 per cent decline. This was followed by the oil and gas sector, which fell 3 per cent.

At the other end, the highest growth across industries was in the IT, telecom/Internet service providers and business process outsourcing/IT-enabled services sector, which recorded 9 per cent annual growth. However, this was down from the 14 per cent growth registered in August. The financial sector has been particularly affected by slowing global economic growth and the struggling oil and gas sector, with banks in Singapore allocating higher provisions for bad loans in their recent third-quarter earnings reports.

Banks around the world are also shedding jobs against the backdrop of a weak economic outlook, volatile markets and stricter capital rules.

The push for digital transformation has also eroded the need for some jobs. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Barclays and Standard Chartered Bank are among the banks that have let go of a number of their employees in Singapore in the past year.

“The BFSI sector is especially affected, given that many local banks have operations in China, and are directly affected by the growth crisis. Nevertheless, the initiatives put in place to turn Singapore into a Smart Nation by 2025 are likely to improve the situation in the coming years, particularly in the IT sector, given the growing need for professionals in the cyber security, coding and programming space,” said Mr Modi.

The index by jobs site is a monthly gauge that provides a snapshot of employer recruitment activity nationwide through the review of job opportunities across a selection of career websites and online job listings across Singapore.


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