Employment Outlook for Singapore on an Upward Trajectory in 2016

January 20, 20168:34 am1159 views

The employment outlook for Singapore is on an upward trajectory, with the latest Hudson Report finding that the net effect of intention to hire stands at 35.8%, up from 32.1% in June.

The survey of employers found that 41% plan to increase headcount in the New Year, and only 6% to decrease it, giving a net effect of 35%. Meanwhile, the majority (53%) of Singapore employers are planning to maintain current headcount.

“Employers are feeling confident enough to put hiring back on the agenda,” said Emmanuel White, Regional Director, Hudson Singapore.

“It’s positive to see that organisations are planning for growth. However, the more buoyant the economy, the harder it will be to attract people with the right skills and experience. In this market, there will be strong competition for talent,” White added.

Professionals on the move

For the first time, the Hudson Report also surveyed the intentions and attitudes of job seekers, finding that almost three-quarters of them will be considering a new job role in 2016: 34% are actively looking for a new role and 40% are passively seeking one – in other words, they are watching job ads and are open to being approached.

Moreover, 88% would consider moving industries for the right job, with Banking & Financial Services (23%) the favoured industry to move into, followed by Healthcare & Life Sciences (17%).

The survey also reveals that 65% of employees would even move countries, with Australia, the United States and China the top three choices.Hudson report_Singapore employment outlook “Employees in Singapore are focused on how to move onwards and upwards in their career, and most are willing to move if it’s a step in this direction. They are looking to sectors experiencing growth, such as finance and healthcare, as well as to other western, English-speaking countries that will give them a global CV,” White said.

Salary the key to attraction

The Hudson Report also reveals what restless employees are looking for, and the right salary is top of the list, with 56% citing it as crucial. Work life balance and career progression are also important for 44% of respondents.

While money is the strongest ‘pull’ factor for employees, it’s not why people want to leave – disappointment with salary is the driver for just 13%. The biggest issue is a lack of career progression (27%), followed by being bored and needing a new challenge (18%).

See: Singapore’s Slow Hiring Sentiment Likely to Continue in 2016

“It is critical to get salaries right when hiring, but this is not the only consideration. Being very clear about career opportunities and how to progress towards them is very important, as is outlining how the organisation manages workloads and flexible hours. In order to retain people, employers need to focus on the non-financial factors just as much as salary budgets,” White said.

Overall, the outlook for Singapore’s employment market is competitive, with robust hiring activity and employees on the hunt for opportunity. In this environment, Hudson advises employers to have a talent strategy in place.

“Employers need to focus on retaining their workforce just as much as they focus on finding and hiring new talent. Getting the balance right will be crucial in 2016, in a competitive and fluid employment market,” White stated.

Media, PR & Advertising industry tops intention to hire

The Hudson Report: Forward Focus 2016 also looks at which industries are set to see the most hiring activity in the year ahead. The industries with the highest proportion of employers planning to add headcount are Media/PR/Advertising (59%), Professional Services (57%) and IT&T (53%).

White says innovation is driving the activity in these sectors.

“Many companies are investing more in digital marketing and e-commerce, and often outsourcing these specialist activities to agencies, where we expect much of the hiring activity to be concentrated for Marketing, PR and Advertising,” White said.

Looking at the professions that will be in demand, Sales (49%), Financial Services (45%) and HR/Recruitment (42%) top the list. “Sales people play a crucial role in driving revenue growth, so the demand for them suggests that Singapore’s employers are focused on growing their bottom line.

“The demand for HR/Recruitment professionals reflects the fact that hiring and retaining the right talent will be a key to achieving that growth.”

“In the Financial Services space, we are seeing strong demand for compliance, audit and risk professionals, due to a growing focus on regulation in the region,” White concludes.

Also read: Accounting Professionals in Singapore Can Expect Shift towards More Strategic and Analytical Roles

Image credit: asiaone.com

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