Are You Sure You’re Hiring?

By Gerald Goh

It should be an employee’s market in Singapore right now – when we last checked, the official unemployment rate was low – 2 per cent, or thereabouts on average in 2012 – and job listings are still plentiful.

Not to mention that you’re either raring to kick-start your career, or have recently gotten your annual bonus and have your eye on your next career move.

But are companies in Singapore really hiring, and in quantities that the numbers suggest that they should be?

JobsCentral Survey: 2 in 3 employers surveyed say they will be hiring in Q4 2012

By Juliet Soh

The employment market appears set to continue its strength in the final quarter of 2012, according to a survey conducted by JobsCentral, Singapore’s leading job portal. This is against the backdrop of low unemployment rate of 2% in the country.

67.2% of the respondents, made up of HR professionals and hiring managers from both the private and public sectors, indicated that they will be hiring till the end of the year to fill new positions (excluding replacements from staff turnover). Majority of those who are hiring are from the small-medium enterprises (SME, 62.4%), while the multinational corporations (MNCs) take up 27.4%, and the public sector forms 10.2% of this group.

“In spite of the uncertain and rather slow global economy, Singapore employers are still faced with a very tight local labour market. This means that employers find it hard to even replace staff who resign and even harder to recruit new staff for expansion. This problem is further compounded by our overall shift towards less reliance on foreigners,” commented Mr. Lim Der Shing, CEO of JobsCentral Group.

“The situation is especially bad for SMEs, who may not have the resources and ability to compete with MNCs or the government in terms of compensation, benefits and career development and who have traditionally relied on foreigners. Certain sectors like the retail, hospitality and healthcare section face a tough time getting the people and employment permits they need to run their businesses,” he adds.

Lack of suitable quality candidates is a huge HR challenge

Talent Hunt – an Uphill Task

By Juliet Soh

97% of the employers reported that hiring skilled professionals in the second half of 2011 will continue to be a challenge, according to the latest survey conducted by Robert Half Workplace, a recruitment firm.

The industries that faced the most difficulties in Singapore are: Finance (28%), followed by Accounting (18%), Compliance (18%), Operational Support (14%), and Audit (8%).

Of the companies that are hiring, 70% of the new positions are for junior level professionals, 56% for middle management and 12% for senior management/director level staff.