SINGAPORE: Singapore’s job market looks set to stay strong in the final quarter of 2012, with two in three employers saying they’ll be hiring, according to a survey by leading job portal, JobsCentral.
It said on Tuesday that 67.2 per cent of the respondents, made up of HR professionals and hiring managers from the private and public sectors, indicated they’ll be hiring till the end of the year to fill new positions, excluding replacements from staff turnover.
The majority are small—medium enterprises (SME) at 62.4 per cent, while the multinational corporations (MNCs) make up 27.4 per cent and the public sector forms 10.2 per cent of this group.
CEO of JobsCentral Group, Mr Lim Der Shing, said despite the uncertain and rather slow global economy, Singapore employers still face a very tight local labour market.
This means that employers find it hard to even replace staff who resign and even harder to recruit new staff for expansion.
This problem is compounded by Singapore’s shift towards less reliance on foreigners.
"The situation is especially bad for SMEs, which may not have the resources and ability to compete with MNCs or the government in terms of compensation, benefits and career development and who have traditionally relied on foreigners. Certain sectors like the retail, hospitality and healthcare section face a tough time getting the people and employment permits they need to run their businesses," said Mr Lim.
The survey identified the top two challenges faced by employers as a lack of supply and quality of applicants for their jobs.
Four in five (79.5 per cent) cited the shortage of suitable candidates applying for their job openings as the top concern.
This is almost on par with the next biggest challenge of being able to attract the best talents (78.5 per cent).
About half (55.8 per cent) said that high manpower cost was an issue.
"It is telling that manpower cost is less of a challenge than getting good quality candidates and being able to attract suitable talents. Many employers, in a bid to secure the candidates that they want, have been willing to pay more to get them. A side effect of this, besides increasing business cost, is that it results in more market churn and encourages employees to change jobs in order to get a quick pay raise. If many jobseekers do this, it will have an overall inflationary effect on wages," said Mr Lim.
JobsCentral said more than 80 per cent gave out pay increments in 2012, with almost 60 per cent giving less than five per cent.
Four in five of the employers indicated that pay increments have been issued this year.
The majority — 58.1 per cent — gave out raises of below five per cent; 17.2 per cent gave out six to 10 per cent of increment; and 5.8 per cent gave increment of more than 10 per cent.
Of those that gave higher increment percentages, the greatest proportion comes from the public sector, followed by the SMEs and the MNCs.
About 400 respondents took part in the online survey conducted in August.
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