More employers in Singapore planning to increase headcount this year: Hudson

Hudson's half-yearly survey of employers found that 41 per cent plan to increase headcount in the new year.
Hudson's half-yearly survey of employers found that 41 per cent plan to increase headcount in the new year.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - In spite of modest local economic growth projections, the employment outlook for Singapore is on an upward trajectory, recruitment firm Hudson found in its latest survey.

The half-yearly survey of employers found that 41 per cent plan to increase headcount in the new year and only 6 per cent to decrease it, giving a net effect of 35 per cent. The majority (53 per cent) of Singapore employers are planning to maintain current headcount.

The net effect of intention to hire stands at 35.8 per cent, up from 32.1 per cent in June. Hudson calculated net effect by subtracting the percentage of employers planning to decrease headcount from the percentage of those planning to increase it.

"Employers are feeling confident enough to put hiring back on the agenda," said Mr Emmanuel White, regional director, Hudson Singapore.

"During 2015, the hiring outlook declined in light of concerns about the slowing Chinese economy and volatility in global financial markets. However, the regional economy has proven to be reasonably resilient, and while Singapore's economic growth forecast may be subdued, we are still seeing growth in certain industries, and employers are taking note."

Of those employers planning to add headcount, 69 per cent are doing so due to organisational growth, suggesting that the new year will see an uptick in competition for talent.

Hudson surveyed 383 employers and 758 employees,

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

Moreover, 88 per cent would consider moving industries for the right job, with banking and financial services (23 per cent) the favoured industry to move into, followed by healthcare & life sciences (17 per cent).

The survey also reveals that 65 per cent of employees would even move countries, with Australia, the United States and China the top three choices.

"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," Mr White said.

The Hudson Report also revealed what employees considering a job change are looking for, and the right salary is top of the list, with 56 per cent citing it as crucial. Work life balance and career progression are also important for 44 per cent of respondents.

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

jkoh@sph.com.sg