Singapore hiring signals slower Asia Pacific growth

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The hiring outlook for finance, banking and accounting professionals in Singapore will remain “tepid” in the first half of 2016, according to research by recruitment firm Robert Half.

Its survey polled 275 senior hiring decision makers including chief financial officers (CFOs), financial services business leaders and chief information officers (CIOs). The research covers three sectors: banking and financial services (including insurance); finance and accounting (finance and accounting roles in a range of industries); and technology/IT.

Among companies that are expanding the need for additional headcount comes from companies starting new projects and initiatives this year, which require additional personnel to drive them. The firm reports that 52% of companies in the banking and financial services sector plan to boost their permanent staffing level in the next six months. The outlook is similar for finance and accounting professionals working in other industries, with 53% of respondents increasing their permanent headcount.

Table 1: Singapore Employment Outlook – 1st Half 2016

While the employment market for technology professionals is described as “robust”, 46% of companies plan to employ more tech personnel compared to 50% for the same period in 2015.

Stella Tang, managing director of Robert Half Singapore said that companies are planning a range of new projects in the next six months, increasing the demand for additional employees. “We are seeing more roles created to resource new initiatives and projects which companies hope will drive their next wave of growth.”

“Many of these new projects will need to operate within a tight budget, so the salaries offered for these new roles will be somewhat constrained. This means there will be more roles but candidates should not expect to get paid more than the market rate.

“These newly created positions are opportunities for professionals who want to show what they can do and to set up their careers. All employers value the ability of an employee to take on a new project and make it a success. Many of these projects have been planned last year, so there is always the risk that [they] will not proceed if the economy climate changes.”

Table 2: Reasons for increasing permanent headcount

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