Only about a third (37 percent) of employers in Singapore expect to increase headcount in the first half of 2015, according to the latest Hudson Report: Employment Trends released today.
The banking and financial services sector in the republic sees the biggest drop in hiring intentions. According to the report, only 36.2 percent of employers are intending to increase headcount, down 13.8 percentage points from the second half of 2014.
"While Asian banks have generally had a strong 2014 with some home-grown banks expanding their operations, there has been a simultaneous softening of the market as managers adopt a 'wait and see' approach to hiring," said Emmanuel White, General Manager, Hudson Singapore.
"Despite this, we are seeing a keen focus on compliance and regulation roles as banks address international regulatory reform. We are also seeing a keen demand for credit analysts, corporate banking relationship managers, commodity finance relationship managers and private banking relationship managers as banks look to market customised solutions for corporate clients," he added.
War for experienced local talent
According to White, it has been close to six months since the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) was implemented in an effort to raise the number of Singaporeans in the workforce.
"The focus on hiring local talent is likely to highlight skills shortages in certain areas and drive more competition in the market. This is especially so for middle management roles that contribute to growth and drive transformation," he said.
The FCF has significant implications for all organisations in Singapore, especially those looking to build local leadership bench strength rather than relying on expertise from around the world.
"Finding local talent who has the right mix of experience and qualifications, as well as alignment to the organisation, has never been more difficult. While that talent does exist, finding them will require even more sophisticated sourcing techniques, strong networks as well as the ability to look beyond active job seekers," added White.