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Foo Tun Chuan
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Media Release



Singapore – 13 January 2015 – Employers are taking a cautious approach to hiring in the first half of 2015 with a net 37% of employers expecting to increase headcount in the first half of 2015, according to the latest Hudson Report: Employment Trends, released today.1

“A slowdown in growth due to lack of demand from the Eurozone and China has affected certain industries whilst others will fare strongly on the back of US growth.2 Whilst we are seeing reduced activity in the banking and financial services industry, hiring intentions in the ICT sector are very strong heading into 2015,” said Emmanuel White, General Manager, Hudson Singapore.

“It’s now been close to six months since the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) was implemented in an effort to raise the number of Singaporeans in jobs. 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,” added Mr White.

Sustained growth in ICT industry

The ICT sector is showing the strongest hiring intentions with a net 52.4% of employers intending to increase their headcount, up 7.3 percentage points (pp) on the second half of 2014.

This is the strongest hiring intention Hudson has seen for the ICT industry since Q3 2011, when positive hiring intentions were at a net 57%. 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 Mr White.

“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.”

Banking and financial services sector sees a decline in positive hiring intentions

Banking and financial services is the industry seeing the biggest drop in hiring intentions with a net 36.2% of employers intending to increase headcount, down 13.8pp from the second half of 2014.

“While Asian banks have generally had a strong 2014 with some home-grown banks expanding their operations3, 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. 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,” advised Mr White.

Manufacturing and industrial sector shows growth

The manufacturing and industrial sector has the third strongest hiring intentions with a net 33% of employers looking to increase headcount.

“We are seeing an increased demand for customs managers and trade and compliance managers. These roles require candidates with proven experience to develop and manage customs clearance processes across the region with a strong network in Asia. The increase in demand is driven by clients looking to mitigate compliance risks and ease their trade flow across Asia Pacific. With so many multinational companies locating their regional distribution centres in Singapore, there is significant competition for candidates with this highly sought after skillset.

“Additionally, Singapore expects to invest a substantial amount of money in the coming years to position itself as a global medical technology hub4, and as such we are seeing real growth in roles such as quality engineers, category managers and sales, with a strong focus on medical devices,” added Mr White.

War for experienced local talent hots up

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 have 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,” advised Mr White.

1 Hudson surveyed 352 Singapore employers about their hiring intentions for January to June 2015
2 Macroeconomic Review, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), October 2014
3 DBS, OCBC Shares Rise as Wider Lending Margins Boost Profits, Bloomberg Businessweek, April 30, 2014
4 Medical Technology Singapore, Singapore Economic Development Board


Editor Note

Please contact us for more information, print-ready graphs or to arrange an interview.

The Hudson Report frequently refers to the term ‘net sentiment’. The net effect figure is calculated by taking the percentage of employers surveyed that expect to increase permanent staff levels, or their contracting/temporary workforce, during the forthcoming three months and subtracting the percentage of employers surveyed that expect to decrease staff levels.

About Hudson

Hudson is a global talent solutions company with expertise in leadership and specialized recruitment, recruitment process outsourcing, talent management and contracting solutions. We help our clients and candidates succeed by leveraging our expertise, deep industry and market knowledge, and proprietary assessment tools and techniques. Through relationships with millions of specialized professionals in 22 countries, we bring an unparalleled ability to match talent with opportunities by assessing, recruiting, developing and engaging the best and brightest people for our clients. We combine broad geographic presence, world-class talent solutions and a tailored, consultative approach to help businesses and professionals achieve higher performance and outstanding results. More information is available at

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