Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Companies to cut hiring, bonus won't stop workers changing jobs: surveys

SINGAPORE: There will be fewer job vacancies in the next three months as companies are expected to reduce hiring amid an uncertain economic climate.

This is according to a recent survey by recruitment firm Hudson. The company surveyed 567 employers in June for the July-September period.

Despite the uncertainties, other HR experts said workers may still consider changing jobs.

In another survey released by Hays, potential big bonuses are not stopping candidates from searching for a role that can deliver career development and progression.

Advance estimates by the Trade & Industry Ministry recently showed Singapore's economy shrank 1.1 per cent in the second quarter of this year.

This contributed to the dip in hiring expectations, and the Hudson Report indicates that more employers are adopting a "wait-and-see" approach.

Andrew Tomich, executive general manager of Hudson, said: "What we are seeing is just 50 per cent are holding steady, they are holding their headcount. Only around 30 per cent said they are going to increase their headcount.

"So we are not going to see a lot of new roles. We'll probably see a lot of replacement's not going to be a simple like for like. It's more of what is the best for the business, given the current economic climate."

In the last quarter, 42.4 per cent of employers had planned to recruit more staff.

The survey also showed more companies intend to cut staff numbers.

7.4 per cent of employers plan to downsize in the coming quarter, compared with 6.2 per cent in the previous quarter.

In addition, only about a fifth (22.9 per cent) of employers said they feel optimistic about Singapore's economy.

Almost three quarters (70.7 per cent) report feeling cautious or uncertain and about one in 20 (6.4 per cent) feel pessimistic.

As companies become more cautious, they are also adopting more stringent recruitment processes. Job seekers have to go through more rounds of interviews, and the recruitment process could take up to 12 weeks to complete.

However, this may not necessarily be effective.

Tomich said: "Sometimes if a candidate has got very strong skill sets, he's got very good attributes that he can bring to a role, then he is highly sought after. So, an organisation that can move through that process faster would generally win that candidate."

Hudson said companies should focus less on traditional methods that prioritise technical qualifications and experience and instead look at assessments that measure a candidate's motivational and behavioural attributes.

While some job seekers may be cautious about changing jobs, others aren't deterred.

Recruitment firm Hays said even the accrual of up to six months of potential bonuses is not stopping candidates from entering the jobs market in search for better career development and progression.

The Hays Quarterly Report, for the July to September quarter, points to an active candidate market in Singapore.

It indicates that candidates are more accepting of the reality that bonuses are not what they once were.

They are also increasingly motivated to look for a role offering career progression or broader job responsibilities.

The recent job market surveys reflect the current economic climate.

Economists said hiring decisions have taken into account the shocks in US and Europe.

Associate Professor Shandre Thangavelu, from the Economics Department at the National University of Singapore, said: "The only other concern that might be new in the decision making in terms of job creation is the issue of the slowdown of the Chinese economy.

"So, how fast or how much the Chinese economy is going to slow down, is going to be very interesting to observe and track.

"Currently China is still going to grow fairly stable, at 7 to 8 per cent, given whatever fiscal measures they are going to put in for the second half.

"That is the only factor I believe might affect our labour market."

Singapore is expected to grow between one and three per cent this year due to the global economic slowdown.

- CNA/ck


Just saw this news today. Kinda depressing, I suppose. Good luck to those who are currently finding a job. All the best! By the way, do you think that we should spend or save more? Spending can drive the economy and create a multiplier effect which will eventually decrease the unemployment rate. This is what I've studied in Economics. So go on and spend money. This is a perfect excuse for spending money. Lolx~ Don't look at me because I am already spending a lot. Mostly on food and transport.

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