Only about a third (37 percent) of employers expect to increase headcount in the first half of 2015, according to the latest Hudson Report: Employment Trends released today.
Breaking it down to the different verticals, the ICT sector is showing the strongest hiring intentions with slightly more than half (52.4 percent) of employers intending to increase their headcount, up 7.3 percentage points (pp) on the second half of 2014.
The talent solutions company said that the sector has seen sustained growth over the last 12 months as companies make investments in their IT systems and functions.
"Companies that traditionally outsourced their IT functions are now reintegrating, restructuring and building their teams as they see the benefit of an integrated global IT strategy and the role it can play in driving innovation and efficiencies," said Emmanuel White, General Manager, Hudson Singapore.
"We are seeing a rise in demand for roles related to data security, project management, big data and emerging technologies such as cloud computing. We are also seeing a growing requirement for digital specialists who can help their companies maximise their presence and revenue via digital platforms. With mobility and virtualisation a strategic focus for most industries, the talent demand is also high on the service provider side. Candidates who can demonstrate collaboration and influencing skills will also be sought after, as IT must now become a business partner rather than just a service provider," he added.
Hiring intentions in banking and financial services sector sees a decline
Conversely, the banking and financial services sector sees the biggest drop in hiring intentions with only 36.2 percent of employers 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. Despite this, we are seeing a keen focus on compliance and regulation roles as banks address international regulatory reform," said White.
"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.