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Most Companies Intend To Freeze Hiring – Report on Recruitment Agencies

SINGAPORE: A survey of 450 company executives on hiring trends for the second half of this year showed that the majority of respondents (66 per cent) intend to freeze hiring between July to December 2012.

The same survey also shows that 32 per cent plan to hire more staff while 2 per cent plan to reduce headcounts.

The survey was done by the Achieve Group, which specialises in talent acquisition comprising general recruitment, technology recruitment, foreign recruitment and executive search, as well as HR consulting.

Of the 148 companies that reported an intention to hire more staff in the second half of the year, 35 per cent plan to increase headcount by less than 5 per cent.

A further 18 per cent said they will grow their staff strengths by up to 10 per cent while another 5 per cent are planning to boost headcounts by more than 10 per cent.

The rest declined to divulge specifics.

All the companies that will be increasing headcounts were also polled on the salary increment that they would offer new hires, with respect to the candidates’ last drawn salary.

Most of those surveyed (41 per cent) said they would be offering increments of less than 5 per cent followed by 14 per cent of respondents who stated that they would offer increments of 5 per cent to 10 per cent.

Only 2 per cent of participants indicated increments of 10 per cent to 15 per cent.

None of the companies said they would offer new hires an increment of more than 15 per cent.

The remaining 43 per cent declined to comment.

The report also surveyed companies on how the salaries of current staff are likely to be affected in light of the uncertain economic outlook, compared with the first half of this year.

The majority (58 per cent) of respondents indicated that there would be no change in staff salaries.

Twenty two per cent of companies intend to increase staff salaries by up to 3 per cent while 18 per cent of those surveyed plan to hike wages by 3 per cent to 5 per cent.

Only 2 per cent of companies reported that they would be increasing staff salaries by more than 5 per cent.

A slight majority of 52 per cent of respondents reported that they are currently finding it tough to hire Singaporeans.

The remaining 48 per cent stated that they are not encountering any such difficulty.

The majority claim that Singaporeans are too choosy when it comes to the nature of work, working conditions and hours and workplace location.

Twenty three per cent of respondents said Singaporeans are demanding too high salaries while 20 per cent of companies reported that they simply received no response to job advertisements.

Nine sectors were surveyed and these include Banking & Finance, Healthcare & Pharmaceutical, IT Telecommunications, Hospitality, Retail & F&B, Shipping & Logistics, Industrial Manufacturing & Engineering, Oil & Gas, Professional Services and Property & Construction.

The CEO of Achieve Group, Joshua Yim, said: “The story that the Hiring Trends Report 2H 2012 tells us is that companies are becoming more cautious as compared to the first half of the year.

“Fewer organisations are intending to hire during this period, with the majority appearing to take a wait-and-see stance before they commit to increasing their headcounts.

“Having said that, however, there will still be opportunities in the market and job-seekers should take note of the key industries that will be hiring in 2H 2012: Property & Construction; Hospitality, Retail & F&B; Healthcare & Pharmaceutical; and Professional Services.”

Source: Channel News Asia, 14 Aug 2012