Growth in the field in technology has spurred Singapore’s job market, even as there was a slight decrease in job advertisement volumes, the Asia Job Index report for Q3 2016 found.
The report, published Tuesday by international recruitment consultancy Robert Walters, said the government’s plans to boost the local start-up ecosystem led to a 24% rise in recruitment activity for the IT job market. As companies continued to digitise their processes, there was very high demand for technology professionals with experience in developing the latest platforms.
The index tracked job advertising volumes for professional positions across leading job boards and national newspapers in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. This year’s findings for Q3 revealed cautiously optimistic hiring levels within Asia.
Overall, there was a -2% annual change in job advertisements in Singapore, with decrease in demand in sectors like manufacturing, the report showed. As organisations moved their merchandising and purchasing functions to lower-cost locations outside Singapore, there was a 36% dip in job opportunities for this sector.
Further, the report found that due to cost-cutting measures, companies focused only on replacement hiring for compliance and legal roles. However, there was sustained demand for professionals with financial crime experience.
“The slight decrease in job advertisement volumes in Singapore was reflective of a changing economy. Sectors like manufacturing, residential property and shipping have come under duress as companies undergo restructuring to cut costs,” said Toby Fowlston, managing director of Robert Walters Southeast Asia division.
“However, there has been positive growth in the technology and e-commerce field as businesses improve customer engagement and shore up their security practices, resulting in more job opportunities available for user experience and user interface designers, and cybersecurity professionals in particular,” he added.
Fowlston also shared that while HR teams might be getting leaner, companies are still recruiting for roles in talent management, leadership and development, and compensation and benefits.
“Hiring managers will also be focusing on recruiting more domestic and overseas returning Singaporean talent,” he said.
In Hong Kong, companies were more open to contract-hiring, while in Malaysia hiring slowed down as a result of economic uncertainty. Hiring in China, meanwhile, was robust for high-quality talent, the report said.