Sluggish Online Hiring for HR and Admin Roles across Southeast Asia

March 31, 20178:36 am380 views

Online hiring for HR and Admin roles has remained slow across Southeast Asia in the last few quarters. This is partially owing to multiple rounds of cost-cutting activities, company restructuring, and frozen headcounts amidst a challenging economic environment. Singapore and Malaysia continue to see decline in demand for HR and Admin roles, while Philippines observes modest growth.

This is according to findings from the Monster Employment Index (MEI), a monthly gauge of online recruitment activity across Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines. The Index tracks overall online hiring activity locally, and includes specific data points from the HR and administrative job pool.

Philippines continues to lead when it comes to online hiring of HR and admin professionals, at 9 percent year-on-year. There is further a slight improvement from 4 percent, reported between January 2016 and 2017.

Malaysia reported 8 percent decline in hiring of HR and admin professionals in February, falling from -3 percent year-on-year recorded in January. Singapore also reported a decline at -3% year-on-year in the hiring of these professionals.

HR and Admin jobs:

Month Market 2015 2016 % Growth Y-o-Y


Singapore 95 88 -7%
Malaysia 69 66 -4%
Philippines 85 88 4%
    2016 2017  


Singapore 87 82 -6%
Malaysia 65 63 -3%
Philippines 92 96 4%


Singapore 89 86 -3%
Malaysia 62 57 -8%
Philippines 95 104 9%


See: Singapore’s Online Hiring Sentiment to Remain Restrained In 2017

“The slow hiring of HR and admin workers in the region could likely be due to an immediate shortage of available and qualified professionals with deep sector knowledge, who are capable of getting businesses up to speed with today’s industry demands,” said Sanjay Modi, Managing Director of (APAC and Middle East).

“Some businesses are also likely doing away with robust teams, turning to cost-effective means such as outsourcing work, and tapping into the contingent workforce in the short term.”

Singapore Highlights:

  • Monster Employment Index Singapore registers three percent annual growth.
  • IT, Telecom/ISP and BPO/ITES leads among industry groups; whereas Retail/Trade and Logistics declines the most.
  • Among job roles, Software, Hardware, and Telecom professionals enjoy highest annual growth in demand.

Malaysia Highlights:

  • Monster Employment Index Malaysia witnesses no growth between February 2016 and 2017.
  • Year-on-year, IT, Telecom/ISP and BPO/ITES exhibits the steepest growth; whereas Retail dips the most among industry sectors.
  • Software, Hardware, and Telecom professionals record the most notable annual demand.

Philippines Highlights:

  • Monster Employment Index Philippines witnesses uptrend of 10 percent on-the-year.
  • Logistic, Courier/ Freight/ Transportation, Import/Export, Shipping leads online recruitment activity among sectors; whereas Engineering, Construction and Real Estate register the steepest decline from the year-ago level.
  • Customer Service professionals exhibit the most notable demand among job roles on annual basis.

The Monster Employment Index is a monthly gauge of online job posting activity, based on a real-time review of millions of employer job opportunities culled from a large representative selection of career websites and online job listings across Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The Index does not reflect the trend of any one advertiser or source, but is an aggregate measure of the change in job listings across the industry.

Also read: Four Key Trends Expected to Dominate Asia Pacific Workplaces in 2017

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