Good prospects for finance, IT staff as business confidence grows: Robert Half

BUSINESS leaders are becoming more confident about Singapore's growth prospects and will likely hire more people in the first six months this year, according to recruitment consultant Robert Half.

Its latest employment report, released on Tuesday, found that more than 90 per cent of some 400 corporate leaders surveyed in the financial, commercial and information-technology sectors are confident of growth this year.

Those in the commercial sector were the most optimistic, with confidence levels rising to 93 per cent this year compared with 78 per cent last year.

About 92 per cent of business leaders were confident about growth this year, compared with 66 per cent last year, while 91 per cent of those in the financial sector were positive about expansion, up from 83 per cent last year.

In anticipation of higher business activity, the Robert Half Employment Report forecasts an increase in hiring activity for those sectors in the next six months.

The most bullish sector is the commercial industry, where 45 per cent intend to add new finance and accounting positions.

Among the decision leaders in the financial services sector, 43 per cent intend to add new permanent staff.

Though the IT sector was most confident of growth prospects, just 35 per cent of the leaders surveyed plan raise their companies' headcount for technology professionals.

Robert Half Singapore director Stella Tang said in a statement: "Last year, new hires were mainly to fill jobs cut during the financial crisis. This year the new hires are for new jobs to drive growth plans."

"Companies have the confidence to pursue growth strategies such as pushing out new products and services, as well as expanding into new markets," she added.